Thursday, December 20, 2012

Farming in Darke County Part 3

Darke County Farmers are preparing their farms and homes for the Christmas season. This can happen in many ways, from getting the Christmas tree out of the attic to going to the tree farm and cutting their own.

Farmers across the county provide what we need to put the finishing touches on the festivities of the season. Christmas hams and turkeys have left the farm and have made their way through the processors. Christmas trees have been cut and decorated in our living rooms. The steer has been taken to the butcher and the roast beef has been ground and combined with apples from the orchard to make mom’s awesome mince meat pie.

On Christmas Eve you may see many farm families going to the barn and selecting a bale of prime alfalfa hay and a bucket of golden corn to put out for Santa’s reindeer as they make their pass through the night.

Christmas morning brings much excitement to farm families. Children may have to be asked to return to bed several times before the parents rise for the morning milking at 5:00 a.m. There are chores to be done on the livestock farms before the wrapping paper can be disturbed. Cows to be milked, pigs to be fed, steers to be bedded, eggs gathered and packed, turkeys to be checked on and maybe a father stalling to make the excitement last all day.

Just when the kids think they can peak in their Christmas sock hanging on the banister, mom announces breakfast is ready. The moans can be heard next door as everyone gathers around the kitchen table to first say grace and thanks for the blessings provided to all. The traditional egg casserole with sausage is as good as remembered from last Christmas morning. Mom and dad seem to eat slower than ever on this day.

Breakfast is finally over. The dishes don’t have to be done before the packages are opened, young wishes have been granted.

Families will enjoy the gifts left by Santa. Dad the new boots, mom the top she picked from the catalog, Ted the cell phone, Doug a ping pong paddle, Dale a new tool kit, Sherry a bicycle, Joyce a GPS device and Rochelle a suspense novel.

As you can see, Christmas on the farm is a lot like the Christmas in your home.

As the wrapping paper is being cleaned up and after the decorations have been put back in the attic, farm families will be thinking about Christmas 2013. Not what presents they want, but about what the feed needs will be for the poultry, cattle and hogs that will make your Christmas feasts special next year.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from the Darke County OSU Extension staff and the farmers and agribusinesses of Darke County.

For more detailed information, visit the Darke County OSU Extension web site at, the OSU Extension Darke County Facebook page or contact Sam Custer, at 937.548.5215.

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