The Indian Corn Struggle Is Real

Life is pretty darn good at Ruby Branch Farms right now. It’s been raining, the sweet corn is growing, my garden is totally kicking booty, MyFarmer and I finally cracked the code on how to properly lay the landscape fabric for the mum pads (seriously – it’s an art), the Florida State softball team is moving on to Super Regionals (Go ‘Noles!), our mum plants will be here the second week of June, and Delilah is just as delightful as ever. Our quality of life scale is currently at a 9.  But there is just one thing that keeps us from getting to a 10.

2 words:  Indian.  Corn.  

It is obvious that the Native American’s had powers beyond whats here on Earth working with them when growing this crap. Our first attempt at planting was washed away by a 2 week monsoon. Re-planting corn one time is not unheard of. We even had to do it with some of our field corn this year. Eventually the ground dried out, Noah took his Ark to Oklahoma, and we were ready to re-plant our Indian corn. After much, ahem, “discussion” between MyFarmer and ScubaSteve, it was determined that the big planter could be used again to plant the Indian corn. I’m not going to say that Scuba was wrong, but like the great Laney/Scuba Milking Shorthorn debate of 2014, the proof of correctness was not in his favor. Long story short, attempt numero dos of Indian corn planting at Ruby Branch Farms was a flop. Luckily 97% of the seed never actually made its way out of the planter into the ground, so we didn’t have to buy more seed this time around.

Not to be deterred, MyFarmer went right back to battle, this time with a one row garden seeder. (Unfortunately I was out of town for the weekend, so I didn’t get to take part in this step. SHUCKS!) He spent at least a couple hours, probably more, pushing that seeder down the 140ft rows. Low and behold, a few days later, little green spikes of success starting popping up in rows. Eureka! Take THAT Indian corn Gods! We win!

Then came the birds. Alfred Hitchcock was on to something. Those feathered beasts are PURE EVIL. They pulled up all the little corn sprouts and ate the seeds right off. ARE YOU FOR REAL MOTHER NATURE?! #depressing

We are now waiting for the ground to dry up enough to replant Indian corn for our 4th, and according to MyFarmer, FINAL time. We’ve had various suggestions ranging from mass annihilation of the bird population to “Just have Laney stand out in the field and be the scarecrow, she’ll scare the crap out of them!” Thanks, LittleE, our wonderful farm hand, for that brilliant suggestion. At this point I’m not above going out to the field, finding my inner Cherokee and doing some kind of dance for the Indian corn Gods. My great-great-great-great-ish grandmother was a Cherokee, I’m sure I can drum up some of that spirit from somewhere. If nothing else, my violent arm and leg flailing (aka me “dancing”) will scare off the flying beaks of death for awhile.

Hopefully my sister will just let me borrow her outfit for my pow-wow so I don’t have to buy a new one. Circa 1987-ish

We knew this Ruby Branch Farms endeavor would be a lot of trial and error. Little did we know it would be trial and error… and error… and error. All I want to do is make adorable wreaths out of Indian Corn. Is that so much to ask? *crosses arms and stomps foot in exasperation*

Here’s to hoping for a few more successful trials and a few less errors!

With Love and Without Indian Corn,


P.S. If you have any suggestions on how to successfully get Indian corn to grow, please share your magic with us!


“You’re Just Gonna Marry A Farmer Someday”

MyFarmer and I celebrated our first wedding anniversary May 3rd , so naturally I’ve been thinking back to our absolutely amazing wedding day. We had our wedding and and reception at a farm (wow, shocker!) owned by wonderful family friends of ours.  Outside wedding by the pond with cows and grain bins in the background, and reception in their newly renovated barn. Two guys from The Big Bang piano bar out of Nashville played at our reception and we had a BLAST. It was such a fun and special day. I loved my wedding. (Err, I mean OUR wedding.)

I will now proceed to bombard you with wedding pictures.  I’m not sorry.

All photos by the uber-talented Maggie Shupe Photography

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Our friends are beautiful people, both inside and out.
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There was a lot of pain and whining that went into this shot. So worth it.
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Of course grain bins were the back drop for our wedding, why wouldn’t they be?
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Seriously the inside of the barn is GORGEOUS. Special thanks to my friend Dana for flying in early and helping me decorate. By that I mean, thanks for going to Hobby Lobby with me 2 days before my wedding so we could have decorations.
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We needed tons of direction. Ha!
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It’s funny to me how some guys truly commit to the moment, and others are like, “I don’t know what to do with my hands right now.”
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Even little Riley’s expression was perfect!
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This year I will have the pleasure of running my hands under both of these girls’ skirts when they get married this summer! I’m so excited!! (For their weddings, not to actually run my hands up their skirts. That would be kinda weird.)
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“Wow, he’s really your dad? You look nothing like him!” Said no one ever.
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Because being a lady is hard sometimes.
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Does your eye go strait back to the group of cows over my shoulder? Good, me too. Lets be friends.

In thinking about my wedding, I can’t help but laugh about a conversation that I had at my high school senior class dinner. I had just been awarded the “most redneck” title for the senior class elections, (an award that seemed much cooler then…) and I was chatting with the group, when out of the blue, one of the more popular, cheerleader types looked strait at me and in a matter-of-fact tone said, “Alane, you’re just gonna marry a farmer someday.” “Uhhh, what?” I’m really not sure what her point was with that comment. Was it meant to be condescending, maybe hurtful?  She probably meant nothing by it at all.  But let me tell you. I.  WAS.  PISSED. Did she really think the best I would ever do with my life was marry a FARMER? A fat, lazy, overall wearing FARMER? An uneducated, poor, pig feeding FARMER? Did she honestly believe the best husband I could ever hope to get was the guy on the road sign in the straw hat and a piece of hay sticking out of his mouth? Oh hell-to-the-no she didn’t.

This sounds like a ridiculous response for someone headed to college for an agriculture degree, but that’s where my head was, just like the majority of Americans that are removed from the farm. I had grown up with horses and was active in my high school FFA, but I still did not have the connection.

Then MyFarmer walked into my life. A handsome, outgoing, college educated, farmer. After moving back to his farm and getting married I made a discovery. There is no such thing as “just a farmer.” Every farmer is a mix of agriculturalist, meteorologist, agronomist, optimist, economist, veterinarian, and mechanic, (among a thousand other things) all while utilizing technology that makes my head hurt. And you want to talk about work ethic? Can you imagine being at your job from sunup to sundown 7 days a week? Probably not.

It’s about time we see farmers for what they are. Intelligent, hard working, educated, and sometimes overall wearing, stewards of the land that feed the world with fewer and fewer resources every year. Roughly 30% of farmers in the US have some form of college education. For a comparison, the national average in 2009 for Americans ages 25-34 to have completed an associates degree is 8.1%, and completed bachelors degree is 22%. When you take into consideration that average age of an American farmer (as of 2007) is 57 years old, that’s a pretty incredible number. I think I’m going to start a petition for the farmer road sign to be changed.

How a bleach blonde cheerleader from West M High School ever knew what my life had in store for me, I’ll never know. But I did “just marry a farmer.” And you know what? I thank my lucky stars every singe day that I did.