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November, 2013

  1. Lunch at the field

    November 3, 2013 by Peter


    Emma with some corn

    Emma inspecting the corn, another tough day at the office!

    One of my fondest memories growing up was when we would make a trip out into the field to have lunch with my dad.  Mom and Grandma Esther would work to prepare the day’s meal and pack everything for the long trip out to the field then load it and us kids into the car for the drive.  I remember enjoying the warmth of the sun on my face as we would drive.  Mom and Esther would talk in the front seat while we would explore the back seat of the car.  This was in the days before booster seats, side airbags and the like…it’s a wonder we all survived!

    I would enjoy staring out the window, admiring the brilliant colors outside.  The sky always seemed a bit brighter, and the grass greener when we were making a trip out to “the field.”  My mom tells me that when I was younger I would get really excited to see the tractor in the distance and yell “There’s Daddy!” only to start sobbing when it disappeared behind the next hill.

    It was always exciting to jump out of the car and wait for the tractor or implement to pull up to the car, big clouds of smoke and dust trailing behind.  Dad would jump off the tractor and come give us a hug, smile, and sit on a blanket with us while we ate.  It was (in my mind) like having a picnic every day.  Grandma Esther would go for long walks along the section lines; sometimes I would follow her and hold her hand while she told stories.  Other times I would stay on the blanket and listen while the workers talked about the day’s activities.

    Since we moved back to Kulm, I have tried to make those opportunities available to my girls as well.  Depending on the weather, some days are better than others to bring them out.  Not every day is an idyllic picnic (as I’m sure we can all understand).  There are times when the weather doesn’t cooperate.  No one wants a picnic in


    Our new “Crop Inspectors”

    high winds combined with cloudy skies and cold temps.  Other times the time doesn’t cooperate.  Many days “lunch” or “supper” are handed out and people eat while on the combine/truck/tractor.  But Saturday was a great day for a picnic, and we enjoyed spending time at the field!

    Lara and Emma were reluctant to go initially.  Lara more so because she “was bored” and Emma was happy with whatever was occupying her at the house.  I even drug Julie along despite her complaints about “chores”.  We proceeded to drive out to the field and park along the edge, waiting for “Grandpa” to pull up with the combine.  It was a wonderful day with a nice warm sun, slight breeze and hardly a cloud in the sky.  Emma and Lara busied themselves  by walking through the corn, examining the cobs and bits of dirt.

    After a brief, but pleasant meal of chili it was time to get back to work.  Grandpa took Lara back into the combine to ride for a few rounds.  We had the opportunity to see a beautiful buck jump out of the corn.  Julie and I both admired it, but for different reasons.  I wished I had a gun with, Julie a camera.

    In all it was a great day and a good chance to make a few memories.  I enjoy small moments like this when I have a chance to remember my childhood, and give my kids the opportunity to remain connected to the land and our history.

  2. What a year!

    November 2, 2013 by Peter

    Lara loves the farm!As I was writing the remaining thank you cards for my customers today, I spent some time reflecting on the year we have had here in our area. Last winter we were worried about a drought – there was little snow on the ground, and the crops had used much of the ground moisture in 2012. Then the dry winter changed as we received a large amount of snow later on. This brought a new concern of when growers would get into the field to plant! Fortunately we were able to get the crops in the ground, only to find that the weather had plans to withhold rain for more than one month. Things were drying up fast and not looking to improve.

    In addition we had major wind storms and heat to put more stress on the crops…the fields needed rain. Ironically we did receive rain, right about when everyone wanted to start harvesting. At that point the rain became a blessing for next year, and a curse for trying to get this year’s crops off the fields. Growers alternated between beans and corn, wishing they had planted more wheat. Then a brief snow came, followed by more rain…

    DCIM161GOPROI’ve heard growers say they just want a “normal” year. To which I respond, “What would that look like?” Each year is a new adventure faced with many challenges, trials, moments of joy, and filled with many hours of hard work.

    As I seed seller, I look at my role with great joy and a heavy burden. Growers partner with me and entrust their livelihood on the recommendations I make and the products I bring to the market. I in turn trust the producers I work with to provide quality products so we can all be successful. It’s a great circle of trust, communication, and (at times!) frustration when things don’t go as planned.  But I remain grateful for my customers – for the trust they give each time they work with us to plan another year.

    Here’s to a wonderful 2014! As we close the chapter on this year, we look forward to a new crop season with anticipation.