How Great The Yield From A Fertile Field

Random musings from an old farmer about life, agriculture, and faith

Sunday, April 23, 2017

New Life and Death

We finally got a start planting corn late Wednesday afternoon (I hear I missed a really good Bible Study at church!).  We have made good progress, since the weather has cooperated.

Two old area farmers died and their visitations were both Thursday afternoon.  So we took most of a prime afternoon off from field work to pay our respects.  You'd think old farmers would be more considerate during prime planting season, but maybe they are trying to remind us that death is a surety and preparing for it is more important than planting corn.

Gregg Sauder told us we shouldn't be planting Friday and Saturday because of the predicted cold snap.  Cold temperatures 36 hours after planting stresses the seed and can harm germination.  We, along with all of our neighbors ignored his warning and planted anyway.  Farming is always a risk and a gamble with the weather, and we took one.  We hope we don't regret it.

Saturday night I parked the planter in the shed and as I walked past the combine, I heard a new litter of kittens meowing in the feeder house.  Hopefully they will be gone before we have to get the combine ready for wheat or we could have a problem on our hands!

A trailer load of weaner pigs arrived on Monday morning.  They didn't seem too anxious to see their new accommodations!

They are all settled in and doing well now.

In the day shalt thou make thy plant to grow, and in the morning shalt thou make thy seed to flourish: but the harvest shall be a heap in the day of grief and of desperate sorrow.
Isaiah 17:11

Tuesday, April 18, 2017


When we were in Holmes County awhile back, we had a pizza supper one night at the B & B.  We ordered from Park Street Pizza, Sugar Creek, Ohio.  I now have two new favorite pizza flavors.  The first is The Memphis.  The ingredients are; pulled pork, BBQ sauce, onion rings, provolone cheese and cheddar cheese.  The second was Cowboy Chicken.  The ingredients are; grilled chicken, BBQ sauce, bacon, pineapple, mozzarella cheese, and cheddar cheese.  Delicious!  I would like to find something similar around here, or make it myself.

We intended to start planting corn today, but we had a planter malfunction.  We couldn't solve the problem ourselves, so at 9:30 this morning I called the dealer's service department.  I was told they were busy and would call me back.  I pulled the planter back to the shop and waited.  I didn't want to go out to the field to do other work because I was afraid I would miss the call or not be near the planter when they called.  At 12:30 I called them again and was told my name was on the list and they would be calling me.  I spent the afternoon hanging around the planter waiting for the phone call that never came. At 8:00 I put the planter back in the shed, more than a little frustrated.  I could have gotten a lot of other work done if I only would have known they wouldn't call!  We have some fields that are fit, and the rain seems to be holding off.  Let's hope tomorrow is more productive!

Blessed is the man that heareth me, watching daily at my gates, waiting at the posts of my doors.
Proverbs 8:34

Sunday, April 09, 2017


With all the rain we have had lately, the wheat is green and the fields are wet.  We have attracted a flock of seagulls.

In 1892, the National Conservatory in New York brought composer Antonin Dvorak to New York from Bohemia (now Czceh Republic) and commissioned him to compose a truly American piece of music.  They wanted him to base it on the "beautiful plantation songs" of unlettered African American men and women in a plea to ending the cultural parochialism which bound American artists to the European models and racial stereotypes of classical music.
At the premiere, the American symphony that he composed was sneered at by contemporary reviewers as "Themes from Negro melodies; composed by a Bohemian; conducted by a Hungarian and played by Germans in a hall built by a Scotchman . . ."

Thursday evening we enjoyed the performance of Dvorak's Symphony No. 9 in E Minor, Opus 95, "From the New World" by the University of Illinois Symphony Orchestra.  We met Nephew Ned at Za's for supper prior to the concert, and again at DQ following.  It was a good evening.

I recently finished reading Killing Lincoln, by Bill O'Reilly and Martin Dugard.  It is the dramatic story of the end of the Civil War and the account of the assassination of President Lincoln. It is a vivid, engaging, and entertaining story of the events prior to and after the tragic deed and the manhunt for the killer and conspirators.  I recommend it.
It got me wondering though, how the reconstruction would have been much different after the war, and how America would be different today if Lincoln would have been able to finish his second term.

Psalm 12 ] [ To the chief Musician upon Sheminith, A Psalm of David. ] Help, Lord; for the godly man ceaseth; for the faithful fail from among the children of men.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017


Sunday morning we headed West to Mediapolis for church.  We were invited to their Young Group  parent appreciation dinner in the evening.  We sat with Dad's cousin Dave in church in the morning, and had a good visit with him during noon lunch (see Wednesday Evening Blessing).  Several of our cousins and cousins' children attend church in Mediapolis, so we enjoyed our visit.  After church we changed clothes and had a "lunch call" at Brett and Jake's ( DP and deer sticks).  We then made a call at cousin Mary's house and were surprised that cousins Barb and Jane were there also.  At the Fellowship Center, we were served a very good meal of pork loin and finished the evening with a singing.  It was a very blessed evening and we enjoyed the worship and fellowship of the day.  The drive out and back is getting to be familiar.

In one of the daily devotionals that I read each day (Extreme Devotion, Voice of the Martyrs), I was treated to a poem by Constache Ioanid entitled "God Exists".  Constache was a Romanian artist/poet/songwriter who, after being befriended by Richard Wurmbrand, began writing Christian poems and songs.  His poem/song "God Exists" became the rallying song in Romania during the revolution leading to the fall of Nicolae Ceausescu, the brutal, repressive dictator in 1989.
Here is the English translation of his poem.


Oh, no! We are not a dream, an accident,
Nor a self-modeled clay.
But a Creative Force,
A Boundless Wisdom
Molded us.
Truly, God exists!
Oh, no! We are not grim wild beasts,
Led by a ruthless whip.
We have a soul,
And freedom,
A heart that beats for skies up high.
Truly, God exists!
Not ever would the plowed land
A chaste lily’s smile have noticed,
Hadn’t the Almighty his hand out reached
With feelings our inner well to fill.
Truly, God exists!
We bear the Scriptures as a proof,
And never-ending miracles and signs.
And he, who God to see desires,
Should stand in front of Him,
On barricades!
Truly, God exists!
Not always shiny is our journey,
Nor is our life a fairy-tale.
But we do live for it’s worth living
When high, above the narrowed world,
God exists!
Oh, no! We are not void!
What blessedness!
The Ultimate Truth is revealed.
Jesus lives inside of us,
Light and love,
And death is flight into eternity.
What blessedness!
Truly, God exists!

I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.
Revelation 1:8

Tuesday, March 14, 2017


A week ago Monday night, thunderstorms and high winds moved through the area.  While loading hogs Tuesday morning, we got a call from the Township Commissioner letting us know that part of the Township shed was scattered across one of our fields.  Because it was just wind and not a tornado, the pieces were large and they got a crew together and cleaned it up themselves.

Friday morning, we headed out to Leo/Grabill and spent the night with the Klopfensteins.  They took us out to eat at the Cork and Cleaver and I had an excellent piece of prime rib.  At the salad bar they had pickled herring and caviar, so that was a new taste experience for me (I enjoyed them both).  The menu is printed on a large meat cleaver, which was unique and the atmosphere was warm and comfortable.  We enjoyed our visit with the K's and left Saturday morning for Holmes County, Ohio.

We made a stop at Lehman's Hardware Store in Kidron on our way to the Charm Countryview Inn (Bed and Breakfast) in the heart of Amish country.  Sixteen couples, headed by some Rittman couples, put a bid on a weekend at the Inn that was donated to the Rittman Nursing Home for their benefit auction.  After checking in Saturday afternoon, we went to a young Amish couple's home where we were served a traditional wedding supper. We followed supper with a singing, and then headed back to the Inn for fellowship.
Sunday we worshiped with the Rittman congregation.  It was a blessed day and I met a lot of new people and also some old friends.  It was good to see and visit with cousin Jane and meet her four daughters.  In the evening, we had a pizza supper back at the Inn.  After a singing, each of the sixteen couples shared how they met, proposed, and married their spouse.  Each story was unique, interesting, and God blessed.
Monday morning, after a huge breakfast, we decided to head for home rather than shop the Amish stores.  The predicted snow storm had us worried about what the road conditions would be like as we headed West.  We wanted to be sure to be home before dark.
I knew less than half of the couples that we spent the weekend with, but enjoyed meeting the others and spending the weekend with them.  What a blessed fellowship we have in our denomination.

The Charm Countryview Inn

View of Amish farms from the front porch.


That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ.
I John 1:3

Saturday, March 04, 2017

Red Meat

Ameren shut down our power for an hour and a half Wednesday afternoon to do some repair work following the Tuesday night storm.  When the power was restored, we had a ventilation/heating controller that was dead in our pig nursery.  Fortunately we had a replacement circuit board in stock, so I spent most of Thursday morning replacing it.

"The tissue issue is resolved!"  
The wife of my youth is one of the church cleaners and is responsible for purchasing the toilet tissue.  She switched suppliers last week and found out that not all tissue dispensers use the same width tissue rolls.  We didn't even know that tissue came in different widths.  We knew that roll diameter varied, and that softness varies from sandpaper to squeezably soft, but didn't know width varied.  In particular, certain commercial dispensers only work with a specific size roll.  The tissue issue has been resolved, but we now have a whole case of the wrong size to use up at home!

Thursday evening, we received a text from Son#1 saying that all the food in their freezer was soft.  We had several things to do first, then we headed over to assess the situation.  Everything was still cold, and much still partially frozen, so we decided to try to salvage everything from their full freezer.  We gathered ice chests and emptied the freezer and distributed the refreezable food to D#2's freezers and our freezers.  The softest meat went into refrigerators to be cooked first and then refrozen. Meat juices and thawed red beets made the freezer and food a bloody looking mess!  Hopefully it will all be good quality if not a little freezer burnt.

This little farmer stopped by to help Grandpa today.

I think that I have my taxes ready to go to our accountants, along with the oldest farmer's taxes.  It's that time of year again.

And he said unto them, Render therefore unto Caesar the things which be Caesar's, and unto God the things which be God's.
Luke 20:25

Friday, February 17, 2017


A few weeks ago, the hard drive in the laptop failed.  Last week, the operating system on the desktop became corrupted, so we have been short on computers for a while.  I'm waiting on a new hard drive for the laptop, and we just got the desktop back from the Geek Squad last night.  I've been trying to reload programs and reload files from backups.  It's going to take a while to get everything back to normal.  In the mean time, it is frustrating as hardware drivers don't seem to want to load properly, some files seem to have disappeared, archived email is gone, and things aren't syncing well.

We attended the Precision Planting winter conference a couple of weeks ago.  It was educational as usual.  Here is a picture just before the opening session.

Last week we drove down to Springfield for the Illinois Pork Expo at the Prairie Capital Convention Center.  We took a little drive afterwords to circle the State Capital where the Chicago Democrats continue to run our state into the ground.  Illinois is ranked #50 (last) for Best Run states, and #50 (last) for financial condition.

Last Saturday I attended another beginner beekeeping class.  I am getting closer to becoming one, but I'm still afraid of the time commitment.  I plan to start buying equipment, and maybe follow an experienced beekeeper around for a year before I take the plunge.

I ran across a lecture by Charlie Munger that I found very informative.  Charlie, a very intelligent man, is Warren Buffet's Vice Chairman at Berkshire Hathaway.  He gave the lecture at Harvard University in 1995.  It is over an hour long, but definitely worth listening to.  There is a lot of common sense and insight into how and why we make decisions (misjudgments).  He shares his view on our biases and tendencies from a psychological point of view, mostly as it relates to business.  The title of the lecture is; The Psychology of Human Misjudgment.

Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.
I Corinthians 1:10