How Great The Yield From A Fertile Field

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

Friday, May 19, 2017

Finish Line

We finished planting corn on April 25th, a very timely date for corn.  We started planting soybeans, and then the week and a half of rain and cold weather hit.  We were out of the field for two weeks and then were able to get back to planting soybeans.  We also rotary hoed most of our corn (hard crust on soil) and loaned our hoe to, or hoed for, four neighbors.  It didn't help much.  The corn seemed to run out of energy and some just didn't make it out of the ground.  We finished soybeans on Tuesday (16th) and started tearing up corn on the 17th for replanting.  I finished the last replant last night at 10:00.  Just in time for it to get cold and rainy again!  We replanted 240 acres, the most I've had to do in my whole career!

During the heavy rains the last Saturday night in April, we came home to find water on the floor under where the office/"breezeway" attaches to the house.  The wind drove it through where the roof joins the main house.  That was only the second time I ever remember that happening.  We then made a late night run up to church to check the sanctuary exterior exit doors for water leaking in (which has happened before in heavy rains).  Fortunately all was dry.  I left some absorbent socks by each door just in case.

This was our last field to plant soybeans in.  It would have been a beautiful sight if it were not for the  fact that it is a field of weeds.  Our field of weeds.

A hawk lifting off the corner-post as I came near.

A bald eagle stopped in to watch my progress.

I also chased a coyote out of the weeds, interrupting his nap.

Uncle Bill died this week.  He was on hospice, so it was not unexpected.  We were able to spend some time with him at their 70th anniversary open house three weeks ago.  It's unfortunate that it often takes a visitation/funeral to get family together, but it was good to see everyone and rejoice in Uncle Bill's victory.  At his visitation this evening, his jokes were being shared freely, and new ones were being made up.  Some may have started with; Uncle Bill is standing at the Pearly Gates and he says to Saint Peter . . .

After visitation, we headed to Carli Anna's graduation party.  The food was good, the house was packed, and the fellowship was good.  Lot's of family coming to town this weekend for this party, the funeral, and Troy's baptism on Sunday.  It will be a busy weekend.

And the twelve gates were twelve pearls: every several gate was of one pearl: and the street of the city was pure gold, as it were transparent glass.
Revelation 21:21

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