Any farmer in our beautiful Whatcom County could tell what these last few weeks have been about. It’s planting season!! This means lots of very long days (Work. Eat on the tractor. Sleep. Repeat.), some very BIG tractors, and acres upon acres of God’s good earth. The month of May is all about corn planting. Land is turned over to reveal the rich nutrients just under the surface, and seeds are planted with a little prayer for this year to be another bountiful harvest to take care of our cows. Through out the summer, those seeds are closely monitored as they sprout and grow into tall stalks with classic ears of corn. The corn is then harvested and chopped into silage to be stored in bunkers and fed to the cows until next season. **Side Note** If you decide to plant your own corn for personal use, make sure you get “people” (sweet) corn and avoid “cow” corn. Otherwise you would probably make a face like this.
At Appel Farms everyone pitches in, but much of the field work lands on my brother Chris’ shoulders. He will probably kill me for this but…
During this time of year, Chris will arrive at the farm some time around 6am. He will climb up into a massive tractor and cruise on down the road (If you have ever been stuck behind him, I apologize.) to one of our nearby fields. He then will set about tilling/planting in long straight lines for the next 15-18 hours. Typically food is brought to him and the others and they just keep on going. He could finish as late as 1 or 2am before he goes home to sleep for a few hours. One lesson you will learn quickly as a farmer; you keep going until the work is done. This is no 9-5 job, they have get the work done (whatever it may be) because tomorrow it starts all over again!
I know for a fact my Dad, Uncle, and Brother absolutely love what they do. I can see it in their faces when they talk about farming. They love sharing what they do with people who have never been on a farm and are interested in learning. Everything from working with land, to taking care of the animals, to the tight knit team of people they work with every single day, is considered a blessing. Getting them to ever retire will be a chore and a half!