Lentil Harvest, DNA and Divinity

A combine pickup header harvesting lentils in a field in Montana.

What is it they say about difficulty building character?  Well I’m thinking there was a whole boat load of character created here on the Farm during lentil harvest!

What should have taken a day or two drug out for four…and I missed the first three.  Partly because picking up the windrows in the first field was too hard.  That’s not whiney– that’s fact.  It just plain required more technical experience than I have at this point. It was slow, tedious work.  And because it was so slow, we didn’t need to use the grain cart.  So I was out of a job.  Which was okay– because it gave me a chance to catch up at home a little.  You know– wash some underwear, take out the garbage that was smelling & scrub the toilets that were almost growing cultures.  The basics.

I was feeling pretty bad for the guys in the field though.
Picking up swathed lentils during harvest in Montana.
Mike Rowe had nothing on us this week…this was one of the dirtiest jobs I’ve ever seen! The dust was fine and black, & there was so much of it, it was impossible to keep it out of the cabs. Look hard… there are two combines in this picture!

Combines engulfed in dust picking up lentils during harvest in Montana.
And talk about frustrating.  I wish I’d thought to get a video of the combines having to literally drive in circles to get the windrows picked up. (I did get some video picking up the windrows & watching the seed dump auger into the combine hopper though…. you can watch that over on our YouTube channel)

Picking up lentils in a windrow during harvest in Montana.

The crop had actually started to sprout & grow again because of the cool, wet conditions, and was working it’s way through the lentils that had been cut and laid down.  It made for a viney, tangled mess that was effectively tethered to the ground.

When the guys pulled in with the combines and tried to pickup the windrows with the pickup header– the jumbled mess would start rolling, and they would end up with what looked like a motionless tornado laying on the ground.  The only option then, was to drive around to the end of the roll, & slowly coax it onto the header from the end….and then hope it wasn’t too bulky and didn’t plug the header and cylinder.  If you didn’t read before, or don’t remember what happens when a header is plugged– you can read about that unpleasantness on a previous post ‘When Farming Sucks’.

Add to that your standard ‘flat tire on the tractor breakdown’ that required a half day wait for a visit from the local tire repair truck, and you had…. well,… let’s just say my Farmer found a few more gray hairs in the mirror that night!
Repair work on a flat tractor tire.

My downtime gave me a chance for a little reflection though. On the afternoon that we moved the equipment into the first lentil field, I came over the hill & saw this.
Geometric symmetry in a lentil field.

This is one of the things I love best about farming. The absolute order. Look at the even, parallel lines of the windrows in the middle of the field, bordered on the edges by their perpendicular counterparts. Then look closer. Can you see the smaller, evenly spaced drill row lines that run diagonally, yet in perfect symmetry with the windrows? I’m telling you…for a girl who is no where near a math whiz…this is geometry that I GET on so many levels!

By day four we had moved to a different field that had been laid down later, & because of that, didn’t have new growth working it’s way up through what was laying on the ground, so it was a little easier to get picked up.  But not much.  I took my turn, & built my fair share of character.

There’s nothing like a truck full of lentils, or a bin full of harvested crop to put things in perspective though.
Truck full of lentil seed during harvest in Montana.

Or the feel of harvested seed in your hand. It’s primal. It’s the very essence of sowing and reaping, reminding you that four short days is a trickle in the bucket of time.
A handful of harvested lentil seed.
And if you’re paying attention– it’s an opportunity to marvel at the miracle of life– the potential for re-birth & growth. The DNA and Divinity, converging in every tiny seed.
Lentil seeds.
We’re so blessed here on the farm to have those opportunities almost daily. The reminders of the secret wonders that Mother Nature lovingly tends, then displays at will for our amazement.

This week, take a minute to stop… to notice, wonder, marvel & be amazed. Then stop back & tell us what you found…we’re anxious to hear!

Oh!…and remember to tell a friend or pass along this blog if you’re enjoying the read. Please and Thank You 🙂

See you soon on the Farm! -Shauna

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Comments (3)

  1. Pingback: Lentil Stew | Farver Farms

  2. Cheryl

    Shauna….I think you should seriously consider becoming a freelance writer for farming, country, rural, etc papers and magazines. You have a knack for it!

    Cheryl~

    Reply
    1. Shauna Farver (Post author)

      Cheryl, thanks so much! Definitely something I’d consider if the opportunity presented itself!

      Reply

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