Posted on Jan 18, 2017
Another 3 weeks has gone past so quickly. My host for these few weeks was about 20 minutes south of Sioux Falls at Lennox with Gordon, Sarah and daughter Hannah, their other daughter Karisa was in studying in Sioux Falls.
Gordon and his brother Gailen share a farm together on the land where they grew up and some more that they lease. They grow soy beans and corn like most of the farmers in the area, but they don't have any cattle.
When I arrived they had harvested all their soy beans and were just waiting for the corn to be dry enough, though they couldn't wait to long as the winter weather and snow would soon arrive. Corn that was still too high in moisture was put in to a silo and then dried though a grain dryer which could do 600 bushel an hour. This was all working fine until there was a slight mishap with a sensor that fills the dryer and there was a nice pile beside the dryer to clean up.
I was driving the chaser bin to collect the corn from the harvester and then out in to the wagons and truck to take to the silos at the yard or in to the ethanol plant just the other side of Lennox.
Gordon is a red follower and prefers the case brand and considering I arrived at the house with a John Deere jumper and photos of John Deere in my album that was his mission for the few weeks to try and convert me from a green girl to a red girl. But no he didn't succeed.
Just prior to me arriving a close friend and neighbour of theirs had died suddenly. He was only part way through his harvest so on a Friday I was apart of the group of farmers in the area to join forces and harvest the last of his corn. There was approximately 8 harvesters, 10 chaser bins, 15+ trucks and 10+ others who came and help unload some corn in to silos at the house and serve us all lunch. It was wonderful to be apart of something so special in the community. Just like at home when the going gets tough everyone bands together.
This same day we finished Gordon's corn harvest and then it was in to getting the discs ready to get as much ground work done as possible as there was a snow storm due on Thursday night and Friday the following week. In amongst two funerals that Sarah had to do as pastor of their church Gordon was able to keep the four tractors going to fertilise and disc the paddocks that needed to be done. We got all the fertiliser on the paddocks, the corn stubbles dished and then most of the bean paddocks which wasn't so urgent.
On the Thursday evening the rain started and it was getting cold. Then Friday morning as promised I woke up to snow all over, about 4-6 inches had fallen and it was still windy and snowing outside. We waited for the wind to ease off a little then put some snow suits (like overalls - but thicker) on and went outside for a look. We had a play in the snow building a little snow man and walking way down the driveway where we had to walk backwards so you could breathe as the wind was so strong. The wind was blowing snow and we could only just see the road less than 50 meters away. Pretty fun day, even if we were held up inside all day because it was to dangerous to go anywhere.
There was also a couple of day trips around the area to Pipestone National Monument where family tribes still harvest for pipestone today and a little gorge near Dell Rapids which was pretty at sunset. We were then able to catch up for dinner with Karisa in Sioux Falls.
To round out the end of my three weeks with the Hagena's they were having an early thanksgiving with part of the family who was traveling up from Texas (snow & cold was a shock for them), we celebrated with them and then it was on to my last host in Sioux Falls.