What I will remember from 2013

Another year has come and gone. I feel that the older I get the faster the years go by. This was a year to remember, especially on the farm.

Winter went on and on and on and on…. I remember snow on the first of May.

Snow on Zweber Farms www.zweberfarms.com

 I have never seen Tim so discouraged by the weather or farming. He loves farming. He loves caring for the land and its animals. But, this spring really took a toll on this spirit. Seeing your husband coming apart at the seams and there is nothing you can do about it but pray is tough. I guess this is the stuff that our grandparents talk about with nostalgia.

We were running out of feed and the drought the pervious year had dried up any supplies of hay to buy. My bible study group started the Circle Maker study series that spring. The study is about intentional prayer. I prayed circles around our farm. I prayed while feeding calves. I prayed while scooping feed for the heifers. I prayed while walking the alley in our milking parlor. I prayed for Jon, Lisa, Tim and our family farm. I prayed for blades of grass to reach toward the sun.

We didn’t get the cows on pasture until the end of May,

2013-05-14 12.16.58

and corn planted until June.

Corn growing on Zweber Farms via zweberfarms.com

It seemed that every time life was about to take bloom, Mother Nature would take it away.

Dairy farm family www.zweberfarms.com

Then the sun came out. Bright radiant sun. A gift from God!

Cows on pasture via zweberfarms.com

Instantly, we were struggling to keep up with all the world needed us to do. Instead of three weeks of a break between planting corn and first cutting of hay, we were cutting hay, planting corn, cultivating corn, and planting new hay all at the same time. When we were done with that, we were cutting hay again.

Things would get dry; then God would provide a little moisture to keep us going.

MN drought 2013 via zweberfarms.com

 We ended the fall with really dry conditions again, but we were able to bring in a decent corn silage and hay crop. We had feed for our cows for the next long winter. That is a true miracle!

Dispite the hard growing season, there were a lot of blessings in 2013. We sold out on chicken and pork. Our meat and egg customers were a shining bright spot in the craziness of the spring and summer. Since, we had to cut the size of our cattle herd due to lack of feed, our herd is one of the healthiest ones we have ever had. For you dairy people, our somatic cell count is averaging around 40,000 and we had one tank reading at 29,000.

This year we also opened up our farm to many visitors from around Minnesota and the world. We also were able to bring bits of our farm to 145 ninth and eight graders in Burnsville and 70 preschoolers down the road.  It is fun to share our small beautiful place on this Earth.


As the year comes to a close, I know that God will continue to bless our family. I hope that his blessing shines in your life as well.

Here is to a great 2014! And as the song goes “we will not let our praying knees get lazy.”

5 thoughts on “What I will remember from 2013

  1. Jill Spiekerman

    Great post, Emily! Good reminder of where we need to go for help. Here’s hoping you have a prosperous and blessed 2014.

  2. kristygardner

    Happy New Year, my friend! I’ll be honest – this year was both a challenge and a joy for me as well (mostly a challenge). I’m making goals to maintain my happy levels and making time for the things that matter. I’m sure you are too. Here’s to a fruitful and very happy new year!!! xo!

  3. Stella

    It was a tough year for farming. And so far the polar vortex and Titan are making sure at least the beginning of 2014 is off to a frozen start. I wish the best for you and your husband. Let’s hope spring makes a presence here soon!