Contributed by RL As I went out of the house to run before dawn you could tell it was definitely cooler as I could see my breath in the air, I was glad I grabbed the gloves. I always love running just before dawn because it is so fresh and crisp. Everything is calm, quiet, well if you don't count the dog down the road who lets me know he is up, then there is the occasional sound of the coyote in the distance. There is always a cow or horse making noise and the car or truck that zips by either on their way to work or play as I run down the road. But other than that a nice time to look at the stars and the yard lights that are dotted across the valley while breathing in that early morning fresh air as I try running in the early hours. I often see the lights of tractors out in the fields across the way as they bale their hay. Combines will be starting up later in the day as the morning dew dries off the grain.( Of course our fields are smaller than the ones in the video and our machines are a lot older but they get the job done. You can hear the whistle of the early morning train as it passes through the town of Montpelier. Then the sun starts its rise over the eastern hills revealing fog starting up over the river with the geese rising into the air. Sprinklers out in the fields can be heard as they continue their ever rotating round spreading their life giving moisture to the crops. Then I notice the sure sign that fall is in the air, ice on the fence where the sprinkler water is hitting. Of course it is only down to 32 degrees, nothing that will hurt grain, but gardens will take a hit this morning. I am guessing that there will be those getting their fruits off their trees and their berry bushes so that they can get them preserved by canning them and some made into pies. The wonderful thing about preserving these and other fruits into jellies or jams is that you can use Clear Jel which can be used to thicken soups, stews or any recipe that requires thickening as well. With Rainy Day Foods doing 20 percent off their products through September for National Preparedness Month ( this is a win for all of us. Farmers plan a year ahead so they can prepare their fields in the fall so that the winter snow moisture will be retained in their ground to make it easier next spring to raise the crop they are planning to plant such as wheat, barley or alfalfa. You know the first step in preparing is the hardest for anyone because you have to make a plan. Whether you are deciding on which crops to plant or perhaps a new home or just thinking on how to secure your family's needs, it is best having a plan. ( My best experience about planning, probably because I am fresh and alert in the morning and just eaten, is always after having a good breakfast like a hot dutch oven full of what we call a cowboy breakfast. If you have never had a dutch oven meal you will be in for a treat. ( You can use your dutch oven in your stove or it is versatile enough and tough enough to use over a camp fire. This is what the old pioneers used for cooking when they crossed this country. A cowboy breakfast is a hearty meal starting out with hash browns, bacon, onion, corn and eggs. You brown your bacon first then add your hash browns, sliced onions and corn mixing all together in the dutch oven. Then put it in your oven at 375 degrees and bake for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven then add the eggs mixing these into your dutch oven cowboy meal replace the lid and let stand 10 to 15 minutes to cook the eggs. (You can add some cheese at this time if you would like or to add a little kick some sour cream after the eggs and cheese have melted.) Then you can serve, add seasoning to taste. You know the American farmer ( produces all of these foods for us to enjoy and our families. Most farms here in the Bear Lake Valley have been around for generations and are still family farms with each generation giving a hand. Before dawn you see these hearty farm families out and doing, stopping only to eat and grab a quick nap to help them to keep going to the wee hours of the night. They toil by hand and machine to raise a crop worth selling and often for less than they hope. With a firm faith in God they plow on in hopes that next year will be better. 'Til next time RL