Saturday, December 31, 2016

I Don't make New Years Resolutions, I make Adventure Goals!

New years resolutions never work. If it was important enough to do, you wouldn't wait until a new year to promise to do it. I make New Year's adventure goals. My goals are things on my bucket list or something I want to learn. Here are my top 5 Adventure goals for this year.

 5.  Add Instagram to my growing social media presence. My TractorJen facebook page is agriculture centered, but I want to share a wider variety of my photography. I suppose Instagram and social media don't sound like adventures, but they are to me. ;)
La Push, Washington 

 4.  Use my Gopro to take more interesting pictures. I received a case and mounts for my Gopro for Christmas and I have some creative ideas for videos. I thrive on thinking outside the box.

I wore my Gopro chest mount as we toured the underground
missile launch control center in Coopertown, ND

 3.  Astrophotography- I love the dark skies we have here and I want to get some milky way pictures. Night photography is more involved than point and shoot, so there are lots of learning opportunities.

Picture of Jupiter through my telescope

 2.  Watch the solar eclipse- Aug 21 has a total solar eclipse crossing the United states.  Washington is not one of the total ecipse states, but I am hoping for good enough weather to see at least a partial eclipse. Maybe a day trip to the John Day fossil beds to record a full eclipse is possible, but unlikely. I am ordering my solar glasses and filters now!

 Get your eclipse glasses here!

 1.  Travel- We love to travel and I have devoted a wall in my house to document our adventures. This year we hope to drive down to Arizona and visit the Titan Missile museum and see a real Saguaro cactus. We also have several other shorter trips in the works. Most trips involve a museum and photgraphy. :)
There is some blank spaces on my wall!

Thursday, December 22, 2016

I am a Farm Hand on a Corporate Farm

My husband and I both work for a corporate farm. This farm uses modern technology, has great big tractors, and has to be carefully managed to ensure financial success. That is only part of the story though. The Adams farm was established in 1897 when Davids Adams' parents, grandparents and uncles all homesteaded land in Eastern Washington state. David was born on the homestead in 1922.

David Adams with his older bother Clarence and his sister Vera

Dryland wheat farming was a struggle and they had to clear sagebrush and rocks, plant wheat and hope there was enough rain to get a crop. There were some lean years, and I often heard stories of how hard his family worked to get by. David passed away in 2014, and everyone misses his presence on the farm.
Adams harvest 1959

Davids' mother Ruth setting up harvest lunch in the field 1959 

Although this is a corporate farm, it still is a family farm and we feel part of the family. My husband has worked off and on for over forty years for the family. I moved here 25 years ago and have raised my family along side theirs. Our children went to the same schools and we celebrated the same milestones together. Just as plants put their roots deep into the soil, living on the farm has given me deeper roots to the land and the community.
Adams harvest 2008
David Adams drove combine until 2013
When I  farm, it's not about the money to me. It's about doing what's best for the land and the farm. I live here, I work here, and I love here. Farming has given me a long term perspective. What I do today can impact things for a long time. I work the ground now, but won't see a crop for two years.   The crop planted in September will be harvested in August the next year. Weeds allowed to grow today will spread seeds for years. I am responsible for the land. I will never own a farm, but I will always love farming.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Facts don't matter, only feelings matter

I have noticed on social media, that people have absolutely no interest in facts or even hearing both sides of the story. I am a middle of the road type person, and I know that there is always two sides to the story. Maybe it comes from being a mom. Ever had a kid running up to you in tears, "Mom! He hit me!" Should I punish the child that hit their bother without asking for the whole story? "Well she bit me first!" (Btw, I solved these fights by making them hug and say they loved each other!)

When I post a side of the story about GMOs  or the Dakota pipeline, I know it is only one side of a story. I am choosing to post the side that people aren't listening to, because it's not about the emotion. I have heard, "I don't care what the facts are, I FEEL these are bad."

So, are these things really bad. Not as much as they are portrayed. People say the evil seed companies control the farmer. Seed should be free. Reality is that farmers will buy the seed that helps them succeed. People say fossil fuels are poison and we have to eliminate our support for them. These are wonderful ideals. I ask, is it even possible? Are these people fossil fuel free? Are they ready to give up their comfy little lives to live fossil free right now? Reality is that right now, fossil fuels are important and providing infrastructure that is modern and safe is important.  I support alternative energy and being energy efficient, but realize change doesn't happen over night.

I love the Dakotas and their people. I support Native rights. I support the fight for clean water and decent homes. I support preserving their culture and honoring their past. I support their fight against poverty and drugs.

How many of the protesters that have come in the Standing rock protests will leave after the fight and not worry about these people again? They will leave to fight some other "windmill", because they are fighting evil and it makes them feel good. Meanwhile, people are left feeling angry and divided and the real problems have not been solved.

We all want the world to be a better place. My ideal is that we find some common ground instead of painting everything black and white. Are we really on opposite sides? Do we only look for what divides us, instead of what brings us together? Tearing people apart doesn't build anything. The one thing I love about the Standing Rock protest is that people are standing together.  I just wish it wasn't for an all or none issue.