Grain Bin Workout and Chocolate Honey Sauce

We have to clean out the grain bins that hold some of last year’s corn and beans to make room for this year’s crop.

Usually, the prices are a bit higher at this time than the rest of the year. Not this time. Our little commodity price gamble didn’t work as well as we planned.

Harvest is Just Around the Corner

Procrastination will only result in no room for a crop that’s coming in soon. So, the clearing and cleaning begins.

4 grain bins and tractor with wagon
This will be the site of this week’s workout!

Cleaning out Grain Bins

Grain augers will do most of the work, but there’s always a little left in the grain bin, so we have to clear them out manually. The tools we use to clear out our grain bins are simple. A grain bin sweep auger (1974 & 1999), a scoop shovel, a large rubber mallet, a push broom and face masks are the tools we use to get the job done.

It takes about an hour per grain bin to clear out the final bushels left behind. It’s important to get everything out, because if any grain is left behind, it gets old and buggy, and will spoil and affect this year’s harvested crop. We also check all the mechanical aspects of each grain bin. We don’t want something going out before the crush of harvest.

We have five grain bins in various sizes to clear out before the end of September. We don’t quite have enough storage for our farm’s entire crop. Any commodities that can’t be stored are taken to the grain elevator seven miles away either to sell immediately or to be stored for around 17¢ per bushel for three months. This is done to hopefully get a better price later in that window of time. Remember The Farming Gamble? EVERYTHING, including our income, is a gamble!

Grain falling into a wagon.
Grain falling out of an auger while cleaning out a grain bin.

Number one corn must have 15% moisture or it will spoil. Corn is checked in the bin year round and is never kept on our farm more than nine months. Beans must have 13% moisture content to be marketable. If any of our commodities are above the standards, they are docked on a sliding scale compared to the percentage of moisture.

Rubber mallet inside a grain bin
A rubber mallet is used to hit these air tubes to release the grain inside. This is extreme, but we want the bin cleaned out as much as possible!

We rarely have any corn or beans above the standard, as we pride ourselves in a quality crop and don’t want to lose any money in the process.

Vacuuming out the sump in a grain bin
That’s right, we vacuum out the sump (the center hole) of each grain bin!

So we clean the bins to prepare a place that will contain this fall’s harvest in the best way possible. Some people pay to work out. Not here on the farm!

Be Blessed!

Chocolate Honey Sauce

Today’s recipe is Chocolate Honey Sauce. It can be used to add extra calories to a cake, pudding or on top of ice cream. But sometimes you just need a little bit of fun in your life! If you want to go all out, throw some whipped cream and nuts on top of whatever you put this sauce on.

Chocolate honey sauce on vanilla ice cream
The taste of chocolate and honey is a nice combination!

Almost every recipe featured on this blog can be made with a wooden spoon and a bowl. This recipe is no exception. This is a recipe from the 1940’s or ‘50’s and was featured in the Cedar Rapids, Iowa St. Michael’s Episcopal Church cookbook. Good luck trying to find this cookbook online. You’re just going to have to depend on me to help you out. This thing is soooo old, each page is hand written, before the widespread use of photocopiers. The phone numbers in the ads include numbers and letters. So vintage! But the combination of chocolate and honey is a taste that never goes out of style.

Burnt Offerings cookbook photo
I will feature some additional recipes from this cookbook in later posts.

This recipe encourages the cook to melt the chocolate chips over hot water. Don’t bother. Just use that new-fangled thing called a microwave! Just make sure you melt this concoction in 30 second intervals with lots of stirring.

Chocolate Honey Sauce

Tools you’ll need:

Measuring cups

Wooden spoon

Bowl

Jar with lid to store sauce

Ingredients:

1 C. semi-sweet chocolate chips

½ C. honey

¾ C. evaporated milk

Melt chocolate chips over hot water or in microwave. Add the rest of the ingredients. Stir well. Store in a jar in your refrigerator. I’ve mentioned this before, use a pint canning jar and these nifty lids!  Look for them at any general/hardware store. Walmart sells generic models that are just fine. 

Illustrated recipe of Chocolate Honey Sauce

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