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The fruits of our labor

Richard Isackson comparing the size of a wild sunflower with the commercial variety.

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It is that time of year again. Frost is in the air. Leaves are turning. Seeds planted with such hope in the spring, barring hail, wind and drought, have come to fruition. Hulking combines have emerged from their lairs newly greased and oiled, their motors tuned ready to invade the fields. There they will devour the dried stalks of corn and beans spewing forth stream of golden corn and beige colored beans into the waiting carts.

There has been an abundance of hay this year. The only problem was trying to find enough dry hours to swath and bale it. Some producers said they had not had one cutting that wasn’t rained on before they got it baled.

Already, the melons have been picked. Most were hauled to outlets to be sold, but a good many were passed out to friends and neighbors to enjoy. The biggest demand for pumpkins is in October and November. You see them in nearly every yard or porch in fall decoration displays. And is there a child, young or old, that does not have to have at least one jack-o-lantern? Pumpkin pie! It isn’t Thanksgiving without pumpkin pie.



We have a lot of unsolicited help these days with the harvest. The deer come every evening to drink at the tank and lick at the salt blocks. They meander up to the yard and eat the leaves from the young trees and the mum blossoms. These they must consider their appetizers before moving on to the main course (the corn). In the fields, they tug the husks back and daintily eat the kernels leaving the barren cobs on the stalks to verify the fact that though uninvited, we’ve had dinner guests.

Though, luckily we have not been invaded by turkeys most of our neighbors have flocks strutting through their yards, roosting in their trees, dropping feathers, etc. over their yards. They, too, enjoy the corn, jerking down corn ears, scratching and eating the newly sprouted wheat. In their favor, they help keep the grasshopper population down. However, this year the insect is so prolific, I think the birds are tired of the diet and have switched to grain.



Through the years we have tried various field and garden crops. For a couple of years my husband raised sunflowers. They did quite well – big, strong plants with huge, golden heads filling a field. It was fun to see how the heads turned with the sun throughout the day. We see few crows, but those years, they found the sunflower fields. They didn’t do a great deal of damage, but they definitely liked sunflowers seeds.

Our oldest son, Randy, planted pumpkins and watermelon patches at our place for a couple of summers. They grew like crazy. We had big, lovely pumpkins to give to family and friends. The watermelons planted in an old corral, did equally well.

We have tried sweet corn at various times, but the raccoons beat us to the ears just before they were ready to use.

It used to be our practice to try something new each year in the garden. Some years, the new item was successful and sometimes not. Besides the ordinary vegetables, we tried peanuts, sweet potatoes, asparagus, snow peas, broccoli, okra, turnips, parsnips, brussels sprouts and a wide variety of gourds. Some became favorites and others were failures. One year we stored gourds in the haymow with the hay bales. We, more or less, forgot about them. When we checked them out after a year or two, they had dried to the extent they could have been used for children’s toys or cut into large spoons or drinking dippers. I think we made a birdhouse or two from them.

Truly, we are a fortunate people to live in a land where there is space to raise abundant crops and the freedom to do so. We have varying climates so that we can raise a wide variety of fruits, vegetables and grains. We are able to trade with other nations and to give to the less fortunate. May we always treasure our resources and thank God for our good fortune. May we always be a nation of plenty and a nation that shares.

It is that time of year again. Frost is in the air. Leaves are turning. Seeds planted with such hope in the spring, barring hail, wind and drought, have come to fruition. Hulking combines have emerged from their lairs newly greased and oiled, their motors tuned ready to invade the fields. There they will devour the dried stalks of corn and beans spewing forth stream of golden corn and beige colored beans into the waiting carts.

There has been an abundance of hay this year. The only problem was trying to find enough dry hours to swath and bale it. Some producers said they had not had one cutting that wasn’t rained on before they got it baled.

Already, the melons have been picked. Most were hauled to outlets to be sold, but a good many were passed out to friends and neighbors to enjoy. The biggest demand for pumpkins is in October and November. You see them in nearly every yard or porch in fall decoration displays. And is there a child, young or old, that does not have to have at least one jack-o-lantern? Pumpkin pie! It isn’t Thanksgiving without pumpkin pie.

We have a lot of unsolicited help these days with the harvest. The deer come every evening to drink at the tank and lick at the salt blocks. They meander up to the yard and eat the leaves from the young trees and the mum blossoms. These they must consider their appetizers before moving on to the main course (the corn). In the fields, they tug the husks back and daintily eat the kernels leaving the barren cobs on the stalks to verify the fact that though uninvited, we’ve had dinner guests.

Though, luckily we have not been invaded by turkeys most of our neighbors have flocks strutting through their yards, roosting in their trees, dropping feathers, etc. over their yards. They, too, enjoy the corn, jerking down corn ears, scratching and eating the newly sprouted wheat. In their favor, they help keep the grasshopper population down. However, this year the insect is so prolific, I think the birds are tired of the diet and have switched to grain.

Through the years we have tried various field and garden crops. For a couple of years my husband raised sunflowers. They did quite well – big, strong plants with huge, golden heads filling a field. It was fun to see how the heads turned with the sun throughout the day. We see few crows, but those years, they found the sunflower fields. They didn’t do a great deal of damage, but they definitely liked sunflowers seeds.

Our oldest son, Randy, planted pumpkins and watermelon patches at our place for a couple of summers. They grew like crazy. We had big, lovely pumpkins to give to family and friends. The watermelons planted in an old corral, did equally well.

We have tried sweet corn at various times, but the raccoons beat us to the ears just before they were ready to use.

It used to be our practice to try something new each year in the garden. Some years, the new item was successful and sometimes not. Besides the ordinary vegetables, we tried peanuts, sweet potatoes, asparagus, snow peas, broccoli, okra, turnips, parsnips, brussels sprouts and a wide variety of gourds. Some became favorites and others were failures. One year we stored gourds in the haymow with the hay bales. We, more or less, forgot about them. When we checked them out after a year or two, they had dried to the extent they could have been used for children’s toys or cut into large spoons or drinking dippers. I think we made a birdhouse or two from them.

Truly, we are a fortunate people to live in a land where there is space to raise abundant crops and the freedom to do so. We have varying climates so that we can raise a wide variety of fruits, vegetables and grains. We are able to trade with other nations and to give to the less fortunate. May we always treasure our resources and thank God for our good fortune. May we always be a nation of plenty and a nation that shares.

It is that time of year again. Frost is in the air. Leaves are turning. Seeds planted with such hope in the spring, barring hail, wind and drought, have come to fruition. Hulking combines have emerged from their lairs newly greased and oiled, their motors tuned ready to invade the fields. There they will devour the dried stalks of corn and beans spewing forth stream of golden corn and beige colored beans into the waiting carts.

There has been an abundance of hay this year. The only problem was trying to find enough dry hours to swath and bale it. Some producers said they had not had one cutting that wasn’t rained on before they got it baled.

Already, the melons have been picked. Most were hauled to outlets to be sold, but a good many were passed out to friends and neighbors to enjoy. The biggest demand for pumpkins is in October and November. You see them in nearly every yard or porch in fall decoration displays. And is there a child, young or old, that does not have to have at least one jack-o-lantern? Pumpkin pie! It isn’t Thanksgiving without pumpkin pie.

We have a lot of unsolicited help these days with the harvest. The deer come every evening to drink at the tank and lick at the salt blocks. They meander up to the yard and eat the leaves from the young trees and the mum blossoms. These they must consider their appetizers before moving on to the main course (the corn). In the fields, they tug the husks back and daintily eat the kernels leaving the barren cobs on the stalks to verify the fact that though uninvited, we’ve had dinner guests.

Though, luckily we have not been invaded by turkeys most of our neighbors have flocks strutting through their yards, roosting in their trees, dropping feathers, etc. over their yards. They, too, enjoy the corn, jerking down corn ears, scratching and eating the newly sprouted wheat. In their favor, they help keep the grasshopper population down. However, this year the insect is so prolific, I think the birds are tired of the diet and have switched to grain.

Through the years we have tried various field and garden crops. For a couple of years my husband raised sunflowers. They did quite well – big, strong plants with huge, golden heads filling a field. It was fun to see how the heads turned with the sun throughout the day. We see few crows, but those years, they found the sunflower fields. They didn’t do a great deal of damage, but they definitely liked sunflowers seeds.

Our oldest son, Randy, planted pumpkins and watermelon patches at our place for a couple of summers. They grew like crazy. We had big, lovely pumpkins to give to family and friends. The watermelons planted in an old corral, did equally well.

We have tried sweet corn at various times, but the raccoons beat us to the ears just before they were ready to use.

It used to be our practice to try something new each year in the garden. Some years, the new item was successful and sometimes not. Besides the ordinary vegetables, we tried peanuts, sweet potatoes, asparagus, snow peas, broccoli, okra, turnips, parsnips, brussels sprouts and a wide variety of gourds. Some became favorites and others were failures. One year we stored gourds in the haymow with the hay bales. We, more or less, forgot about them. When we checked them out after a year or two, they had dried to the extent they could have been used for children’s toys or cut into large spoons or drinking dippers. I think we made a birdhouse or two from them.

Truly, we are a fortunate people to live in a land where there is space to raise abundant crops and the freedom to do so. We have varying climates so that we can raise a wide variety of fruits, vegetables and grains. We are able to trade with other nations and to give to the less fortunate. May we always treasure our resources and thank God for our good fortune. May we always be a nation of plenty and a nation that shares.


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