Supper In The Field

Yesterday, Harland started on the corn harvest. Earlier in the summer, we got just enough rain for the corn to tassle and make ears. The yield (bushels per acre) won’t be the best, but we are fortunate to have something to harvest.

Harland hadn’t been in the field very long, when he got a fire page on his fireman radio. About a hundred large haybales on fire! He left the combine in the field, and raced to the fire barn in his pickup. Once there, he hopped into the water tank truck and sped off to the fire. It was at a farm a few miles north of us where the farmer had piled up his hay crop alongside his silage, both of which were to be used as feed for his cattle this winter. A bulldozer was pushing the silage away from the hay to try and salvage it from the flames. Harland supplied the firetrucks (all volunteer firefighters) on scene with water and made a couple trips to town to refill the 6000 gallon tank truck. A neighbor also chipped in with his own 6000 gallon water tank truck. They worked the fire all afternoon. It’s pretty much impossible to put out a hay fire and the best to hope for is to contain it.

After about 4 hours, the fire was no longer burning and Harland headed back to the fire station. He called me as I was on my way home from shopping after work to say that he was headed back to the cornfield. He said he would have to attend a city council meeting in about an hour regarding some fire department business (he is a dept assistant fire chief) and wouldn’t have time for supper, so he would eat when he got home after the meeting about 10pm.

“No, no”, I said. “I’ll bring you something to eat in the field.” Β So when I got home, I unloaded the groceries, changed into shorts and a t-shirt, made Harland a chicken sandwich, and grabbed a couple granola bars and a drink. I slipped into my mudboots, and headed out in our little 4-speed pickup.

Why mudboots you ask? No flip flops in the field around heavy equipment, and I didn’t want to stop to tie shoelaces, so the boots were quicker. And made me look oh-so-fashionable too.

I left the road and entered the field, and drove a narrow grassy path looking for Harland.

Along the way, I took a few pics with my cellphone.

“Don’t hit the fence. Don’t drive into the corn.Β Don’t hit the fence. Don’t drive into the corn.”

Finally the field opened up where the combine had been through.

And I caught sight of the combine.

I climbed into the cab and handed Harland his supper.

And he ate while the corn unloaded into the truck.

Then it was back to work.

Looking out the front window of the combine:

A few more passes across the field, and it was time for Harland to go to his meeting. We left in separate trucks as I was headed home . He followed me down the road, and we both stopped to wait for a passing train.

He pulled up alongside in his pickup and I hung out my pickup window to chat.

Me: Β “Hey, you’re kinda cute. Are you married?”

Harland: “Nope.”

Me: ” You wanna get married?”

Harland: Β “Sure!”

And with that, the train passed through and Harland pulled ahead of me crossing the tracks. I followed along behind. At the crossroads, he turned right to go to town to his meeting, while I headed home for supper.


At 9:30am this morning, I got a text on my phone. Firefighters were again dispatched to the same hay bale fire. It had flared up again. There just isn’t enough water to completely put out 100 tons of hay. It will probably smolder for a week, and I’m sure this won’t be the last trip they’ll have to make there before it finally burns itself out.




Cattle, corn, wheat, beans, mud, snow, ice, and drought. Plenty of fresh air and quiet. Our life is sometimes heartbreaking, sometimes joyous, but never boring.

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23 Responses

  1. Alica says:

    Gotta feed the farmer so he can feed the world! πŸ™‚ I remember late nights, running supper and drinks out to the field!

    • Suzanne says:

      It’s work, and long days, but exciting. The harvest is a good time, the end of the growing season. We’re especially glad to see this season end. Blah.

  2. Karen says:

    There is never a dull moment for you, Suzanne! It’s such a sweet story – rushing off to feed your busy farmer/firefighter. So glad he accepted your ‘proposal’! So sad for the farmer who is losing his many tons of hay! Thank goodness nothing else burned. Glad you got some corn to harvest in this terrible drought year! Cute pics of you and Harland behind the wheels. xx

    • Suzanne says:

      Thanks Karen. Some days Harland’s so busy, he catches up with his own backside coming around a corner. πŸ™‚

  3. Carol says:

    Suzanne, you and Harland have so much going on, you must need more hours in the day! It must be so lovely to get away on one of your beautiful trips and just relax. Have a great day, I look forward to your posts! Thanks.

  4. Rebecca says:

    I love farm life…almost married a farmer back in Kentucky.

  5. Tina says:

    I feel terrible about the farmer who lost his hay, it is so precious right now. You two have alot going on in your little corner of the world.

    • Suzanne says:

      Me too. And the other day, the wind blew up some sparks from the still smoldering hay, and caught some wheat straw bales on fire, 30 of them, and they burned too. The fire gets down into there into the bales where water can’t reach it, and they smolder and smolder for days. Sad.

  6. Chester's Mom says:

    Harland got a wonderful girl when he married you!

  7. Louise S says:

    A whole lotta love goin’ on with you two. πŸ˜‰

  8. frosty says:

    My husband is helping a friend do hay.. I hear the ”don’t have time to stop and eat” and he hears ”wanna bet”… during haying season it is a fast lunch on the tailgate of the truck for them..

    • Suzanne says:

      Gotta keep eating. The tractor and combine get fuel, and the farmer needs it too. πŸ™‚ Besides, I’m 1/4 Italian, and it’s my job to feed everyone whether they like it or not. πŸ™‚

  9. Doe in Mi says:

    I always feel so sad for the farmer that loses something from his hard earned work. They work those fields alot of the time from Sun up to Sun down. Sounds like Harland is doing that right now. Good wife that you are at least he got some supper.

  10. Aw, you are an awesome wife…taking food out to Harland….so sweet! Man, he is a busy man…it’s like he never stops. That’s a lot for one day. Also, all that hay burning…that is crazy…now what will the farmer do? he will have to buy hay to feed his cattle…can you do that? and does it cost a fortune? I can’t even imagine…that stinks!!

    • Suzanne says:

      Well, the farmer that lost his hay has cattle, and he’ll either have to sell them because he has no feed for them, or buy hay which due to the dry weather this year the hay crop was about half of the normal volume, so it now costs twice as much as a year ago at this time. He has some hard decisions ahead of him.

  11. Elaine Snively says:

    Wait, I want to hear more about things you made with the peaches.

    • Suzanne says:

      I certainly will share. First I want to make peach jam. Never made that before, and I hope to get to it this weekend. Stay tuned.

  12. Tara says:

    Uggh, the loss of 100 tons of hay is terrible! I feel for the ones who’s loss it is….

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