Thursday, September 16, 2010

Agriculture Education and other fun things

Since I was raised on a farm and Gary works on a farm, agriculture is our way of life. I believe that it helps us remain grounded in what we do. We get to see the miracles of life in many forms, from the birth of a calf to the sprouting of the seeds, we see the cycle all around us. With that in mind, I have been wanting to add something new to my blog and that is an agriculture activity or link to an activity to help people understand different aspects of farming and what is really going on, as farms become more modern and we see less of the farms that have a few chickens, a few cows and a couple of pigs. Specialized farms are what are now and are pretty much here to stay. 

Silage chopping

So for this month, around here it is time to harvest the corn. Some of the corn in our area is harvested in 3 different ways. The first is when the corn is still a little bit green in the stalks and a tractor, corn chopper and wagon go through the fields. There are also the self-propelled choppers that will harvest too. The corn that is harvested this way will be stored in the tall silos or in a silage bunk or bag. This will be corn silage and used as feed for the animals. 

Combine shelling corn
In a couple of weeks the corn will continue to dry or start looking dead. Then there are 2 ways to finish the harvesting of corn. One is to bring in a combine and when the combine goes through they are shelling the corn. They will just have the corn kernels to store when the combine is done. The other way to harvest corn is with a corn picker. This is a machine that will pick the ears of corn off the stalks and the ears of corn are stored in a corn crib.
harvesting ear corn with a corn picker

Most of the sweet corn is already done in this area, but there are still fun things to do with corn. If you get a chance, The Amazing corn maze in Lucinda, Pa is a lot of fun and this year they have made it 3 acres bigger!
So if you get a chance to spend some time with corn, check it out. IF you can't get to the corn maze, try something simple at home maybe carmel popcorn or just use the old hot air popper and watch what the kids do with that (especially if they have only had microwave popcorn!)  There are some great corn coloring pages available at check under "fall."

Let me know if you enjoy knowing more about agriculture and ways to show it to your kids and ways to enjoy it in the many different seasons.

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