10 Lessons from Learning to Drive on the Farm

International farm truck
1. The further ahead you look the straighter you’ll drive.

2.  How to double clutch and pump the brake.

3. That the emergency brake is not enough to keep you out of a ditch if you park on a steep hill.

4. Tractors are really good at pulling your pickup out of the ditch.

5. Keep your eyes and ears open for problems.

6. Flashlights are not the same as headlights

7. You might be bright green, as tall as a 3 story building, and weight 5 tons but cars will still not be able to see you without little flashing lights.

8. After driving 4 mph for 10 hours a day, 35 mph on the way home feels like NASCAR.

9. Always carry a pair of gloves, a knife, some paper towels, and extra oil with you.

10. Be friendly. Wave at the neighbors.


#WordlessWednesday 4/10/13

Cap Science

Reminiscing about my days as a CAP teacher. Here is my “famous” volcano demonstration.

2012 in review

December 31, 2012 Leave a comment

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 5,900 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 10 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.

#Foodthanks in Western Oregon

November 21, 2012 Leave a comment

Living in Western Oregon we are especially blessed with good weather to grow a range of foods. This means that getting local produce is fairly easy. You can u-pick everything from berries, apples, peaches, and pears, to pumpkins, and Christmas trees.

Even though we live in the city right now, I have a herb garden and strawberry beds. My husband grows hops on our back porch. My grandmother supplies with fresh garden goods as long as I keep her computer running. She grows peas, beans, cucumbers, corn, lettuce, swiss chard, spinach, carrots, all kinds of squash, and more.

We get our milk from Lochmead dairy and our eggs from Willamette Egg Farms both of which are within an hours drive of our house. Our beef comes from the son of a farmer I used to drive combine for. Our chicken is from Foster farms which has locations up and down the valley. (My husband can tell you just where because he delivers to all the chicken farms. He’ll also tell you how nice those chicken have in in their climate controlled buildings, where the humans have to wash-in wash-out and replace the sawdust under foot often.)

Western Oregon is home to one of the fastest growing wine regions in the country, and the highest per capita number of micro-breweries. We have Tillamock cheese, and Rouge Creamery both of which are national award winning cheese factories.

The Oregon coast is home to Dungeness crabs, and salmon. Plus the Southern Oregon coast grows sweet cranberries.

I think sometimes we forget how spoiled we are. We need to remember that even though we live in a land of abundance that it’s still hard work to grow the food for our tables, and spend some time saying thank you to the farmers who make it possible. That why I’ve taken the time on my busy day before Thanksgiving to give some #Foodthanks.

Tweet Archive for #AAW2012

November 12, 2012 Leave a comment

Top Tweeters

Follow the top 5: @thetechchef, @rickreallfarmer, @Women4Ag, @MarieB41, @Jenessamonson.

The 2012 American Agri-Women Convention was held last week in Denver, CO. We had a great time hearing from excellent speakers like Miss America Teresa Scanlan, Jim Owens of the Center for Cowboy Ethics, and Troy and Stacy Hadrick of Advocates for Agriculture.

You can visit an archive of our tweets during convention here: www.tweetarchivist.com/TheTechChef/3


American Agri-Women@Women4Ag   Speaker Jim Owens of @Cowboy_Ethics showed this video to us during his talk at #AAW2012 http://bit.ly/VVIEj3


Arwen McGilvra@TheTechChef Watching a video with the amazing Danell Kalcevic agvocating for her farm. http://youtu.be/hvmNhAeXFsI #AAW2012


Troy Hadrick @TroyHadrick  We’ve had a great day at #AAW2012! Thx for so many compliments on our presentation and r efforts to share the story to #ag.


  celeste settrini ‏@couturecowgirl7  @TroyHadrick says don’t let google tell you what farming is #AAW2012



  Marie Bowers @MarieB41 Estrogen Content in Food. I’d be more worried about cabbage than beef. 🙂 #aaw2012 #Agchat http://instagr.am/p/R3LnZNK5Yq/


  American Agri-Women @Women4Ag EPA reviewed incidents of drinking water well contamination believed associated with fracing and found NO confirmed cases. #AAW2012


  Jenessa Monson @jenessamonson Struggling to focus today at work because I am so #excited for #AAW2012!!



  Arwen McGilvra ‏@TheTechChef   #AAW2012 Education, communication, consumer awareness, leadership, legislation… we can do it together. http://instagr.am/p/R38c58TQfl/


  Jody L. Lamp @lampprpro Our kids can be very influential in telling the truth about #agriculture @TroyHadrick & Stacey #AAW2012 #agvocates


  Tiffany R. Marx @RickreallFarmer  Learning about mining today in Leadville, CO. Limestone powder coats gum in the wrapper! #foodchat #aaw2012


  Julie Tesch ‏@JulieTesch1  #MissAmerica 2011 Teresa Scanlan, spoke to our #AAW2012 conference. What a great advocate for #agriculture ! pic.twitter.com/cfO2fXAH


  Tiffany R. Marx @RickreallFarmer  “It is illegal in Nebraska to hunt for whales.” – @teresascanlan lol! #AAW2012



 American Agri-Women @Women4Ag  “Which cows do the soy milk come from?” One reason we need to #agvocate #AAW2012

Twitter Cheat Sheet

November 9, 2012 Leave a comment

This week I taught a class on twitter to the women at the 2012 American Agri-Women convention. Becasue the twitter lingo is so different than what a lot of us are use to I created this cheat sheet for twitter beginners.

Twitter Cheat Sheet

Tweet(s)- A message posted via Twitter containing 140 characters or fewer

Tweeps- Your friends on Twitter

Hashtag- The # symbol followed without a space by a term. Popular ag hashtags are #agchat  #ag  #farm  #onthefarm  #harvest12 #thankafarmer  #agvocate  #agproud  #FF  #wordlesswednesday #justsaying  #AAW2012I’m meeting a bunch of awesome #agvocates at #AAW2012

Tip: Don’t use #AAW because it is used for AIDS Awareness Day.

Mention- Mentioning another user in your Tweet by including the @ sign followed directly by their username is called a “mention”. Also refers to Tweets in which your username was included. “Hey @thetechchef did you see this blog about social media? http://bitly.com/U5EiEd

Twitter abbreviations-

RT = Retweet. A tweet that was forwarded by another user.

RT @Women4Ag: Safe travels to all our friends heading to Denver this week for the 2012 American Agri-Women Convention! #AAW2012

MT = Modified tweet. This means the tweet you’re looking at is a paraphrase of a tweet originally written by someone else.

DM = Direct message. A direct-message is a message only you and the person who sent it can read. IMPORTANT: To DM someone all you need to type is D username message.

CC = Carbon-copy. Works the same way as email.

TY = Thank you

YW = You’re welcome

BTW = By the way

OH = Overheard.

http://tweetchat.com/ and http://twubs.com/ Let you participate in live conversations with other tweeps. #Agchat is every Tues at 8pm (EST). #RockinRuralWomen is every other Thurs at 10pm (EST)

4 Types of Bloggers

November 8, 2012 Leave a comment


  • Confident, assertive, to the point, bold, hard hitting
  • Comes on strong
  • Skips small talk gets right to the point
  • Has strong options and convictions
  • Doesn’t care if the truth makes others uncomfortable


  • Ideas, inquisitive, analytical, logical, academic
  • Likes to debate
  • More concerned with what people think than how they feel
  • Fact junkie, likes to point out the evidence, Likes references to be listed/available


  • clear communicators, compelling story tellers, good listeners,
    vulnerable about your personal life
    Can make links between your experience and that of other people
    Makes connections between experience and fact
    Likes to use illustrations


  • People person, relational warmth, conversational, friendship/ relationship oriented
  • Compassionate
  • Focuses on people and their needs
  • Likes to be connect socially, responds to every comment