From Dirt to Pie Crusts

By Delaney Black
7th Grade, Scott Valley Junior High School
Tracy Dickinson, Teacher
Siskiyou County
Illustrated by Woodland High School


BEEP!! BEEP!! BEEP!! The alarm goes off and two minutes later Dad comes in.

"Get up and get dressed," Dad says as he walks out. 6:45 a.m., I rub my eyes groaning, I want to stay in bed. I get up and get ready, trying to wake myself up while getting dressed.

"Hurry up and eat," Dad says. I finish eating while walking out the door promptly at 7:00 a.m. My job is to irrigate the wheat and alfalfa by moving wheelines on our family farm. I live on a farm that grows organic alfalfa and wheat. We irrigate the wheat until the middle of July. I hurry out to the 4-wheeler and head to the fields with the cool morning air and mosquitoes hitting my face. Every morning, sometimes mid-day, and night, I change water on our family farm.

I turn off the first pipe; wait for it to drain while turning off the others. I move the first, and then walk to the second, and so on. Lastly, I hook them back up and start them. I get nervous while turning on the wheelines because that is when something will go wrong. As the wheeline fills and the water pressure increases, a riser can blow or a pipe latch can unhook. The result is a mushroom cloud of water blowing up in the air, Dad driving across the field towards me at 40 miles an hour, and 30 more minutes of work. I know because I have made that mistake before!

Later in the day I go out again and start the same process all over again. The humid heat is torture during the day and I feel like my clothes are wet from sweat. It is so hot that I get really frustrated while hooking the old pipes up and I just can't wait to be done! It feels great to be sprayed by the cold sprinklers after they have filled and there are no problems. After dinner I go out and change wheelines for the third time of the day. But, this time I go out and help irrigate other fields.

Wheat needs to be irrigated until the middle of July. I love watching the wheat turn from green to brown. When the wheat heads fill and the crop starts to turn brown, Dad says, "We don't have to irrigate the field anymore." It's pretty tough. My uncle and dad harvest the wheat in the middle of August and put it in our granary for storage.

We grind the wheat we store into flour and sell it to bakeries and the local community. I help my dad run the wheat through the cleaner and I sit in there sometimes when he grinds the wheat into flour. The cleaner is a machine that separates the wheat seed from other seeds, small pieces of straw and wheat hulls.

My favorite part though, is when we take some flour and I help my mom bake pies and bread. I love the homemade bread! Cinnamon bread is the best, it's so good it makes my mouth water just thinking about it. On our farm we enjoy watching the wheat grow from seeds planted in the dirt to pie crust that melts in our mouths.