Farm Life, Farm Wife, Farmer

Why I love GMO’s and not so grass fed beef

As a born and raised farm girl, GMO’s and grass fed beef were things that weren’t really talked about just a few years ago. Growing up, I would ride in the combine with my grandpa, while he was harvesting his GMO soybeans or corn. As a kid, I would be going for a bike ride while our neighbors and my dad sprayed pesticides or insecticides on their mid-summer crops. My parents didn’t buy anything organic. My dad would bring me whole wheat kernels to eat while he was hauling wheat to the elevator. And I feel like I turned out okay! πŸ™‚

 

Now, my husband sells his cows and steers to “finisher” feed lots, where they are fed corn and other grain to be “finished” off for a better quality, and tasting meat. Most of your better steaks and burgers are not grass fed at all. It’s honestly bad marketing. And guess what, grass fed doesn’t mean it’s healthier. It will maybe save you a few calories and it has a “cows tail” more omega 3’s fatty acids, but you can get those from fish too.

 

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I guess what I am trying to say that when you buy “organic”, “non-GMO”, or “grass fed”, you are really only paying for a “designer” tag. Just like buying a purse or shoes! And of course, I am going to use a fashion example! πŸ˜‰ The same sandals that you buy at Target or Micheal Kors, will get the job done and be a great shoe, but you are only paying for the name of one.

 

It is crazy to no end, that when most people are asked, “what is a GMO?” They have NO clue what it actually means OR what foods are actually genetically modified. First GMO means “genetically modified organism”. If it weren’t for GMO’s there would be no crops to harvest because most bugs, weeds, and other pests, would have taken over the field. They help even in drought conditions, so the seed can survive. GMO’s even help the soil and they are a great option for ever changing soil conditions and crop diversities. For example, GMO’s increase crop yield therefore less ground is needed to produce more crop.

 

GMO’s are also the reason why we don’t eat bananas with seeds or why ruby red grape fruits are truly ruby red! This picture from the Genetic Literacy Project is truly amazing and mind blowing! How would food look like without GMO’s?!

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In fact, what most people don’t know is that we have been eating GMO’s for nearly 20 years!Β 

 

And this is truly the beginning! GMO’s can be used for great things, like creating allergy free nuts! My own mom is allergic to several foods, and hasn’t been able to eat dairy products, fish, or nuts most of her adult life. How amazing would it be to have an allergy free peanut butter spread!?

 

A sweet potato is a natural example of most liking the very first GMO, where bacteria got into the plant organism of a potato plant and puffed up the root to make it edible and sweet! That is right, sweet potatoes were NOT naturally grown at first!

 

But what foods are actually GMO today?!

 

In this GREAT blog post from Prairie Californian, she give a great breakdown on GMO’s and goes on to explain, that most foods that have been genetically modified are actually found in oils and syrups, and not in the product sections, like you would think! Yes, some are in corn and papaya, but for fresh produce, that is about where it ends!

 

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Most people also don’t know that the ONLY foods that are genetically modified are most corn, soybeans, sugar beets, canola, and papaya.

 

I believe that people NEED to be EDUCATED before they can truly say WHY they buy something, because most people aren’t. If you don’t have the luxury of growing up on a farm or marrying a farmer, you have to stay educated on farming and WHERE you food actually comes from. And with that, I am thankful to have a choice of what foods we can buy. Some countries do not have our technologies and are being plagued with droughts or malnutrition, that GMO’s could help with!

 

And as farmers, we NEED GMO’s in order to farm and do our job! GMO technologies have done a lot for the agricultural world and it’s about time that people get educated… GMO’s are NOT bad, horrible things. They are a great use of technology and literally carry the future of our farming industry in their hands. So when you eat a banana without seeds or a grapefruit that is ruby red, remember to thank a farmer and the agricultural technology that brought it to you!

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A little humor because I like to laugh! πŸ™‚Β 

 

 

Organic.Β 

Grass Fed.Β 

Non-GMO.Β 

Are ALL choices, but we need to be aware of not only false advertising, because let’s face it, EVERYTHING has a label these days. When we buy something we need to know WHY we are buying it and WHERE it comes from. I am not saying that grass fed or organic is bad, it’s a choice, but we need to be educated on where our food is coming from, and not just assume that just because something has a label, means it’s “healthier” or better.

Farm Life, Food, Recipes

Hardy, Farmer Beef Stew

This time of year, is my favorite! It’s the perfect season to break out the crockpot and have great, warm meals that fill your soul. I make beef stew quite often here, and it’s a hit! Although, I enjoy putting EVERYTHING in it, my farmer husband prefers the basics. You know, the meat potatoes, and simple veggies! He is definitely a farmer! πŸ™‚

 

This recipe is great if you have a bunch of left-overs or already opened veggies in your fridge. It’s also great if you are working all day, you can literally put everything in the crockpot and step away! And, I haven’t tried freezing it, because it’s usually gone in a few days, but I am sure it would freeze well also! It would be a great potluck dish also! And the BEST thing, is that you can always add more or less depending on how many you are feeding! This recipe is also pretty healthy too! πŸ˜‰

 

So grab your crockpot and let’s make some stew! This recipes feeds about 6, give or take, but like I said, you can add in more, to make it feed more or for more leftovers! Leftover stew is better than fresh, I think!

 

  • A large Crockpot
  • A small skillet pan
  • 4 Tbsp of Butter
  • 3 Tbsp of Flour (enough to make a rue with the butter)
  • 3-4 Large, Washed Potatoes, sliced
  • 1 can of peas
  • 1 package of Angus Beef Stew Meat
  • 1/2 of bag of the thicker Carrot Stix, roughly chopped (I get mine from Target)
  • Unsalted Beef Broth – 48 oz (I used about 3/4 of the container)
  • Spices – salt, pepper, oregano, parsley, garlic, onion salt

In the crockpot, add in stew meat, broth, peas, carrots, and potatoes. In a small skillet, melt butter on low, adding in flour and stirring with a wire whisk, until all incorporated. I pour it into the crockpot and give it a good stir. It will thicken up as it cooks, and it gives it a nice, buttery flavor. Then add in spices! I like to season as I go and as it cooks. You can also ways add in more, but never take away! I add in more herbs, just for more seasoning. Cook on low for 8 hours or so, until vegetables and potatoes are tender. Enjoy!

 

You can also add in corn, tomatoes, cauliflower, pretty much any veggies you have on hand, but this is my traditional recipe.

 

 

Farm Life, Farm Wife, Farmer, Farming

Things No-one Told You About Being a Farm Wife

Us farm wives are the unicorn of all wives. I grew up as a farmer’s daughter and when I got married, I said, that I got “promoted” to being a farmer’s wife! Sometimes, it’s not always that glorious though.

 

The long hours get VERY long. Starting about Mid-March through October, and even into November, is the prime season of a farmer or rancher. Spring is warm, and the snow meals to dark, black dirt, that needs to be dug, fertilized, planted, and sprayed. Then comes the hotter than hell summer, and of course haying season; Cutting hay and baling hay. And in between there, getting the cows out to pasture and working cattle. The fall brings harvest, more digging, bring hay home, hauling grain to the elevator, bringing cattle home, giving shots, and cleaning up the equipment for the year. Sometimes, there is so much going on, I can’t physically keep track of it all. I am sure you know what I mean!

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Just know that when he is out late, you won’t sleep as well, You will wake yourself up looking for him in bed. He won’t be there because it’s only midnight, his quitting time is 3 in the morning, because there is rain coming. You will also find yourself praying a lot more.

 

It WILL get lonely. Because of the long, and busy season, you will have to attend events and even travel by yourself. People who don’t farm or ranch, won’t get it. It’s okay though. Weddings, baptisms, funerals, graduations, will be things that either you will get used to going alone, or just send a card, a gift, and your well wishes. Don’t bother explaining why, if they aren’t farmers, they will never understand. Know that in your heart, it’s just a season.

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Cooler food will become a primary staple in the house. You’ll have to know how to pack a cooler in three minutes tops. Grocery trips will be expensive. Seriously, how in the world did sandwich meat get so expensive?! You will have a cart full of sandwich meat, buns, bread, Little Debbies, chips, soda, and candy. Then will be your grocery items! It’s sometimes like shopping in two different worlds!

 

Be prepared to either stop or go on a dime. There will be times when you get asked to go on a parts run, with zero notice. Or you might have to stop doing whatever you are doing and help move to another field during harvest. {{A pro tip, make sure the parts are ready and setting out, BEFORE you get there!}} There will be times when you are ready to head to church and the cows decide jump the fence.

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And then there will be times when you have to deal with a cranky farmer. Maybe it hailed in August or maybe the planter broke and you had 50 acres left. I have learned to not mention travel plans, dinner, or basically anything other than saying nothing at all.

 

Be prepared to make lunch at various times. It might have to be reheated, because he is running an hour late. I have learned that crockpots are your best friends and so are leftovers. Especially, when he get’s in late from harvest. It’s alway nice to keep extra cookies, or food in the freezer that he can easily re-heat, no matter what time he gets in.

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And be prepared to fall even more in love. No matter what people say, spend every moment you can together, because it makes up for all the nights you have to go to bed alone and the lonely days. The heart does grow fonder and know that each day and each lonely moment, it’s just a season. Every year is so different and so is each day. He is feeding the world and his family, so give him all the grace, and all the love, and all the patience that he needs. Be there for him, help him, and even offer to help him, if you can. And most of all, fall in love with the farm.

 

Sometimes you might resent it for taking away your husband, but it’s his passion and his living. He probably works harder than any other human being you know, but he does it for you, and your family, and the farm. Farming is in his blood and it’s in your heart.

 

 

 

Farm Life, Farm Wife, Farming, The Farmer's Daughter, The Farmer's Wife, The Fit Farmer's Wife

Tips From One Farm Wife to Another

Happy National Farmer’s Day!

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I have been a farmer’s daughter for all of my life and a farmer’s wife for almost 5 years now. I always like to say that I got “promoted” from a farmer’s daughter to a farmers wife! πŸ˜‰ I never had much interest in farming growing up. I wanted to stay as far away as possible from it. Let’s just say I had big city dreams in a small town. I dreamed of growing up and moving away and working at a high end design company. After college, I did move 100 miles away in our “big city”, but I was dating a farmer and my classmate, Β who I had known since kindergarten.

Sometimes we can “plan” all we want, but God has other plans! And I am a MAJOR planner, but God called me back to the farm, and I couldn’t be more blessed. If I wouldn’t be a farm wife, I would have missed out on my life as I know it. Life is hard on the farm, and stressful, but here are a couple of tips to make it all worth while!

  1. Go on Tractor/Combine Dates.

If you haven’t yet, make your farmer a nice lunch or dinner and bring it out to the field! There have been many times that I have made homemade chocolate chip cookies and fresh squeezed lemonade and taken them out to the field. It’s like a picnic on wheels! And your farmer will appreciate you making him a hot meal or a snack!

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2. Show Interest in the Farm.

Taking some sort of interest in learning about the farm or ranch operation helps you bond and it makes your man excited to teach you! I know I did a lot of learning in the past five years! From driving tractor to working cattle! And I found that I really enjoy having livestock, no matter how much work they are! πŸ™‚

 

3. Have a Fully Stocked Fridge.

Even though he eats a cooler full of sandwiches, make sure hat you have plenty of food in the fridge and freezer for him when he gets home late. I know sometimes this is easier said than done, but even if it’s just a few frozen pizzas or frozen dinners. If you have time to prepare a few freezer meals on the weekends or weeknights, great! I know I always try and have something ready for him to either snack on or eat when he gets in, epically once it gets cold out!

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4. Spring and Fall are Stressful.

I have learned the hard way not to bring up any important topic while my farmer is out planting or combining! The less stress that you can put on them, the better! Instead ask them if there is anything you can do to help! There might not be much, but sometimes, just asking and letting him know that you care is helpful enough! Do not bring up vacation or weekend plans, especially during a breakdown. Sometimes, it’s best to just let him have his own space. These seasons are just simply seasons, I promise.

 

5. Communication.

For every and any relationship, communication is really the key, especially as farm or ranch wife! It can avoid a lot of arguments, if everyone is in the know! Keep everyone up to date on upcoming events or trips to town, where he has to keep you up to date on if he will be late for dinner or if something broke down. Texting or calling each other a couple of times through out the day, to keep up to date on the actives is important. Or having a down time, with no tv, no phone, just unplug and talk to one another in the evenings or mornings! Know what is somewhat happening before everyone leaves the house, and it makes for a better day!

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6. Support One Another.

One of the biggest things that I have learned being married to a farmer, is that each of you will have different, VERY different at times, goals and dreams! But don’t let that get in the way! Be supportive of each other! I remember, talking for several months about being able to quit my full time job, before I did. We were both scared, but my farmer supported my decision and now, he wouldn’t change it for the world. He supports my dreams and I support his! It’s so amazing having your spouses support and encouragement! It is truly the best and makes you want to chase your dreams, that maybe you never had an opportunity to do so!

 

7. Celebrate the Small Wins.

After harvest, or planting season, plan a night out! Go out on a DATE! Not a tractor date either, a REAL one! πŸ˜‰ Plan a fun evening of food, or a movie to celebrate a victory in the field or with the cows! It’s fun and it will be something to look forward to during those long, lonely nights of being by yourself during harvest or planting! And it’s something that you can both celebrate!

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8. Have ALL the Patience.

Being married to a farmer you will learn that patience is really something that is learned. Meals will be cold, cows will get out on Sundays even though you are ready for church, things will break at the worst times, you will have to attend weddings and events alone, but you have to remember that the busy seasons are only busy for a little while. Be patient with your farmer and with yourself.

 

9. Plan Together.

It’s also important to be planning budgets, vacations, and life together. Know when things are tighter finically on the farm and pitch in to make the money stretch. Include your farmer in on your vacation plans, even if you are the one who is doing all the planning. Planning together all has to come back to communication and why it’s so important. Have designated roles when planning the budget or family trips. This will help make things more organized and that way you or your farmer will have a part in every aspect of plans, finical or fun!

 

10. Get Off the Farm!

And I say this in a GOOD way! Your life doesn’t revolve around the farm or the cattle ALL the time and every, single day! It can do everyone good to get off the farm, de-stress and focus on each other. Every year, my farmer and I get off the farm by planning a mini vacation. It dines’t have to be anything big, but it’s nice to spend a night or two away in the city at a nice hotel. Or else have your own hobbies and friends! Be able to set time aside to pursue the things that give you life! Go shopping, or plan a fun girls trip away! You 100% have your own hobbies, interests, and life off of the farm or ranch, so enjoy life every now and then! πŸ™‚

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Farm Life, Farm Wife, Farmer, The LIfe of the Dakota Farmer's WIfe

A Farmer’s Wife Harvest Prayer

Let’s face it. Harvest is either here or around the corner. We got done with our wheat a couple of weeks ago, and soybeans will be here before we know it. In the mean time, we have been busy getting hay home and getting the last bales of millet made.

It’s a cool Labor Day on the farm today, and cooler weather makes me think that harvest is only getting closer and closer. This season is busy, but it’s also my favorite because I know that the calm is quickly approaching! Before I married my farmer, I always loved summer. Don’t get me wrong, I still do, but fall and winter is where my heart is. It’s when the crazy comes and the slower season, and calving are getting closer! The end IS in sight, ladies! We also have more corn and soybeans compared to wheat, so our crazy is just getting started! {{Bring it on!}}

So with that, here is a prayer dedicated to all of us farm wives from losing our minds during this crazy, hectic season of life!

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Photo credit: Β Laura Schlenker.Β 

Dear Lord,

Please watch over us during harvest. During the busy. During the crazy. During the parts runs, the harvest food runs, and elevator runs. During the fast paced on the go unloading, and the slower than slow break downs. Grant us the weather conditions that allow us to get harvest done in a timely matter. Guide and protect all of us during this season.

Help my husband to be safe always. Give him reason and time to think and somehow, enjoy this busy season. Cover him in your grace and blessings. Allow him patience during the breakdowns, because we know they are enviable. Allow him quick reflexes and thoughts when he has to think on his feet. Allow him the love and strengththat he needs to function during this busy season.

Help our children to understand why dad is busy, can’t tuck them in at night, or can’t be home for dinner. Guide their little hearts and bless them. Help them to understand this season and grow up with an appreciation of the farm and knowing how hard their daddy worked to provide for us. Help them to remember and cherish this season, as a time to harvest.

Help me as a wife, Lord. Help me to stay strong. Give me the strength to pack the coolers, help with the homework, clean the house, do chaff filled, dirty laundry, prepare and think of easy harvest meals, and somehow allow my heart peace during this crazy time. Help me to find time for You and for me. Even though I go to bed a tired, and alone woman at night, I know You are there protecting our family. Watch over my husband during the late nights and early mornings, and grant us the rest we all need.

Most of all, thank you for the harvest season. We know it’s tiring and seems endless, but it is just a season. And with You, every season brings a time of hustle, crazy, tears, and also joy and blessing. We are so blessed for this harvest, for this season, for our family, our love, and for You. Please lead, guide and direct us, during this harvest season, and in Your perfect timing and love.

Amen.

 

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Farm Life, Life, life lessions, Lifestyle

Excuses: Time Stealers

Excuses. We all have them. I have them too! They make life a lot harder and they are so easy to fall into! It seems like if we don’t want to do something, wether we are scared or have limiting belief, we make up excuses so we don’t have to do that thing! The most important thing to realize is that you have made the excuse before they start taking effect on you and your life!! Don’t validate your excuses by continually being trapped inside of them!

 

Here are some of my top 3 excuses that I get every single day and how I fight them, daily!

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  1. “I don’t have time.”

Yes, I know we are ALL busy, but we all have the same 24 hours in a day! It’s up to you to take control of your life and prioritize what is the most important to get done that day, and what can wait until tomorrow!

I know, sometimes my mind will fall into this trap as well, but it’s not as hard as it seems! Start by listing out your hours in your day and track when you have to get kids up, or the hours you have to be at work. Keep track of what you need to get done at home that day, like laundry or cleaning. Whatever tasks you are doing through out the day, give them 110% focus for that time. Get them done effectively and efficiently, then move on to your next task. Have laser focus rather than being off and on all day. You will get a lot more accomplished this way! You have set your boundaries as well. Know your limits and know that you need family time and time for yourself as well!

 

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2. “I can’t afford it.”

I totally understand that everything is expensive these days. And just like we have to prioritize your time, you have to prioritize your wallet! What is the most important and vital to your life right now? Do you really need that cute top or leggings? What are your health priorities financially? It’s important to keep a budget of groceries, to bills, to savings. What are your monthly budget goals? Keeping in mind that you do need to keep yourself healthy, well, and happy as well!

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3. Β “I could never do that, be that disciplined..”

Trust me, I am not that disciplined either. I have learned discipline. You just have to take it one day at a time,. Stay on track for that day and make the effort. This is why you have to have a WHY! Why you do what you do or even why you wake up and get out of bed everyday is so critical to sticking with something and being committed! Create a STRONG why, because you will want to give up! For myself, I was a serial quitter at everything! I quit piano and guitar lessons, I quit numerous workout programs, I was inconsistent at going to the gym, and I got so sick of quitting! Having a WHY that I can push harder for and stay committed for, is what keeps me disciplined!

 

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Last TIP: Stay POSITIVE!! No matter what excuses your mind will tell you, have a positive attitude! Excuses will always be there, but be the person who makes her excuses into reasons WHY you need to do something. Don’t let the excuses your mind comes up with hold you back! Stop getting in your own way and just do you! Find your reason WHY to do something instead of reasons not!

21 Day Fix, 21 Day Fix Approved, Autoimmune, Autoimmune Diet, buttercup squash, Clean, Clean Eating, Clean Eats, cooking, Cooks, Country, farm, Farm Life, Fitness, Fitness Blog, Fitness Blogger, Fitness Coach, Food, Food for Arthritis, Foodie, Health, Healthy, Healthy Eating, Healthy Recipe, RA, recipe, The Fit Farmer's Wife, Uncategorized

Sunday Dinner: Buttercup Squash Mac n’ Cheese

It’s the Sunday before Thanksgiving, and it is quiet at our house. I am the first one up. The best part of the day is getting up early, watching the sun rise over the heard, enjoying a good cup of coffee in my favorite mug, and writing. The perfect way to start out a perfect week filled with food and family.

I am already starting to plan my grocery list for the week. It’s my first time hosting Thanksgiving at our house, so I want to make everything perfect! I will be cooking, cleaning, and prepping everything over the next three days.

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Thanksgiving morning, I am having everyone over early for a breakfast of caramel rolls and the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade! I just can’t wait for it to be here! I am also looking forward to a FULL four day weekend!

Yesterday, I made this amazing and totally healthy, gluten free Buttercup Squash Mac n’ Cheese casserole. It’s so yummy, healthy, and the perfect dish for a cold, snowy evening! It has snowed here, but nothing stayed! The first REAL snowfall is so exciting! Anyway, this is the perfect recipe for winter comfort food!

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For Thanksgiving, I will be making an un-healthy version of baked mac n’ cheese, I will be having the healthy version! The recipe calls for whole wheat noodles, but I used Quinoa noodles, which are so yummy and gluten free! I also used Monterrey Jack Cheese instead of Swiss. It was amazing!

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Here is the link to the recipe! For every one cup serving, for the 21 Day Fix, it is 2 Yellow, 1 Blue, and 1 Green! Enjoy!

http://www.beachbody.com/beachbodyblog/nutrition/butternut-squash-mac-and-cheese