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Posts tagged ‘farming’

Fruition

Missing_the_open_roads between Alaska and Argentina is easy at this point.  Since returning home we’ve been working on our family farm in North Dakota, praying for rain and driving tractors as we fly through the growing season.  The steady rhythm of farming, the planting and growth that leads so inevitably to harvest, is a life apart from the wild unpredictability of a day by bicycle.  One is rooted, the other nomadic.  For a summer, at least after so many months on the road, rooted is a good thing.

The central idea of Bound South was that we could not only seek stories, self-transformation, adventure, and brotherhood, but also contribute to a good cause.  That idea is coming to fruition this August as we begin building a house we have co-sponsored with Lake Agassiz Habitat for Humanity.  That all of those many miles and faces of the Americas would lead to a physical home for a family in need is truly humbling and inspiring.  We are so proud and thankful for the good that will be done through the generosity of so many family and friends.

Within the next couple of months, this chapter of our lives will truly come to a close.  David will travel to New Hampshire for college, Nathan will leave the farm to begin his own career, and I will begin training at the United States Marine Corps Officer’s Candidate School in Virginia.  The three of us will probably never experience this kind of an opportunity again, with all of us together, in the same place, chasing the same dream.  It was a beautiful thing to share as brothers, and it will be equally beautiful to recall and recount in the years to come.  We’re going to make for some mighty fun uncles someday.

For now we content ourselves with super fast rides on our skinny-tired road bicycles, reminiscing about all of the crazy stories from our journey, and continuing our work with Habitat and our forthcoming e-book.  Thank you for following us, and in doing so, becoming part of this story that is Bound South.  It is a blessing to see these dreams come to fruition.

Dad and Isaiah showing off some teamwork while on vacation. They made the shot.

Walleye fishing on the Lake of the Woods in northeastern Minnesota and southwestern Ontario.

The day’s catch.

Family photo

Waves of grain

Canola in bloom

Lightweight steel and carbon bikes, check. Honda Big Red to get us to pavement, check. Game faces, check. – We really like our road bikes.

July project: new shingles

Job done.

Ripened waves of grain.

The harvest crew.

Event 1 of the Berg Family Farm Olympics: the 800 meter combine dash.

 

Barley, barley chaff, and more barley chaff (this stuff isn’t fun).

Nathan and his workhorse

Dad and Jamie (a friend from Fargo who is working with us) were a part of the trucking crew. 

Mom’s flowerbed

Familiar roads.

 

 

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Mailbag Monday #9

Today_we_continue our Mailbag Monday series…

Dear Nathan,

I’m Tara.  I live on a farm.   I love, love, love to ride horse.  Do you like to ride bike?  I sort of like to ride bike.  Do you live on a farm?

Sincerely,

Tara

Roadside spectators

Hey Tara,

I had the privilege of growing up on a farm and have learned and seen so many things I wouldn’t have even dreamed of growing up in a different setting. The only pain was that it was difficult to get to town to hang with the city kids, so I had to play with my brothers and sister. My family grows a wide variety of crops including wheat, barley, and sunflowers. We’ve also had beef cattle over the years, which have lead to some pretty interesting school nights. We plan on having the cattle give birth to calves starting in February so it won’t conflict with farming in the summer. The majority of the cows tend to give birth during the day, but occasionally there are a few who miss the memo and wait till well after midnight to get to work. Since it is so cold about this time, as you probably know, we have to bring the calves in to dry them off and make sure they get their first drink of milk. It’s crucial for their immune systems to be fed within hours of being born. We usually bring the calves into the barn in a sleigh that we pull by hand, although I bet we could use our horses if we really needed an extra hand, or hoof.

I enjoyed riding horse when I was back home as a kid and still ride when I get the chance. Occasionally I’ll have friends and family come out to the farm to try to tame our feisty beasts. There is a mutual satisfaction between the rider and the horse. The rider gets a ride and the horse its oats.  Riding a bike and riding a horse are two completely different thrills, and I love them both. Stick with the bike and you never know where you might end up, and it won’t need any oats either.

Sincerely,

Nathan

Beginnings

A few years ago, I finished a coast-to-coast bicycle trip with Bike and Build to raise awareness and funds for affordable housing causes.  I was a trip leader for the Northern US route, stretching from the cool harbor of Portsmouth, NH to  Vancouver, BC on the shores of the Salish Sea.  This was a very formative experience for me to say the least.  The rhythm of pavement and life on the road was addicting.  During my sophomore year, I started planning for a Pan-American bike expedition after I stumbled upon Ribbon of Road.

The foundations of a great journey are laid.  There’s work to do, and Alaska beckons.  For now, I’m savoring my last moments with my family on our farm in rural Starkweather, North Dakota.