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.
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
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.
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.
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).