Farm Updates and Strawberry Shortcake

Each season has its own beauty, but this time of year has to be one of the best.  It changes so fast!

Clouds Sunday May 29 2016

This was our view on the way home last Sunday night, May 29th.

At the beginning of last week, we had just finished chores and were sitting on the patio enjoying the evening and watching a little rain fall.  We could see the rainbows, but the shop was blocking my view for a picture.  I told my guys I should go over to Grandpa and Grandma’s and take the picture of the rainbow over the cornfield, but it just felt too good sitting.  Then I got this great picture from my niece, Heather!

Rainbow May 30 2016

Photo credit to Heather Jansen.  Thanks!

J and E ‘s Delicious Sweet Corn continues to grow!  It is hard to believe that these are the same rows of corn that the school children walked through a month ago!  Snickers likes checking the sweet corn too.  Saturday night Jacob was cultivating the sweet corn to get rid of some weeds.

SC June 4 2016 cultivator

Sweet Corn Collage June 4

Field Corn June 2 2016 2

Field corn – June 2, 2016

Field Corn June 2 2016

Snickers will soon be hidden by the corn.

One morning last week we woke up to these guys running all over the barnyard and yard!  Not the best way to start the day!  But, it does get everyone out the door pretty fast!  As you can see we have added extra chains to the gates!  You can see the calf shed in the background.  This time of year we have the doors open for air movement so the big steers even went in there and one calf decided to “run with the big boys that morning”.  Grandpa and Grandma also got in on the roundup.  Grandma’s main job was to keep the black and whites off of the yard, out of my flowers, and off of the road!

Hoop Escape May 31

Grandpa and Calf

Grandpa leading the little guy back to the calf shed.

Corn Smashed

What corn looks like after it has had a few hooves through it.  Most of it did stand back up by the end of the day.

It is time to move calves out of the calf shed and prepare for the next group of calves.  The barn that the calves go to when they leave the calf shed was in need of some new gates; so Grandpa’s shed became the Van Manen Gate Factory last week.  (Emily – you are missing out on welding practice! I say this because she will take a welding class at ISU this fall as she works on completing her AG ED degree.)

Gate Factory Collage

Making gates, loading gates, and installing posts to hang the gates.

Saturday was moving day as we moved the calves out of the calf shed.  This week we will take the pens apart, clean out shed, power wash panels, and wash buckets.  It is predicted that we could have new calves by Saturday or Sunday!

Calf Moving

Jacob is loading the calves on the trailer for transport to their next home for a few months.

Steers in west hoop June 2016

These guys are about ready for market.  Last year they were in the calf shed at this time.

Snickers Calf Shed May 2016

Snickers loves the calves – not quite a cattle dog yet!

Snickers Tired June 1

It sound like the end of this week will be the “dog days of summer”!

June is strawberry season around here.  One of our favorite ways to eat strawberries is with shortcake.

Strawberry Shortcake

Strawberry Shortcake


¼ cup butter                                    2 cups flour

½ cup sugar                                      3 tsp. baking powder

1 egg                                                  ½ tsp. salt

1 cup milk                                         1 tsp. vanilla


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease 7×11 pan (or 9×9).

Mix ingredients in order and spread in prepared pan.  Bake for 25 to 30 minutes.

Meanwhile prepare strawberries – slice and sprinkle with a little sugar.

Cut cake into servings.  Place strawberries on top.

Serve with milk or cream or ice cream or whipped topping. ENJOY!

Have a great week!



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