It’s time to plant corn. This is an important event on our farm.
We use a 1967 John Deere 4020 tractor and a 1985 John Deere 7000 four-row planter. The John Deere 4020 tractor has the best power steering pump in the world! This tractor can be steered with one finger. It’s a lighter tractor and uses less fuel than the large tractors you may see out in a farm field. It doesn’t have a cab, so you will notice my husband wearing a sweatshirt, hat and jeans with work shoes. Sun and wind protection is important on an open cab tractor. An open cab tractor makes it easy to jump off and climb back on to pick up rocks and move items that get in the way of planting. On any given day, you could jump on and off this tractor thirty times. Some people pay to work out that much!
The reason we use a John Deere 7000 planter is that it’s still in fine working order. We’ve considered getting an 8-row planter, but it’s very hard to find one that is in good condition. We’ve always kept our machinery in very good working order. We NEVER leave any piece of machinery outside in the elements. All machinery is brought into the machine shed after working in the field every day. Rain will rust equipment and we can’t afford to have rust affecting chains and bearings.
The bags of corn seed we use can range in price from $250-$300 a bag, and we plant around 30,000 corn seeds per acre. To say the least, there’s a lot of seed planted on our farm.
The planter is pulled behind the tractor a little over 4 miles an hour. The planter is dropped into the soil, with a trench created in the soil with two very hard steel disks cutting into the soil. After the trench is cut, starter is dropped beside the seed and the seed is picked up one at a time and dropped into the soil trench through a seed tube made of plastic. Because we have a four row planter, this is process is done times four. If we had a 24-row planter, the process would be done times 24. Most new planters use air instead of a finger pick up. This fanciness would cost us over $300,000! We don’t quite have that amount of cash on hand…
Today’s recipe is Old School Brownies! You will figure out this recipe is old school when you make them. What makes these brownies excellent is they can feed a LARGE CROWD! Unlike the junk you get in a box, they fill a large jelly roll pan AND they are about the cost of that boxed stuff. You can also pronounce the ingredients. This recipe really takes very little time. Ask your kids to help you and let them lick the spoon.
Old School Brownies
Tools you’ll need:
12X17 Jelly Roll Pan
½ Cup (1 stick) butter
1 Cup water
¼ Cup cocoa
2 Cups flour
2 Cups sugar
½ teaspoon salt
½ Cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla
Preheat oven to 400˚. In the small saucepan, bring the butter, water and cocoa to a boil. Sift the flour, sugar and salt into a bowl. Pour the boiling ingredients over the flour mixture. Beat the eggs, buttermilk, soda and vanilla together with a fork. Add to the brownie mixture. Batter will be runny. Pour into the greased jelly-roll pan and bake at 400˚ for 15 minutes.