Harvest Host Program: Farm Life
North Dakota is nothing less than beautiful with its miles and miles of rolling fields. My first stop would be at a farm where I could stay the night as part of the Harvest Host program. Between that farm and me were hours of gravel streets and avenues that crossed and connected all of rural North Dakota. Eventually, I got to a 4000-acre soybean /corn/wheat farm with a beautiful pond and a gorgeous view of lush green fields that stretched into a golden sunset.
A 4000 Acre Farm
My host, Brenda came out to greet me. As we spoke, I found out that crappy spring weather meant their wheat crop didn’t do as well as their other crops. It’s all about the weather when it comes to putting crops in and harvesting them. Too wet and they rot. Too dry and they can’t grow. A sudden hailstorm can ruin everything in a heartbeat.
Soybeans Are Awesome
Gesturing across the fields of soybeans, Brenda informed me that North Dakota is the biggest producer of soybeans in North America. Soybeans are a valuable source of protein in livestock feeds, but also an important food for humans. Did you know 1 cup of cooked soybeans has a whopping 28.62 grams of protein as well as a lot of other vitamins and minerals?* That makes them a fantastic source of protein without having any of th negative health and environmental impacts that go along with eating animal protein.
North Dakota Hospitality
Anyway, North Dakota soybean crops did really well this year. That meant Brenda and Bob had been busy with a plentiful harvest for most of the day. Still, Brenda found the energy to make me feel welcome when I finally pulled in at sunset. “Do you need to do laundry?” she asked. I had been planning out how I’d get my laundry done on the road, so I gratefully accepted her offer. “Come me, I’ll show you where the machines are. She walked me over to a small farmhouse. This rustic old farmhouse was part of the farm’s original homestead. It was the house where her husband grew up as part of a hardworking family. And now they shared that home’s laundry room with me, a total stranger who had stopped in for the night. I felt honored by this extraordinary show of hospitality;
A Peaceful Night
I found a spot beside the barn. Being so close to an electrical outlet, I could have plugged in but Daisy Mae is well equipped to boondock. So tonight I would be unplugged. As I brought back my laundered clothes from the house, I stopped and looked up at the sky. For just a few minutes, I was immersed in a blanket of twinkling stars with the coyotes yipping and yowling all around me.