Saturday, June 28, 2014
Out in Kansas Country
For this weeks home school/summer school I wanted to talk to the kids about farms. Seemed only natural after spending a week talking about plants. And with wheat harvest in the forecast it seemed like PERFECT timing. Except that the weather made it less than ideal as harvest was pushed back a week later. So the kids did not get an opportunity to help/see with harvest. (However, on the trip home while driving through Oklahoma I did point out from the van on the interstate the two combines I saw harvesting wheat on the way back to Texas.)
While we were at the farm we took the Gator out to go check out the animals in the pasture (aka- the cows). Connor LOVED the Gator and was insistent that he drive it from my lap after visiting the cows. Sophie felt that the farm should have other animals like horses, goats, pigs, etc.... in the field. I informed her this was a farm.... not a petting zoo.
Then we took the Gator over to Uncle Richard's farm and the kiddos got a ride in the tractor. And my batteries died in my camera so I have NO PICTURES of their first tractor ride. It was disappointing for me, but they LOVED the tractor ride!
The next day we helped feed the chickens some watermelon rinds and collected eggs. We tried to explain to Sophie that not all eggs produce babies (particularly after I used 2 of them to make meatloaf for supper).
We explained how animals need water and showed the kiddos how water pumps work. With the windmill gone it was kinda difficult to describe how suction was used to suck water up from the ground, but Connor LOVED playing with the water pump.
Then of course we had to say "Hi" to the cows. Sophie worked on calling them... Connor mostly watched.
As the equipment wasn't being used for harvest due to the weather, we did show the kids the different kinds of farm equipment. Sophie wanted to climb on the semi, where we discussed how the wheat is poured into the trailer to be taken to the grain elevators in Beaver. And I tried to explain how an auger works.... and failed. So will have to later try and see if I can find a good video online about how augers push grain from one to another.
Then more tractors, this one with a spade on it. I tried to explain how tractors have different accessories or "add ons" to help them do different kinds of chores. Like an attachment for bailing hay, an attachment for planting seeds, and one for tilling soil, and lastly one for spraying for weeds or fertilizing.
With the weather still cool and damp, Richard kindly took me, Mom, and the kiddos to Dorrance. The kids watched as they patched up a tire.
After getting restless I took them to grain elevators (where I had to explain to Sophie that these weren't elevators people ride in) and explained how trucks are weighed in, wheat is unloaded through the grate, and then the trucks are weighed out. And they use subtraction to figure out the amount of crop. Sophie I think missed the part about the importance of subtraction and just wanted to poke around.
Even though we spent such a short time there, the kids had so much fun on the farm. Sophie has already told me that we have to go again and has informed her father than next time he needs to go too. I doubt Connor would complain and I'm sure he has some more requests for tractor rides. So hopefully next time when I'm less pregnant we can plan another trip out there. Thanks Uncles Richard & Gerald for everything!