These are some "tools of the trade" that I have found useful through the last 5 years when it comes to preparing for Harvest.
If you have a baby, invest in one of these.It was some of the best money I have spent when it came to our little one, and it worked like a charm during harvest when I was cooking or driving the tractor. Not to mention it was a life saver when I made the 12 hour trek to Indiana.
Podee Bottle- Bottle with a straw!
The month or so before start making double.If you are making tacos make double the meat, if you are making BBQ make double the meat, if you are making hamburger patties make double the patties. I started this about a month ago and I already have a pretty good stock pile of frozen meats to get me through a few meals during harvest. I simply put mine in freezer Ziploc bags and lay them flat.
This also works for casseroles. When I was pregnant I prepared for my weeks of cooking after baby by making double casseroles during my weeks to cook and putting them in a disposable aluminum pan, covering them with foil, and freezing them.
Plan. Plan. Plan your cooking week or your meals.It may not always work out, but at least have a plan for what sandwiches you want to serve during harvest. I should have approximately 3 or 4 cooking weeks during harvest, that is a total of 42 or 56 meals. I cook 2 meals a day for 7 seven days straight during my cooking week. I already have my list of meals about half way done. I will have repeats, but it helps to have field meal ideas written down so you have a game plan.
Planning also helps with this next one.
Buy and stock up.Two weeks ago I made my harvest trip to Sam's Club and stocked up on a few of the things I know I will need during harvest. Cheeses, chicken, bacon, frozen pizzas, breads. I still have a few things to stock up on at the grocery store, but I am already working on filling up my freezer to be prepared. Trust me, cheese is not something you want to run out of when you are making ten sandwiches for hungry men!
Have all your supplies on hand.Have your baskets ready to transport meals, have sandwich wrappers stocked up, bags to put all the food in...
Have your to do list done.I pretty much try and finish all of my things before it's time for Harvest. That means my cleaning in the house, laundry caught up, buildings swept up and cleaned, the garden mostly harvested and canned or frozen. I even go as far as having birthday cards and gifts all stocked up before we start.
I try and get most of my appointments done before harvest,but in the last year that hasn't quite happened. I also turn down most speaking engagements in order to be around home. I have already turned down two, but I did say yes to two. It all depends on where and how long I will be gone. I try and get my blog ready, meaning getting some posts done in advance so I am not sitting at the computer at midnight typing away when I really need some sleep.
In short I typically plan my life around Harvest for a few months.
Prepping for meals, cooking in advance, shopping, scheduling...all of these things take some of the pressure off of me during months where everyone is running on less sleep and I rarely get to see my husband. These are the things that work for me, they may not work for you...but they may help you get started on what does!
Any other farm wives out there have any other suggestions?
To read more about Harvest on our farm this season visit me atStories Of A First Generation Farm Wife!