Reflections of the Week and Zucchini Bread

Back to school takes on a different meaning as college students return to school.  As just the two of us sat in church last Sunday morning I couldn’t help but wonder where the years have gone.  Since we were greeters, we were seated as the service was ready to begin in the back with the young families.  After a baptism, the song Find Your Wings by Mark Harris was played. How appropriate as I was reflecting on the past twenty-three years as we sat amongst the young families. (I might have even had a tear or two as the song was played.) Emily and I also had another experience this week that I will share next week.

J and E 2000

Emily pointing out her picture on display at the IOWA FOOD AND FAMILY PROJECT’S display at the Iowa State Fair.

Emiy State Fair 2

Jacob and Kate proudly display their ribbons in the Agricultural Building at the Iowa State Fair.

State Fair Kate and Jacob

Some of the week’s happenings on the farm included the following activities:
Pouring cement for a grain bin and a wider driveway by the hoops.
Cement 2015

We sold the first load of hogs out of the group of pigs that arrived the week we had school children visit in May.

Pigs August 25
The calves in this hoop were the “new” calves in the calf shed in May.
Calves Hoop
This is the last week for sweet corn this summer.
Sweet Corn Aug25
The field corn is starting to turn. It will soon be harvest time.
Corn Augsut 27 2015

Snickers even looks a little sad this week. She misses her Emily!
Snickers August 2015
The cooler week made me feel like baking in the morning. This is one of my family’s favorite ways to use zucchini. Today I am sharing a recipe from one of my mom’s friends.

Zucchini Bread

img127 (2)Grease and flour three pans.  (I actually use a large one – the Pampered Chef stone loaf pan and a pan that measures 3 1/2 ” x 7 1/2″.  Bake at 350 degrees. (45 minutes for the smaller pan and 1 hr. for the larger pan.)  Turn out of pan and cool on wire rack.  This also freezes well, but seldom makes it to the freezer at our house! 
Have a great weekend!

Sweet Corn – Part One

It is hard to believe that Jacob and Emily (J and E’s Delicious Sweet Corn) have been selling sweet corn for a month now.  It was also one month ago that we said good-bye to Karl, our German student and his mom, Angela and brother, Franz.  Karl has been a part of our family for the last 10 months!  It was great to meet his mom and brother too!  It was amazing how much Angela and I could relate just because we are moms!

IMG_7003 (2)

Karl, Angela, and Franz say good-bye to Emily at the sweet corn stand. It was an emotional day!

Last week in a joint effort with the Iowa Food and Family Project, Monsanto, Iowa Food Bank Association, and many wonderful volunteers  J and E were able to donate sweet corn to the Iowa Food Bank Association for distribution across the state. The day before the harvesting of the sweet corn took place rain had fallen on a already saturated ground. So, needless to say, it was quite muddy Tuesday morning. We were just thankful the rain held off Tuesday until we had finished picking the last ears. Everyone made it to the machine shed for breakfast right before it began to rain! Special thanks to Hy-Vee for catering breakfast and Farm Credit Services of America for sponsoring breakfast. Following are some pictures and video from the morning.

Sweet Corn Emily and Aaron

Emily and Aaron Putze from Iowa Soybean Association greet volunteers and make assignments in the sweet corn patch.

Sweet corn cory

Cory Berkenes from the Iowa Food Bank Association picks one of many arm loads of sweet corn.

Sweet corn boxes 2

We put pallets and cardboard boxes in the back of JD gators to pick the sweet corn in the field. The skid loader was then used to transfer the pallets to the truck.

Jacob picking corn

Jacob even had a chance to pick a few ears after he had everything under control!

Sweet Corn Family

The Harvey family from Des Moines came out to pick sweet corn. One of Mr. Harvey’s professors at I.S.U. had e-mailed him about the opportunity. Come to find out – the professor had Emily has a student last year. It is a small world!

Sweet Corn Hy-Vee

Volunteers from one of Ankeny’s Hy-Vee’s.

Sweet Corn Lindsey F

Lindsey Foss from the Iowa Soybean Association loads a handful of sweet corn in the box.

Snickers sweet cornmouth

Snickers loves sweet corn too! She never misses a morning of sweet corn picking. She is always eager to hop on the gator for the many trips to the sweet corn patch so she can chase bunnies and eat sweet corn!

Click here to see Emily handing out sweet corn for the Iowa Food Bank in Des Moines.

As I drove the gator through the sweet corn field last Tuesday morning, I could not help but think of the first year (1998)  that Jacob and Emily entered the sweet corn business.  At that time Kevin was trucking part time which usually involved a two night trip to North Carolina.  I remember being quite frustrated one morning picking sweet corn for a rather large order.  The patch was a little weedy, the ears were not all ready, and a few had a little extra meat (aka worms) at the top.  Last Tuesday morning as I witnessed the many volunteers working together to help those in need it made all those early days worth it!  On a side note – I really do not pick much sweet corn any more.  Jacob and Emily have grown up in the sweet corn patch and are both experts at harvesting sweet corn!

J & E's First Year of Sweet Corn 1997

Jacob and Emily – the first year as business partners with J and E’s Delicious Sweet Corn!

Special thanks to Joe Murphy, Iowa Soybean Association for the pictures and video!