|The Man in his workshop.|
More importantly, Brent has been more than willing to teach me (and show me) the basics of industrial farming. Thanks to him, I look at fields differently now, I notice things I didn't before ("Shouldn't they be worried about their cover crop getting so thick?") and, hopefully, after 4.5 months, I've started asking fewer stupid questions.
|With grandsons, Levi and Layne, and brother-in-law, Sheppy|
|Brent's worn boots|
I have no idea, except that I don't think that Brent guy sleeps much.
|Making me a fire pit out of a trash barrel....|
|....and then fixing it after I backed over it.|
- Helping me pick the garden spot
- Breaking up the virgin sod
- Arranging for a pipe system to be built to attach me to his house's sewer system, meaning I never had to move the Mae Flower for waste dumping - this was a HUGE convenience
- Arranging for water access
- Teaching me to drive various trucks, pick-ups, lawnmowers and frontloaders
|Fixing the tailgate handle on my pick-up|
- Scoring a fridge for the shop to hold my extra produce
- Arranging for electrical lines to be put in for the Mae Flower and the museum shed
- Helping with Mama Iva's party by borrowing tables, chairs and a coffee maker from the Neche Fire Department
- Providing bourbon, always
- Letting me harvest an entire field of barley
|Shooting a skunk in my front yard|
- Numerous crop tours
- Helping me cover up the garden to protect it from freeze, too many nights, in the light of pick-up headlights
- Chasing down those same tarps in a 40 mph windstorm, when I wasn't even there
- Putting in trellis beams for crawling bean and pea vines (see below)
- Keeping a grain bin empty so could sing in it (I sound better with an echo)
|"Tra la la la la!"|
- Putting up Halloween lights on the shed
- Keeping me supplied with propane (except for one loooooong, cold night - 27 degrees!)
- Taking my direction for photographs of....whatever:
|"Here, hold this so I can take a picture of it..."|
|"This one too, please!"|
- Buying and installing giant, badass shelves to store my lifetime of stuff
- Loaning me his white pick-up for trailer travel (mine is too small)
|Showing me how to count the layers.|
- Delivering arm loads of fresh picked summer corn, garden red potatoes and steaks and burgers from cattle he and his buddy raised themselves
- Checking on me daily/nightly to make sure I was still alive
|Not a pose, this is him chatting while I work in the garden|
- Scoring a giant bale of straw from a neighboring rancher and then helping me spread it on my freshly planted garlic (see below)
- Not laughing too hard when I explained why I would be soaking the garlic cloves in seaweed juice before planting
- Gently debating with me on food/ag issues - taking the time to listen to my consumer perspective and chemical concerns
- Arranging for me to get my ass on a horse - exactly what my soul needed
- Allowing me to tag along on so many farming adventures - everything from elevator runs to harvests
|Building my sewer system|
- Showing me where all the bars are in every town
- Buying extra fancy mouse traps and poison to protect all my stuff in the museum shed
- Arranging for a flat bed trailer to come get my pick-up when the steering column broke
- Tilling up the garden spot for 2013
- Measuring said spot with me: 45'x115'
|Tilling for 2013|
|With Kirk and grandson, Layne|
|Unloading wheat at the grain elevator|
|Grandpa Wilbur, in the farmhouse|
|A rare moment of relaxation|
Among my favorite Brent conversations.... As we were driving through the tiny town of Backoo:
Me: "I wonder how many people live in Backoo. Do you know, Brent?"
Brent: "Well, let's see. (Starts pointing at houses, counting) 2...5...7...10...12...16...20...22. About 22."
|Checking on my propane|
Again, driving down a random road:
Brent: "When you get to this part of the road, remember to look up."
Brent: "This guy here (he points to a farm house) flies and sometimes will land on the road here. Make sure you don't get in the way of the plane."
Me: "Um, okay."
On another remote back road:
Brent: "You know you're in North Dakota when a state highway is a gravel road."
Me: "This is a state highway???"
Our family is mighty lucky to have Brent around and I've been especially grateful for his patience these past few months. Hopefully, I didn't scare him off too much for next summer....