Sunday, September 14, 2014

Feels like fall!

The weather here has really cooled off this week and although it's not technically fall yet, it sure feels like it. Fall is my favorite time of year in Indiana. I grew up in the land of no humidity, so hot, humid summer days are something I'm still adjusting to, as are those freezing, blizzard days of winter.

My view during Saturday's it!
This time of year is just about perfect. The crisp fall air is perfect for running (and enjoying it!) and for taking naps with the windows open. Corn mazes are also starting to open for the fall season.

Indiana Dairy posted about a few of Indiana's dairy farm's that are open to the public with agritourism fall activities such as corn mazes, pumpkin patches, fun kids games and much more. Visiting a corn maze on a dairy farm is also an excellent opportunity for the kids to play with those cute baby calves and the rest of the family to get a more in-depth view at the farms that produce milk for your family. Did you know 98% of U.S. dairy farms are family owned? There is SO much that goes into dairy farming that it's definitely worth going back several times since it's hard to learn everything in just one visit.

Speaking of corn mazes, after the season is over those corn stalks will also become cow feed. The corn in the mazes isn't turning (brown) yet, but most of the other fields of corn and soybeans are. Corn requires a lot of water during the growing season and then turns brown as the plant decreases in moisture. This is similar to how flower turn brown when they aren't watered for a while and start to wilt. However, it's not a good idea to tell a farmer their corn is wilting...that probably won't go over too well. The proper term is "turning."

Cows need to be milked every day, two or three times a day (depending on the farm). This doesn't change even when harvest activities make everything so much busier. 
Harvest doesn't end when the sun sets. 
Harvest is only a few weeks away and farmers are already getting equipment ready. Harvest is a very busy time, especially for dairies. Not only does harvesting the crops require A LOT of time, but the regular dairy activities (milking, feeding animals, scraping barns/alleys, cleaning pens, etc.) don't go away. A lot also depends on the weather and it's frustrating for farmers when the weather doesn't cooperate and/or keeps changing (as it does so often in Indiana).

The view from the cab of my brother's tractor driving between fields.
As you are driving through the countryside on back roads this fall, remember to be extra careful around farm equipment. Just as you are trying to get to work on time, they are too. Only their office may be the field a few miles away, not the corner office downtown. I always try to leave about 10 minutes early this time of year just in case traffic is slow. It's a great way to decrease the stress of being late that a slow commute can create and allow you to just enjoy the drive and the view.

How do you celebrate fall?

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