Saturday, June 27, 2009

Visit With The Harkins

After all the excitement of the visit to the pecan it was nice to dial it down a notch and visit with Sherman and Linda Harkins at their farm in Hale, Missouri.

Sherman and Monte were shipmates when stationed aboard the USS Jallao, an old diesel submarine in the mid 1960's and have remained friends through all the intervening years.
The Harkins have a wonderful farm where they raise cattle and all the food necessary to feed those cattle.

Did you know that hay is not just hay? Hay is a generic term for grass that has been cut, dried, and stored for use as animal feed. Hay can be timothy, brome, fescue, sweet clover, alfalfa and lots of other stuff. Hay needs to be harvested just before the seed heads are ripe and to get the most nutritional value from the hay. This year has been very tough for the Harkins to get that done due to weather. It has been so rainy in their part of Missouri that when the hay has been ready for harvest it has been raining and if it is cut it cannot dry and will mold before it can be baled.

On the second afternoon, Linda and I had driven to one of the fields to pick up Sherman where he had been working and on the way back to the house I spotted a dead cow down by a creek. Sherman got out of the car, climbed over the barbed wire fence and found that the cow had not been dead long. She had laid down and gotten over on her back and could not get up and, as I found out, that will kill a cow.

It is always something on a farm and being a total city kid I learned lots and lots. I learned things like what happens to a dead cow – it will be burned – and I don't mean like cooked for bbq but more like cremated on a funeral pyre.

So we had a fun and educational visit with Sherman and Linda, got to spend a little time with some of their family and best of all – had root beer floats every night!

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