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Field Meals Don’t Have to Be Complex

While dishing up meals in Styrofoam to-go containers happens simultaneously with the roar of a diesel tractor, signing its harvest season, some farm families go with plan B.

In Elko, Minn., dairy mom Emily Zweber says that after 20 plus years of hay season with her husband, she has learned that she doesn’t need to make special field meals.

“If that is your thing, awesome,” she says. “But also, if special field meals aren’t your thing, awesome.”

Zweber works side-by-side with her husband, Tim, on their dairy farm, milking 100 grassfed, organic cows and farming 400 acres. The couple also has three children.

“I work full time on the farm, too,” Zweber says. “During hay harvest, the crew gets lunchboxes full of ‘preschool snacks.’”

Zweber tosses in an apple, frozen string cheese, veggie pouches and chips or cookies.

“I’ll throw in a PB&J, too,” she adds. “They want stuff they can eat with dirty hands and can sit for 24 hours in a warm lunch box.”

Zweber says that other farm moms shouldn’t feel stressed when trying to wear multiple hats.

Dairy mom, Kristina Haverkamp wholeheartedly agrees with Zweber. Haverkamp farms alongside her husband, Brian, milking 800 cows and farming 900 acres of corn, 300 acres of soybeans and 400 acres of alfalfa in Seneca, Kan.

Haverkamp has a full kitchen and bathroom in their shop. She keeps the refrigerator completely stocked with all the sandwich makings and lots of healthy snacks, as every load of silage goes past the scales at their shop.

“The fridge is stocked with cold water and even cold beer for the end of the day,” she says. “If I know they are going to put in a big day, I will make them all a goodie bag with a hot sandwich and snacks. I park by the silage pile and give them all a goodie bag and send a bag along for the guy running the chopper.”

Haverkamp does this all in-between her round of chores.

“It just helps keep the wheels rolling and everyone happy,” she says. “Hats off to all of us who work in acres not hours.”

Yes, many farmwives pack the coolers and hand-deliver meals to the tractors, wagons and chopper, but as farm wives and moms are becoming busier, one farm mom reminds us, “It’s okay to work smarter, not harder.”

What is your favorite field meal snack or tip?


August 17, 2022



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