I’m a member of Harvest Host, which allows self contained RVers to spend a night at 1500 Harvest Host wineries, distilleries, farms, and museums. The membership also include 356-golf-courses located in 48 US States, and Canada. Click the highlighted link to discover a location near you.
My first Harvest Host location I wrote about in a previous blog post was the Forestedge Winery in Minnesota and I truly enjoyed my time. But, my second was the Doubting Thomas Organic Farm nestled along the Buffalo River north of Moorhead City MN.
Between the ages of four and six, I was fortunate to visit Grants Farm in St. Louis Missouri 3-4 times. Those early farm experiences sparked my dreams of living on a farm. Over the years of traveling across the US, I often gazed from the highway to see, the farm equipment plowing, planting and harvesting.
I had hoped to drive a combine harvester across a landscape of corn, soybean or wheat. My last four years, of travel with stops in Scotts Bluff Nebraska and other small communities. I discovered I could be hired to drive large dump trucks and trailers without a CDL hauling sugar-beets from the fields to the processing plants during harvest time. Many drivers are need, so if you are interested in working during the harvest season it is my opinion a great idea.
Harvest Host made my dream come true as I turned from the dirt road on to the long driveway belonging to The Doubting Thomas Certified Organic Farm. The farm provides fresh picked foods for sale on its website and to local restaurants and you. I felt the excitement building within me as I drove White-blaze pulling Maxy past several large grain bins a farm garage to parked near a combine harvester.
I met Lee Thomas and his wife Noreen, who have since 1997 been certified organic producers on their 1200 acres of grains, feed, and beans for domestic as well as foreign markets for use in foods. Lee is a 5th generation farmer of the land and the The harvester combine he is climbing down the photo below is used to harvest the their land. I want to return in 2021 to help in the harvest and I have already marked my calendar. 🙂
I was greeted by Lee who was working on his combine harvester in preparation for the harvest of barley in a couple of weeks. Lee and another worker named Seth were installing a fan blower needed to blow the grains across the blades of the combine harvester in the photos.
I was truly fortunate when I arrived as to received a detail description and explanation about the internal workings of Lee’s Combine Harvester from the local RDO Equipment Co and John Deer representative who had stopped by the farm to talk to Lee and check on the maintenance of the combine.
To harvest barley, the front blade attachment has little scissors across the front to cut off the plant close to the ground and moves the whole plant into the machine. A threshing segment with in the combine beats the cut crop to break and shake the grains away from their stalks. The separated grains travel by conveyor into a grain tank.
Doubting Thomas Certified Organic Farm website sells an assortment of organic, eggs, pancake and waffle mixes, rolled oats, pearl barley, wheat flours, malted oats, wheat berries, and wild rice for delivery to your home.
The setting sun was an incredible backdrop to a beautiful day spent on a certified organic farm with the wonderful owners Noreen & Lee as they made me feel at home. I look forward to my return to help out around the farm during the harvest season in 2021.
Not pictured are the 1200 bees Noreen keeps during the growing season, I was too afraid to get any closer for photos. Noreen, collected these Chokeberries earlier in the day, and I wish I stayed longer to enjoy more of them. 🙂
There are several small garden plots on their property managed by local restaurants and locals for fresh vegetables.
In the morning when I drove away with the sun shining brightly I reminisced about my childhood visit to Grants Farm and considered it took 50+ years of my life to find my farming home. 🙂