Today, the very strapping and virile Marlboro Man and I escaped our house of ill repute and drove 258 miles south to our farm. Here at the farm, we grow wheat for pasture, which we'll use to graze cattle from November to June.
Just to give you a little perspective, here's what this part of the country generally looks like during the month of December:
Everything shrivels and dies and turns a lifeless shade of dull brown. Many folks become seasonally depressed and begin eating disturbing quantities of fruitcake.
See, we plant wheat in September so it will be ready for our "spring calves"---the calves that were born on our ranch up north this past spring---to begin eating in mid-November, assuming we've received adequate rainfall since planting. These spring calves were just weaned up north a short time ago, and were transported by truck down here to the farm. They'll stay here for the winter and spring, feasting daily on the rich, nutritious green grass and gaining an average of two-and-a-half pounds every day until spring, when they'll weigh 800 to 850 pounds. Then they'll be shipped off to a feed yard, where they'll live out the rest of their days.
Unlike other crops such as corn and soybeans, which are planted in the spring and harvested in the fall, wheat is a crop that's planted in the fall and harvested in the summer. Our primary objective for growing wheat is to produce a high quality winter and spring foliage on which to graze our calves. Just look at the difference in color!
We left the kids up north with M.M.'s mother, since we'll be traveling on to Ft. Worth for the weekend to attend the NCHA Futurity. I've been here less than two hours, and I've already figured out why the human race, as a whole, is so unhealthy: Noise. Without children, telephones, and six TV's blaring at once, I experienced my first dose of true silence in possibly months. And instantly, I felt every stress, pain, germ and tumor miraculously leave my body. The silence was so acute and so foreign to me, I actually begged M.M. to flip on the TV for a few minutes. I needed to detox.
Silence. It does a body good. So does winter wheat.
Oh, and one more terribly important thing: As M.M. and I were driving through the pasture, I kept remarking on how particularly strong and unbearable the manure smell was. Now, manure, by its very nature, obviously doesn't smell like roses, and I deal with my share on a daily basis; but this manure smell was unusually heinous. My husband then offered me a very clear, concise explanation, after which I thanked him for his time and decided never to bring it up again.
"Wheat shit stinks," he said.
Wheat shit stinks.