Around the Farm – Harvest Requires Teamwork

November 11, 2022

If I could choose one word to describe harvest this year I think I would choose “teamwork.” This year I really relied on a team of people to get harvest finished, especially since I have another job off the farm.

I could make a list of several people that helped out this year – making lunches for me to eat in the combine, family members coming on weekends to help unload wagons, and friends who I called if I had questions about equipment breaking down…

One weekend my entire family came to the farm and it seemed like a mixture of mass chaos and teamwork to get things done. One of the things on my list to get done that weekend was to transfer corn from the dryer bin to the storage bin.

We have an older grain drying system and to transfer the corn we have to set up an auger that drops the corn into a wagon, which then drops it into a swing hopper that is connected to another auger that finally brings it up to the top of the storage bin.

I put in some late nights combining corn this year. Here, I’m augering corn from the combine into the grain wagon at our family farm in Hinckley.

At one point we are managing five different augers between the unloading auger and sweep auger. We each chose an auger or two to watch and would signal each other if something needed to be sped up or slowed down or stopped… Then once it was done we worked together to reset the augers in a new arrangement to fill the dryer bins again. It’s a lot of moving augers around! I was thankful to have the help!!!

Meanwhile my nieces and nephews are running around the farm and checking in at times to bring us lunch or see how they can help.

Not only is the help nice, but the company is nice too! Some of the days during harvest get pretty long and it’s nice to have visitors to break up the time.

Like other farmers I put in some pretty long days during harvest. Some days I would get to the farm by 8 a.m. (not as early as many farmers), work until the afternoon, then go to my other job until 9 p.m., then go back to the farm and finish up, and get home at 10 or 11 p.m. Then I would do it all over again the next day.

Our harvest lunch break involved keeping an eye on the corn in the grain dryer. Helping me are (from left) my dad, Paul, and nephew, Ethan.

There were times that I thought, how are other farmers doing this? How has my dad been doing this all of these years? I’m exhausted!

And as always, I am very thankful and also a little sad that harvest is over. I love having the family and friends come and in some ways enjoy the hard work. But I’m also glad my days aren’t quite as long. And now I can take a break and celebrate Thanksgiving with my family.

Like me, I hope you can find much to be thankful for this year. Happy Thanksgiving!

ELIZABETH KOENIG – HINCKLEY FARMER, THERAPIST, AND ARTISAN SOAP MAKER


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