Spring (Summer) Update and an Easy BEEF Recipe When It is Too Hot to Cook

Sweet Corn 53018

Sweet Corn – May 30, 2018


Sweet Corn – May 23, 2018


Sweet Corn – May 16, 2018

Snickers is posing for a sweet corn photo shoot.  She really thought it was too hot!  It does feel like summer today here in central Iowa.  The corn is really growing.  My goal is to take pictures each week of the sweet corn, field corn, and soybeans and share them with you!  Well, I have taken the pictures, but as you see I am a little behind posting them.  So, here are quite a few pictures.  Things have really changed in the last few weeks!



CORN – Wednesday, May 30, 2018


CORN – Wednesday, May 23, 2018



CORN – Wednesday, May 16, 2018



SOYBEANS – May 23 and May 30, 2018

Planting corn began the last of April. We had a cold April, so it is amazing that the corn and soybeans are planted and growing!   It almost feels like we have gone from winter to summer.  April 18 we had snow!  Today it was a little cooler – 84 degrees!  We experienced three record high days this past weekend.  (High 90’s!)  We are now praying for rain!  We even mowed hay and it hasn’t rained!






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Where have the twenty-five years gone?

Like father, like daughter!  How can this be that this little boy in the car seat (above) that would take dinner and seed out to his daddy is the daddy of the little girl in the car seat this spring who is now taking seed to her daddy?


Filling the planter!  Those seed corn bags sure are much heavier than they were thirty years ago!   (Maybe that is what becoming a grandma does to you!)


My job in the spring – hauling seed.  I thought I better stop for fuel. It would not be a fun phone call if the planter was ready for seed and I was sitting on the side of the rode needing fuel!  We used a seed tender to plant beans!  Much better than bags.   Grandpa Van thinks so too!!


Sweet Corn Planter

The planter that is used to plant J and E’s Delicious Sweet Corn.  I saw it go to the field for another planting Friday afternoon.


Kevin was busy spraying corn last week. We were thankful for some good spraying days – little or no wind.  The crops need to be sprayed at the right time.   This is the water tank that they use to transport the water to the field instead of bringing the sprayer home each time to fill.  I got the call from Jacob, “Can you come pick me up in a little bit?”  (It is always interesting to figure out when a little bit is.)  So, that means he is meeting his dad in the field to fill the sprayer.

In addition to spring field work in May, we also had the opportunity to host around 200 local kindergarten children and parents as they conclude their unit study of the farm.  Rolling down the hill is always a hit!  The FFA students serve as tour guides and help assemble SMORES.

Kdg. hill18SMORES18

Besides planting corn, soybeans, and sweet corn; Jacob also likes to plant a garden.


We eat quite a few sandwiches in the spring, but every now and then it is great to have something warm.  The following recipe is easy to throw together (especially if you have your hamburger already browned like Kate does) and is great for the hot weather days when you want a hot meal, but do not want to heat up the oven.  Of course, hamburgers or steaks on the grill will also fill the bill.

Busy Day Crock Pot Lasagna

1 bag of frozen cheese ravioli (25 oz.)

1 lb. ground beef, browned (I like to add chopped onion.)

3 (14 or 15 oz.) cans of crushed tomatoes*

1 Tbsp. Italian Seasoning

1 Tbsp. garlic salt

4 cups of mozzarella cheese

¼ cup Parmesan cheese (optional)


  1. In a large skillet brown the beef completely.  You may also add chopped onion here.  (Drain fat.)
  2. Stir in tomatoes and seasonings
  3. In a six quart crock pot, cover the bottom with some of the sauce.
  4. Place a layer of ravioli over the sauce.
  5. Place a layer of mozzarella cheese over the sauce.
  6. Repeat layers of meat sauce and ravioli.
  7. End with a layer of meat sauce on top.
  8. Then top with remaining mozzarella cheese and add the parmesan on top.
  9. Cook on low for four hours.
  10. Turn off and let sit for about 15 minutes before you serve.
  11. Serve with your favorite side salad and garlic bread.

*For tomatoes I have used one 28 oz. can of crushed tomatoes and a pint of salsa.  You can substitute home canned tomatoes (chopped). Also, if you use tomatoes that already have salt added, I would only use half of the garlic salt.

Recipe source: Eating on a Dime

Stay cool and take care,