Scarcity and Abundance

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There's been enough scarcity to go around these days. Remember those pictures of the lush corn crop in late June? And that story about The First Cutting of Hay? Well, it was the only cutting. The corn died and the hay crop didn't grow (but is still hunkering in!). No hay to sell and the corn yield will be well below the bill paying level, yet enough not to trigger crop insurance payments (maybe 50 bushels an acre).

Here's what a few hundred acres of dead corn looks like in August 2012.

Sept 2012 download 1390.JPG

The soil is turning to dust and on our farm the clay soil cracks are so deep, you can't see the bottoms. I turned the camera flash on this crack- hoping to see how deep it went. The soils are losing all their structure and becoming fine dust. I suspect this is what they felt like going into the dust bowl years

Sept 2012 download 1495.JPG

And not just farming is impacted by this long, dry spell we are having in our township. I say our township, because the weather has been spotty and erratic. Some farms 7-8 miles away had a crucial July rain that saved their crops. Hell- some of them are getting bumper crops just 15 miles away.

The wetlands are drying up. There is 50 feet of dry pond bottom at the place the kids and I used to put in the canoe. The picture below is the slough at the corner of our section. That pond is completely dried up- the duck nesting house standing in cracked mud.

Sept 2012 download 1468.JPG

And we pretty much got skunked with the garden in 2012. Mike fell on April 13 and by the time he was on his feet it was too late to plant. And yet.... and yet. We are experiencing great abundance of produce thanks to good, caring and kind neighbors. I'm spending all day today putting up a cornucopia of tomatoes, eggplant, zucchini, squash, onions, green and yellow bean, peppers, this 12# head of cabbage. Deb, Bruce, Dorothy, Dianne, Simon and Jo and all of you who have dropped off veggies for us this year-- thank you for sharing your summer's labor with us. We hope to return the favor for years to come.

Produced 2012 from friends.JPG

And so in parting, this summer has seen a scarcity of rain and abundance of neighborliness and produce.

And it somehow fits with the goodness I saw in town yesterday. The Red Cross blood mobile spent a few short hours in our little town of 400 people yesterday afternoon. About 10% of the town's population showed up to give blood- the farmers, truckers, teacher, mom, post master, carpenter, and senior citizens. We've lost so many people from this town and county. And yet.... and yet- here they all are on a nice late summer day, giving back, giving generously, giving from the heart (and vein).

6 Comments

Hope the U got the comments function up and running!

Yes this is a year to remember but always be thankful that you have your health and Mike is mending. I know you won't give up. The best memories I have are from growing up in my small community of 300 people in Iowa. Alot of the corn in Monana county is on the ground from strong winds and the harvest will be nill, all hoping for a better next year.

Kathy--Can you use any more produce? If you want any, please go raid our garden. I think there should be more ripe tomatoes, zucchini, and eggplants. And I know that there is a large watermelon that should be picked--I brought it's twin home last weekend and just cut into it yesterday and it is just at the perfect stage of ripeness. By the time any of us get out there again (next weekend) it will very likely be too ripe. So please take it and the other produce if you can use it. I hate to see it go to waste. I brought home 3 boxes of tomatoes last weekend, managed to give one box away and spent much of today working on the second box, and there's one more in the basement to deal with. So please--take tomatoes!

Thank you Becky- and I am counting my blessings that Mike is doing so very well. And Diane- thank you. When I get back home I'll see about visiting your garden.

Could not get my comment on a few days ago....will try again!
I am so sorry to read of the drought there and of the ill effects! Wish I had the power to reverse time and give you rain when you needed it!! Glad your neighbors and friends are helping out!!
Love from Auntie C

That crack in the clay soil is frightening, to be sure.

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This page contains a single entry by Kathryn Draeger published on September 7, 2012 8:55 AM.

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