Monday, July 30, 2012

The Price of Tea in China

Is anyone else ready for fall?  I feel like it will never get here.  July has been one long, hot month.  If this is an indication of the future of climate change (which I fully believe it is) we need to seriously re-think how we're using our resources (me included).  I really don't think I'll be able to live in a world where my air conditioning can't keep up with the temperature outside for three months in a row.

I haven't posted, because we haven't been doing anything particularly interesting.  We're keeping up with the CSA on Tuesdays, that's about it around here.  I have to say I am really glad we did that this year.  I enjoy getting the boxes together and seeing the members every week.  I feel like I've really gotten to know some great families and I hope we get them and more back next year.  Other than that we're planting soybeans (or as The Boy calls them, soilbeans.  I've repeatedly tried to explain to him it's soy, not soil, but he's an Odom.  There's not but so much I can do to counteract natural pigheadedness).

Soybeans aren't terribly interesting.  You plant them, you spray them, you fertilize them, you watch them grow, they die and dry out, you pick them.  'Course to hear The Husband talk they are just fascinating.  I hate it when he wants to take these family trips to check out how the crops are doing (but, when I went to report the crops it really helped since we had some field confusion and I was able to answer questions without making a phone call that likely won't be answered), because I know it's going to be a ride filled with soybean talk.  If it's not soybeans it's pigweed.  Weeds are smart little things.  Just like viruses become resistant to antibiotics, weeds can become resistant to chemicals, namely, roundup.  Sometimes it looks like if anything it fertilized the thing rather than killed it.  Sometimes the only way to get rid of them is to pull them.  On that note, do you know anyone who needs an attitude adjustment?  Have ungrateful lazy kids at home with a smart mouth?  Tried everything?  Have I got a solution for you!  Contact your local farmer and you can get free attitude adjustments.  'Cause if there's one thing that will make them appreciate what they have, it's pulling weeds.  I'm serious, let me know.  I'll be more than glad to set you up!  

Public Enemy #1 - Pigweed
The most interesting thing about soybeans is the price we're getting on the market for them.  For row crops (i.e corn, wheat, soybeans, corn) you sell to a company based on the market price.  Every day (several times a day) The Husband gets the market prices texted to his phone (he can only get, don't ask him to text back) and he comments on how much they've gone up and down (every. single. time.).  After you watch the market get to the price you want (it's a big gamble), you call the company you want to sell with (the one offering the best price) and book so many bushels with them at that price.  

All the news can talk about is the drought in the midwest, and don't get me wrong I'm glad they are.  Usually farmers get no press so this, even if it's bad press, is good.  But they're concentrating on how the short supply is going to push up food prices, which it will.  People see these prices and think that farmers are really making a killing.  We got that a lot last year with the high cotton prices.  What the general public doesn't realize is that everything else goes up too.  Seed prices, chemical prices, fertilizer prices, it all goes up.  Then we're getting hit at the grocery store too, and having to pay high fuel prices.  So while it looks like we're getting a huge boon, it's really more like a cost of living increase.  Don't get me wrong, no one's going to complain about $16+ a bushel soybeans, but when you compare gross profits vs. overhead, it's not always the picture the media wants to paint.

Anyway that's my soap box.  Didn't meant to bore you talking about soybeans and market prices and drought.  I guess I could have written a disclaimer advising you to skip over those last two paragraphs (I know I like to tune out the soybean talk in the car, mostly with music.  Music is a wonderful thing.).  There's just not a lot going on this time of year for us and honestly it's nice to have a break.  Especially since opening day of the corn maze is less than 2 months away.  We're going to get started out there in the next week or so, so hopefully I'll have a hilariously entertaining story about The Husband cutting down trees or something.  Or if there's something you're particularly interested about, crops or maze or berries or otherwise, let me know and I'll be glad to write about that.  Until then stay cool and think fall!