The rush of harvest is over for many of you. If you have livestock, there's pressure 24/7, 365. If not, December can get to be a long month. Each day is shorter until Dec 21. The sun rises later, and goes down earlier. And if you live on slow time, your kids might have to hurry to get home from school before dark.
Christmas is coming, and there's just enough kid left in all of us to look forward to it. But it's not here yet. It's a week early to really feel like the holiday is upon us, and it's Ok if we relax and take it easy. So what can you do this week, the middle week of December.
Here are some ideas.
Check out a farm meeting- There are some scheduled this week. Most have good speakers, but if I were you, I would pick out the one with the best food.
Visit the farm show- The Illinois/Indiana Farm Show will be in Indianapolis Tuesday through Thursday this week. It's not exactly the Farm Progress Show, because companies are typically represented by local reps, not national staff. But it can be a place to make some contacts, check out some new products, and maybe wheel and deal on a piece of equipment you've got your eye on before the end of the year gets here.
Finally do what you've always said you were going to do- nominate someone for Master Farmer. The application isn't due until February 15, but January can whip by in a hurry. Pick out someone, get a form off our Webstie or email: Tbechman@farmprogress.com and line up six people who know your potential nominee well. Ask each to write a letter for the person as to why they should be a Master Farmer.
Enter the Beck's Seed, Indiana Prairie Farmer winter seed give-away. All you have to do are guess snowfall totals for three Indiana cities- South Bend, Indianapolis, and Evansville. Find the entry form in the December issue, or email in your entry with the requested information. The form will appear again in the January issue, with some helpful hints about snowfall totals in the past at these locations. Let's just say if you were going to sell a snowblower, you'd probably have better luck moving it in South Bend than Evansville. Entries must be postmarked or received by email by midnight, Jan. 15
Do some almost last-minute Christmas shopping- Yes, this one may not be your favorite. Just remember it's the thought that counts, even though your 17-year-old daughter says otherwise. She will probably tell you it's the bling that counts and insist on buying her own presents. Not at my house!
Plan a winter getaway- Some of you already have. There are some sweet trips offered by seed companies, even if you have to pay to go along. Or you could just pick a local spot to get away for a weekend. It's been a long year, and once the holidays are over and before next year cranks up big time, a quick getaway might be just the ticket.
Well, we'll be at Christmas in just under two weeks. You probably won't need suggestions for what to do then. And just remember, after Dec 21, it's all up hill from there. Each day gets longer- the sun comes up sooner and sets later, even if it's only a minute or two a day at a time.
Survive this week by keeping busy. That's what I plan to do. Your mood will get jolly as Christmas comes next week. A few sunny days and a hint of spring once the shortest day is over should set your mood straight.