Friday, November 13, 2009

weekly wrap up - November 13

Yeah for normal weeks! It seems we get so few of those, and even this week may not qualify, but for the most part, we had a productive week of mostly full school days and no schedule stopping disruptions.

Our highlight of the week, aside from enjoying our normal days, was a trip to a local farm. It is time to harvest corn here in Illinois, and the farmers are hard at work everywhere.

Our trip included:
  • A discussion of products that include corn (everything from paper plates to salad dressing to pop to corn starch to aspirin)
  • A demonstration of the various processes of harvesting the corn from the combine harvester to the storage of the product
  • A ride in the combine while it harvested corn (my kids loved that, nothing like front row seats to where our food comes from)
  • Donuts and cider from our gracious organizer

It was so great to get such a first hand look at how it works and understand how much we rely on corn. The combine was incredible to watch (and ride in!) as it took whole stalks of corn and shredded them, picked the dried ears, and stripped off and saved just the kernels while spewing out all the other plant debris.

It was an amazing day. And, we so appreciated the farmer's disrupting their busy schedule to give us a glimpse of what they do.

Some other items that we learned:
  • The corn that is harvested now will partly be used for feed, but it also is used in food for humans. Obviously fresh corn is picked in the summer, but this corn will be used for corn starch, corn meal, corn syrup and many other corn byproducts.
  • Farmers spend a lot of money! A bag of corn seed costs $200 to seed just 2 1/2 acres! This farm had 1000 acres, so that right there is a lot of money. They also spend 2 cents for each gallon of water they extract from the corn before storage which amounts to 7000 gallons a day during harvest (20-30 days). I left wondering how they make any money. That doesn't even touch labor, machinery (the combines run over $300,000 easily), gas, etc. That would be a good math project for the day. We also discussed at home the need for them to budget since they have large expenses.
  • The moisture content of the corn must be below a certain level for harvest.
  • Usually they expect to be done with the harvest by Thanksgiving, but this year due to the rainy October we had, many will be glad if they get it all in by Christmas. Praying for dry days!
A great trip (Thanks, Laura!) I love these field trips that are not at your "typical" field trip location, but rather dropping right into real life somewhere outside of where you normally observe.

Friday evening we dropped the kids off at my in-laws and went to a homeschool support group leaders dinner. I did not know what to expect, but came away greatly encouraged and challenged. The evening provided some fun fellowship with other homeschooling friends, both new and old.

Kevin Swanson brought the challenge for us to keep a clear multi-generational vision for the sake of our children and others' children. Christianity is dwindling in America and we need to disciple our children with intentionality. This is something my husband and I feel very strongly about as well, but I don't think you can hear it often enough and feel pressed again of the need for fervency in this area.

Saturday finally wrapped up our soccer season and we gratefully enjoyed the "warm" weather for these final games. We look forward to having our Saturdays a little more open, at least now and then. :-)

How was your week? I would love to hear, or link up and check out other people's weeks at the Weekly Wrap Up


Weird Unsocialized Mom said...

Oh, that's a really cool looking field trip! I bet my kids -- especially my boy -- would have loved that one.

Sadie said...

What a cool trip! My boys would have loved that too

SmallWorld at Home said...

That sounds like a GREAT field trip. And multi-generational--YES! So incredibly important.