One of the greatest moments around the dairy in the summertime is the day that the corn is chopped and packed in the pit. For those of you reading this that live on farms yourself, you know the significance of this day. Harvest. Time to reap the benefits of what you’ve sown and worked so hard to grow and protect. I have to admit that the relief for me is different. I don’t plant, irrigate, fertilize, cultivate or chop the corn. I don’t work on the tractor or do anything with the crops. For me it’s more about claustrophobia. When the corn is planted all around us, I feel trapped in and blocked off from the outside world. I know… it’s a bit extreme, but it feels a little... suffocating.
It is still a miracle to me how a huge corn stock (about 12-15 feet) can grow from such a tiny seed in such a short period of time. But, even though it’s fun to watch the transformation, it’s more fun to see it go. They chopped it all in one day. From full crop to barren fields in just the matter of a few hours. The ultimate, physical sign that autumn is just around the corner. This year, it is bittersweet.
I’m trying not to take anything for granted. Life on the farm has been so good to me and yet there is so much that happens that I just don’t pay attention to. I took some before and after pictures of the corn and even jumped in with one of the silage truck drivers for a lap around the field to get a load and dump it near the pit so that it could be packed. I’ve lived here for 20+ years and I’ve never done that before. I’ve never really paid attention to the choreographed system the chopper and the trucks go through with their smooth, transitions to get the corn cut, processed, blown into the truck, transferred, dumped and packed… each participant knowing what the other is doing and stepping in at just the right moment to take his place. It’s really amazing when you stop and think about it… and I’m glad I did.