Friday, July 31, 2009

Barn sale

Boy, July is gone! Mark will be 29 on Sunday? Wow, where did it go?

Bin two and three floors are out and Tyler swept out a lifetime of moldy grain off the floors now removed. Don't worry, I make them wear masks. Safety first.

One neighbor remarked, why did you tear that out? Well, the steel is rusty and I need new augers so I thought I would do it all at once. The floors were built too low and not enough air can get underneath to store the grain. My 18 quarter hours of Agricultural Engineering comes to work.

LuAnn is having a big barn sale today. So many people in two hours. Now over 100 cars today at 3. First day of her four day sale.

The free wagon is funny, some people will run to it first. Please, just take it!

I asked my wife how did Sable behave and she said she did great but there were two vehicles she didn't like. She barked hard and kept sniffing the vehicle.

I think people just like it here. That is good, we do too and that is why we are here.

One fellow is a drafting teacher and farms just up the road a bit. He started asking me about my crop and the next thing you know he wanted to learn how to tissue test. I hope I can help him.

I had a good judging at Owensville but man they had a flood last night. I had to park on the race track. I really wanted to watch the farmer pull tonight but I am sure it was a mess. Besides, I wanted to spend some time with my family.

I think people saw Monday's show and thought I have something better than that. Today they brought it. Beautiful crops and arrangements, the source of the county fair. This fair is enjoying 160 years this week and I hope the can keep it going.

Michelle just called so they are on their way from Columbus. Can't wait to see my cousin and Uncle Roy, dad's only brother. Michelle is my farmer cousin. Every time I visit she is in the garden.


Thursday, July 30, 2009

Old Harry

Just so you know where I came from unless you haven't figured it out.

My good friend Jules in Missouri sent me this piece and here is what I told him.

"You knew I would like that one didn't you Jules?

You trying to get me all warmed up?

Grandpa and dad were chairmen of the Democratic party in their day and school board president like me.

They loved Harry, give em hell Harry the buck stops here.

Now I stand for no one but my family. I have no one to vote for.

Sad state of affairs.

Beer summit, give me a break.

This is how I feel. If I am wrong I will learn from it. I never voted for Nixon but I did vote for Ronald Reagean and not because he was a movie star. I liked Gerald Ford, what a mess he inherited. Sorry, never liked the Bush's. Does that make me a bad person?

Of course not. Harry was a farmer like me and dad and grandpa and I guess we just saw a lot of things the same way. Dad always said he made the most money under Truman and that helped Grandpa retire in town. It worked out well.

"Harry Truman, from Missouri, was a different kind of President. He probably made as many important decisions regarding our nation's history as any of the other 42 Presidents. However, a measure of his greatness may rest on what he did after he left the White House.

Historians have written the only asset he had when he died was the house he lived in, which was in Independence Missouri . On top of that, his wife inherited the house from her Mother.

When he retired from office in 1952, his income was a U.S. Army pension reported to have been $13,507.72 a year. Congress, noting that he was paying for his stamps and personally licking them, granted him an 'allowance' and, later, a retroactive pension of $25,000 per year.

After President Eisenhower was inaugurated, Harry and Bess drove home to Missouri by themselves. There were no Secret Service following them.

When offered corporate positions at large salaries, he declined, stating, 'You don't want me. You want the office of the President, and that doesn't belong to me. It belongs to the American people and it's not for sale.'

Even later, on May 6, 1971, when Congress was preparing to award him the Medal of Honor on his 87th birthday, he refused to accept it, writing, 'I don't consider that I have done anything which should be the reason for any award, Congressional or otherwise.'

He never owned his own home and as president he paid for all of his own travel expenses and food. Modern politicians have found a new level of success in cashing in on the Presidency, resulting in untold wealth. Today, many in Congress also have found a way to become quite wealthy while enjoying the fruits of their offices. Political offices are now for sale. Good old Harry Truman was correct when he observed, 'My choices early in life were either to be a piano player in a whore house or a politician. And to tell the truth, there's hardly any difference."

It is likely that we won't see another Democrat or Republican for that matter, like him again." I really believe that. I am hunting for the party of Common Sense, thank you Thomas Paine.

Hey, I have been wrong before and this is dangerous for a farmer to talk like this. Really? Shouldn't be. We still have that freedom and we need to defend it at all cost.

I better stick to crop production.


Grain bins

It's back to grain bins. This system is old like me.

Unloading augers are shot so I am putting in new floors to go with them.

You won't believe the dirt in the bottom of a grain bin. I have to be really careful because I always had asthma. What a problem for a farmer.

Probably 40 times 40,000 bushels passed through them. That is a lot of grain.

Couldn't believe those oak standards underneath that rusty grain bin floor. You learn something every day. I learned a bunch today and have a whole lot more to learn.

Little by little I have rebuilt this system back to something almost tolerable. I really need a 90 foot leg to hit all five bins. That may have to wait.

Pretty pooped folks, LuAnn has her big barn sale this weekend and next. The place is really look good. Tyler and Jason have done a good job helping.


Wednesday, July 29, 2009


I distinctly remember the day Charlie brought his brand new modified Cockshutt 440 Dodge to the county fair to pull. What a guy, so easy and soft spoken, must have been an inspiration to all those elementary students all those years.

Charlie is there anything I can help you with? No Ed, I think I have it covered.

That became our bylines.

A friend just emailed me Charlie passed away. Gosh, I never got to say my goodbye.

Charles Melton age 67, of Washington CH, passed away on Monday, July 27, 2009 at 12:05 p.m. at the Court House Manor Nursing Home.

He was born on August 13, 1941 in Kentucky to Cecil and Nancy Deaton Melton. He retired as a teacher for over 30 years at the Rose Avenue Elementary School.

He was a member of the Fayette County Tired Iron Tractor Club. Charles loved to build wheel horse tractors and mowers. He had also served as a volunteer fireman with the Wayne Township Fire Department. He was a graduate of Morehead State College of Kentucky.

Charles was preceded in death by his parents, son Brett Melton, brother John Melton and sister-in-law Joan Melton.

He leaves to mourn his loss, his beloved wife Linda Forsythe Melton, whom he married on December 28, 1960; daughter and son-in-law Belinda and Bob Wilson all of Washington CH, brothers Bob Melton of California, David (Donna) Melton of Kentucky, sister-in-law Miriam Melton of Texas; his wife’s parents Wayne and Velma Forsythe of Washington CH as well as many nieces, nephews, cousins and a host of friends.

The funeral service will be held on Friday, July 31, 2009 at 11:00 a.m. at the Summers Funeral Home with Joy Stanforth officiating with burial to follow at the Good Hope Cemetery. Friends may call at the funeral home on Thursday from 3-8 p.m.

Memorial contributions are suggested to Hospice of Fayette County, PO Box 849, Washington CH, OH 43160.

I have determined you Hospice workers are angels.

I saw what you did for dad.

God Bless you Charlie, I know where you are, hope to talk to you again some day.

Ed Winkle

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Dog Days

The dog days of August are almost here.

I can hear the katydids in the pecan trees each night.

"The term "Dog Days" was used by the Greeks (see, e.g., Aristotle's Physics, 199a2), as well as the ancient Romans (who called these days caniculares dies (days of the dogs)) after Sirius (the "Dog Star", in Latin Canicula), the brightest star in the heavens besides the Sun. The dog days of summer are also called canicular days.

The Dog Days originally were the days when Sirius, the Dog Star, rose just before or at the same time as sunrise (heliacal rising), which is no longer true, owing to precession of the equinoxes. The ancients[who?] sacrificed a brown dog at the beginning of the Dog Days to appease the rage of Sirius, believing that the star was the cause of the hot, sultry weather.

Dog Days were popularly believed to be an evil time "when the seas boiled, wine turned sour, dogs grew mad, and all creatures became languid, causing to man burning fevers, hysterics, and phrensies" according to Brady’s Clavis Calendarium, 1813."

Ole Sassy, the black lab howled at the moon every night during dog days. I had to put her in my dark garage at night so she wouldn't howl.

Sable rarely barks but when she does you better take notice.

The crop is all laid by now meaning we have done all we can do to help it. Planting, fertilization, scouting, limited pesticide as needed.

My newest helper is Tyler, an 18 year old next door. He told me that all his friends asked him why he was so interested farming now. He said that is all I hear all day.

He likes biology so it is natural for him to learn the trade.

The young man is a hoot and the owls hoot every night now.

Time for tractor pulls and family fun now. We are enjoying it.

Ed Winkle

Monday, July 27, 2009

Exhibiting Flowers

Years ago one county I worked in had the experience of the flower judge not showing up. The lady in charge asked me if I would do it and I thought me judging flowers?

I have judged shop projects, crops, canned goods and many others.

Crop judging is the one I am probably best suited for but I ended up judging flowers of all things.

Mom always grew good flowers as it adds beauty to the farm and home. LuAnn and I think the Anabaptists take such pride in their gardens as an artistic demonstration of their faith.

Everyone should drive through Lancaster County Pennsylvania in July as we did again this year. We marvel at their gardens and landscape. It must be an ideal climate and soil for such crops.

Today my wife and I get to judge the flowers at that county fair.

I was reviewing what we must do to select the best and grade the show.

Here is a good piece from Vermont.

By Dr. Leonard Perry, Extension Professor
University of Vermont

Planning to enter flowers at the fair this summer? Here are some tips for blue ribbon entries.

First and foremost, flowers must be fresh. When you pick the blooms and how you handle them does make a difference in how well they will last in a cut flower arrangement.

Pick your flowers the day of the fair, preferably in the morning when the stems are filled with water. If you pick flowers in the heat of the day, they already may be partially wilted. When the stems are cut, air may enter the water-conducting vessels, blocking further water uptake.

Select only top quality blooms for your arrangements. Cut at a slant near the bottom of the stem, using a sharp knife rather than scissors, which tend to crush the stems. (Scissors work fine if thin stems. The anvil type pruners tend to mash the stems.) Plunge blooms in a bucket of tepid water to carry back to the house.

The water should be deep enough to come just below the flower heads. Use separate pails for each variety, or wrap each group in newspaper before placing in the bucket.

Indoors, precondition the cut flowers to make the arrangement last for several days. Wash the vases you'll need in hot, soapy water, rinse thoroughly with warm tap water, then fill with fresh water that is bath temperature (about 100 degrees F).

Add floral preservative to the water. You can get this at any florist shop. Without the preservative, bacteria will multiply, clogging the stem ends and causing the flowers to wilt. Place the stems in the vases and move to a cool, draft-free area. Leave there until the water cools to room temperature.

Then it's time to start arranging the flowers. But first check your fair premium book to determine the number of blooms allowed per arrangement and the classes you can enter. If the rules say six to eight blooms per entry, don't stick in ten or 12 or your entry may be disqualified. (This is also a good time to make notes about flowers you may want to grow next year for cut flower categories as well as arrangements.)

For themed categories, such as a holiday arrangement or formal table centerpiece, be creative. For these classes, the container and idea play into the judges' decision as much as the quality, choice, and arrangement of the flowers.

Recut the stems of soft-stemmed blooms under water, removing about one-half to one inch of the stem to allow better water absorption. Submerged leaves will decay rapidly, so be sure to remove all foliage that will be below the water line. Florists are no longer recommending that you crush the stems of woody plants, a practice floral arrangers--and fair exhibitors--have followed in the past.

To transport flowers safely to the fair, dump some of the water out of each vase into a larger container to avoid spillage. Bring this water with you to top off the vases when you arrive at the fair.

Pack arrangements upright in a sturdy cardboard box, using wadded newspaper to keep them separate. Do not let wind from open car windows blow directly on the flowers. Take extra blooms in case stems are broken or crushed during travel.

Give yourself plenty of time to get to the fair before the deadline for entering closes. Be sure to fill out each entry card completely. Then sit back and wait for the judges to announce the winners. One of them may be you! "

I strive to be 90% correct on my selections. Some days you are and some days you are not, that is just human nature.

I think we will do a good job after years of doing this, studying this and learning the fine art of selection and exhibition.

This county fair celebrates it's 160th fair this year so it is a long kept tradition for us in the states.

Long live the family farm and the county fair!

Ed Winkle

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Happiness is...

Happiness is a good crop, a new grandchild, winning the tractor pull, playing in grandpa's office.

I judged 500 crop entries at the Clark County fair in Springfield Ohio yesterday and 300 FFA crop entries. That was about all I could handle. I was mentally tired after studying all the comparisons.

They had record entries and record beautiful crops. I couldn't believe the crop from there to home, I took the back roads home and slowed down and just appreciated the crop.

I better get more trucking lined up for this crop Monday because the trucks will all be busy and full.

Then we watched the little girls while their parents went to a local wedding, can you imagine 600 people at a wedding? They had to wait 40 minutes in line just to participate.

Becky brought Liam and Caoilin over, they all get along so well together. Caoilin has grown so much in one month. Liam showed his cousins our little secret, jumping on our bed. Rule number one, don't tell grandma. I think they heard us laughing next door. Rule number two, no falling off. Rule number three, don't hit your head on bed posts. I just kept making up more rules as they got rowdier.

Kevin woke me up when I realized he was standing in my living room at midnight. Grandma wrapped around one child, another on the floor, grandpa in is easy chair, all asleep. You should have seen the look on his face when I woke up, just observing and smiling.

Shannon said they sat beside my friend Stubby. Haven't seen him in years. Used to camp at his farm, really good guy and smart farmer. He taught me always pay the interest on your farm loan first. He farms north of Dayton with his brother.

Oh boy what a day, grandma and granpa are worn out. We have to go back to work to rest up!

Ed Winkle

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Judging Vegetables

Today I am judging vegetables and crops again.

Here is a good guide by Dr. Jim Schmidt at the University of Illinois.

"Exhibiting Vegetables

A vegetable garden provides you with fresh produce and an opportunity to learn about plants, and it can also give you much pride and satisfaction. Exhibiting vegetables at a fair or show gives you a chance to display the results of your efforts. In addition, it can give you the thrill of competing with others and learning about high-quality vegetables. Regardless of the ribbons you receive or the prize money you win, you will greatly profit from your experience at the fair. As an exhibitor, you can become a better vegetable grower and a well-informed consumer; you will also learn the importance of good sportsmanship. To produce prize-winning vegetables, you need to do the following:

Learn about planting and caring for a vegetable garden.

Plan to have vegetables available at the right time and in sufficient quantities so you can prepare a good exhibit at fair time.

Know the fair rules and regulations, and determine what types of vegetables can be exhibited.

Recognize the desirable qualities that the judges look for.

Become acquainted with the methods of preparing different vegetables for showing at the fair.

Learn the best methods for transporting vegetables to avoid damaging them.

Choose a Section:

Growing the Vegetables
Planning for Quality and Quantity
Rules for Exhibitors
What Makes a Good Vegetable Exhibit?
Transporting Vegetables to the Fair
Desirable Characteristics

Enter your county fair exhibits. This is the backbone of the county fair.

Ed Winkle

Friday, July 24, 2009

Last Sort at DHL

They had their last package sort at DHL this morning. The county is in mourning.

"There was a mix of reactions among workers early Friday as they left the DHL Air Park following the final night to sort DHL freight in Wilmington.

There were some tears, some anger and quite a few “no comments.” But among those who did want to talk, there seemed to be acceptance of the loss of their job, combined with uncertainty about their work future in a down economy.

After aircraft were loaded for take-off, sort and ramp employees would check out at a security shack and turn in their badge. ABX Air’s last flight for the night departed at 5:13 a.m., said company spokeswoman Beth Huber.

One of the first workers approached by News Journal staff said simply, “I have nothing good to say.” He did not want to give his name.

Craig Best of Hillsboro said he wanted to train to be a firefighter, paramedic and hazardous materials specialist.

Susan Canter worked at the air park for nine years, making the 62-mile commute from Felicity for the insurance for her husband who needs a kidney transplant. Now that the job is ending, she’s unsure what she’s going to do.

“There were so many good people who worked here, better people, better workers than me,” she said. “It’s just so sad. I don’t know how else to say it. It’s sad. I used to carpool with three other girls. And now it’s just me. That ride home is gong to be long. And sad.”

David Morgensen of Midland, who worked in the sorting operation for 3 1/2 years, said DHL had “knocked” a lot of people out of work in Wilmington in just a few years time.

Trisha Weddel, who worked at the air park for 2 1/2 years, said she had a second job at a sports bar. She hopes to return to school and study business.

ABX Air President John Graber thanked workers as they left, sometimes remarking, “Be safe.”

For the life of me I cannot figure how a company would spend three, that is THREE billion in upgrades and close the place.

So many funny things going on now so who knows? Our corrupt government owns General Motors?

My neighbors who worked there are doing alright so far. We are trying to help each other and doing more barter than ever.

This county's soil, locaton and people has always made it a stomping grounds. The stomping started when the government put the SAC base here that became DHL and the Nike Missle Base which now feeds cattle and is a mentally handicapped school.

Ed Winkle

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Million Dollar Rain

That is what we received yesterday, the million dollar rain. That is an old saying that farmers used to explain drought busting rain.

Only a 18 day drought so it could have been much longer. 30 days are hard on crops, 60 is usually a disaster.

I got wet all day. I just enjoyed the rain. Usually I like to stay dry but yesterday felt good. Steady rain all day, gutters almost full.

One farmer called it a Billion Dollar Rain and he could be right. 10 bushels more corn wouldn't have to have many acres in the midwest to make a billion dollars.

Farming is big business. Dollars add up fast. It takes less time to take them away.

The market was down again yesterday but the bushels are up.

That is a good thing to me.


Wednesday, July 22, 2009

First Sweet Corn is Gone

We froze 20 quarts last night, might have one more picking from that planting.

Lots of good sweet corn came out of that Vision and Avalon planting. Thanks to Steve, Gary and Jerry for leading me to those varieties. I am sure they are busier than I am right now in harvest, they grow acre upon acre and that is their main crop.

I like sweet corn growers. They are men of the land and really like to help people enjoy their crop that makes their living. It takes a special knack to be a farmer and even more to be a sweet corn grower.

So the next time you enjoy an ear, think of the grower who dedicated his life for your pleasure.

That is really what farming is all about. Dedicating your life to God and fellow man. When someone trashes a farmer I can get upset too easily. A few earned the distinction of being trashed but 99% I have met are true hearted. Why would someone not work so hard for your best interest?

Farmers are asset rich and cash poor. I write checks every day. I handle a hundred dollars to keep one of them, pretty small return, but I love it and choose to do it.

You have to LOVE farming and it is in my blood. Generation after generation in my family were farmers. I had to go teach agriculture for awhile to get my dream.

I am living it right now. A gentle rain is falling on the crops and I just love it. Farmers love rain in July and August.

This corn is gone so now I have to eat broccoli. Which president doesn't like broccoli, was it George W?

Ed Winkle

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Vidalia Onions

We love onions. One of our favorites is Vidalia sweet onions and they are at the Kroger stores right now.

Our bag said grown by Shuman Brothers, Reesville, Georgia. Boy are they good!

Had a big slice with a Tennessee tomato on one our our juicy hamburgers.

MMM good!

I wonder how they grow them so well? Talk about a specialty market.

"Did you know the discovery of our now-famous sweet onions was actually a fluke? Farmers in the 1930s were disappointed with results from traditional row crops like cotton and tobacco. Looking for a new “cash cow,” they planted onions. Imagine their surprise when the fledgling crop turned out sweet instead of hot like regular onions!

In the early 1940s, the State of Georgia built a farmers’ market in Vidalia. It was located at the junction of many of the state’s most bustling roads, and word soon spread of an amazingly different onion, repeatedly described as “those sweet onions from Vidalia.”

Production was slow the next two decades, but “Vidalia” onions were destined for fame. Piggly Wiggly grocery store happened to have a distribution center in town, and it wasn’t long before this pioneer of sweet onions reached every corner of the state.

By the 1980s, farmers united to seek both state and federal protection of the growing region and the Vidalia name. As their onion began its ascent to national fame, local support soared. Vidalia onions had their own annual festival (1977), their own mascot—Yumion! (1980)—and became the Official State Vegetable (1990).

So, what is it about Vidalias that makes them so sweet? Southeast Georgia’s mild climate, the area’s sandy, low sulfur soil, exclusive seed varieties, and precise farming practices make this original sweet onion mild and flavorful. Today, Vidalia onions are a seasonal treat anticipated each spring by millions of consumers coast to coast.

For more information about Vidalia® Onions, contact the Vidalia® Onion Committee at (912) 537-1918."

This about all I know about Vidalia onions other than I like them

Anyone got more information?

Ed Winkle

Monday, July 20, 2009

The German Shepherd

I have been trying to learn more about Sable's breed, the German Shepherd.

"If any breed of dog is most deserving of the title Noble with Natural Beauty then that dog is the German Shepherd.

He is a dog with elegant yet flowing lines, glamorous to behold, with a shining coat, erect ears, and an intelligent expression that will command attention wherever he is seen. His eyes indicate the love and affection he has for those who care for him and his sweeping tail will show his mood whether it be gay or sad.

By nature a German Shepherd is wary of strangers, though once one is accepted by him he is a friend for life. He is an efficient obedience worker, quick to learn and what is learned will never be forgotten. It is an active breed and thrives on work—little is beyond its capabilities. Fleet of foot, powerful yet graceful and nimble, he is the epitome of those qualities considered to be ideal within a dog.

He loves human companionship and will respond to his owner’s mood whether this be lying quietly by his side or romping across the fields; indeed, at all times, his one desire is to be with you and to please you.

He has a keen sense of humor and enjoys playful games yet, in defense of those he loves, can become a frightening adversary that one would be well advised to keep clear of. He can fit into a flat or a mansion as the need may be, for he is happy wherever you are happy.

In bringing a German Shepherd into your home, you are making an addition to your family and he will quickly feel a part of it. Your house, your garden, your possessions and in fact all that you own will from then on be in his special care. He needs your love, but he needs also correct attention to his grooming, exercise, food, and general welfare. Given these, your German Shepherd will devote his very life to you and you will be the richer for this and for the companionship and love you both will share.

In a short work such as this, one cannot look too deeply into the history of the breed for this would take up a volume in itself. However, it is important that all Shepherd owners have an insight, brief though it may be, into the development of the breed for it is this development that has given us the German Shepherd we see today. Only a few early dogs and only one person is named in this history, though it will readily be appreciated that there were many dogs and many people whose efforts and sacrifices have furthered the growth of the German Shepherd.

Almost from the very dawn of mankind the dog has figured prominently. Early man quickly recognized the dog’s ability to complement those faculties in which he was weak. The dog could run better, see better, hear better and had a far more acute sense of smell than man."

I can see why dogs get into trouble because they were bred for a purpose and put in an environment where they can't use their purpose.

Sable is a farm dog. She would drive you nuts if you lived in town. She is the best scouting dog I ever saw, staying ahead of me 50 paces or so in a 90 degree arc. She just does it instinctively.

She will come back and touch base every once in awhile or come screaming by and nip your leg like she is herding sheep.

I guess I am just her two legged sheep and she is my four legged kid.

Ed Winkle

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Record Cool Weather

The cool temperatures are starting to concern farmers.

It is taking all the stress off the crop but it is growing so slowly if any at all. It is like my crop stopped growing.

Dad told me about a year in the 30's like this when they had snowflakes in July while cultivating corn. That must have been near the year that dad told me that buckwheat saved the farm.

Now we have had nothing that bad here and the GDD records for SW Ohio aren't that bad.

Region :Temperature: Precipitation :Growing Degree Days 1/
:Last : :Last : :Since: :Last : :Since:
:Week :Dev. :Week :Dev. :Apr.1:Dev. :Week :Dev. :Apr.1:Dev.
: Degrees -------- Inches ------- -------- Days -------
Northwest :69.6 -3.6 0.82 0.07 12.55 0.40 139 -18 1,342 -35
North Central :68.8 -3.9 0.83 0.06 11.66 -0.88 133 -22 1,337 -1
Northeast :67.3 -3.4 0.59 -0.34 11.46 -1.25 124 -19 1,226 -32
West Central :71.2 -2.5 2.02 1.23 13.89 0.34 149 -12 1,466 22
Central :71.2 -2.4 1.03 0.22 12.98 -0.50 149 -11 1,521 57
Central Hills :69.0 -2.9 0.39 -0.54 11.68 -1.80 135 -16 1,364 19
Northeast Hills :68.9 -3.0 0.22 -0.82 11.27 -2.07 134 -16 1,348 -15
Southwest :72.1 -2.4 0.80 -0.06 14.53 -0.10 156 -10 1,594 62
South Central :71.5 -2.9 1.18 0.35 16.60 3.44 152 -11 1,609 45
Southeast :70.2 -2.8 0.40 -0.50 13.39 0.09 143 -13 1,505 44
STATE :70.1 -2.9 0.84 -0.01 13.13 -0.11 142 -14 1,442 19

Maybe we expect too much?

Of course we do but we are still concerned. The good thing is AC bills are down, we are sleeping better and I have been wearing long sleeve shirts to scout in which I should be anyhow! Usually it is just too hot to wear them.

"B. Climate
1. What kind of weather does the commodity like?
Soybeans like warm weather and lots of sun.

2. Is there a specific condition the commodity needs (full sun, shade, etc.)?
Soybeans need lots of sun and moderate amounts of rain. Soybeans can withstand dry weather better than many crops.

3. Are there ideal temperatures the commodity needs?
The ideal temperature for soybeans is 80-90 degrees Fahrenheit."

I know God will take care of us and we should relieve ourselves of worry.

That is hard to do some days!

Ed Winkle

Saturday, July 18, 2009

The Old 1370

The farmer who retired from this place had a 1370 Case tractor. It was a big tractor in its day.

His son Les bought it from him and it was the first tractor he ever owned.

After we bought the farm it pretty much stayed here until last night.

This week it got prettied up and shown off at the county fair.

It showed itself off. It went 402 feet in the 12,500 Farm Stock class against some pretty good tractors. 402 is a floating finish 300 foot track. 310 is a full pull now at NTPA tractor pulls.

Marty Quigley had a dolled up 1070 Case there that ran really well. I didn't even know Marty had one.

The Stahl's brought a bunch of red ones from Clermont County. Someone had a real sharp 1206, probably prettier than new.

The local Case mechanic brought out a rusty hooded 1370 that everyone knows runs hard and it did.

Lots of Deeres but not one Allis Chalmers.

Main thing everyone had lots of fun. Best county fair I have been to in years, especially in Wilmington. Last year was miserable because we learned that Airborne was closing down and DHL was leaving.

What a difference a year makes.


Friday, July 17, 2009

Modern Miracle

"FORT ST. JOHN, British Columbia -- Fort St. John Royal Canadian Mounted Police say it could easily have been a tragic situation.

A 3-year-old boy left his family's campsite Sunday morning and rode his battery-powered jeep into the Peace River, floating more than 7 miles downstream.

A search began when the Demetrius Jones' family noticed he was missing, and a local boater spotted the child still sitting in his jeep in the water. He was wearing only a diaper and T-shirt.

Constable Jackelynn Passarell says even though the boy was not injured during the incident, parents must be aware of the dangers posed by moving water.

His relieved parents said he was more excited about getting to ride in a police car than anything else."



Thought I would give you an update on Sable the Shepherd.

Sable Von HyMark is now 9 months old. She goes with me everywhere.

It is like she knows my moves before I make them.

She has visited Happy Tails and Terry Pitzer's boarding kennels by now and got along well. They both say she is very smart and well behaved for a pup.

She likes to walk with little dogs by walking right over them the same pace as the little dog like she is guarding them. It is the funniest thing you ever saw.

I was paying Jeanette and she said come over here and watch your dog. I have never seen anything like it.

She is large enough you wouldn't think she is a pup but she is. I have to keep remembering that as you enforce old commands and try new ones constantly.

I will try to get a recent picture up here because she has obviously grown.

She is one good looking dog. And you talk about loyal, I pity the dude that would try to hurt me or LuAnn.


Thursday, July 16, 2009

Farming is...

There is a thread running in the Cafe of NewAgTalk called farming is.

You ought to go read it.

Those guys are good! They sound more like artists or poets than farmers but they are very realistic.

Farming is:

A way of life.

All I have ever done.

All I ever wanted to do.

Pulling into the shed and being so tired you can't get off the tractor just yet. I got dad with his head on the steering wheel many times.

Helping your neighbor.

Your neigbor helping you because he broke down in the same spot when he farmed that field years ago.

No doubt farming is our future and the world as we know it well stop when it ends. This country takes farming for granted because it was always the backbone of our economy and everything we do.

I just thought it was a really good thread this morning and I know you will enjoy it.


Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Streak of Weather

We have had a streak of nice weather few can relate to in the past.

I know we had some years like this but I never wrote them down. I am thinking at least 25 years and even maybe in the 70's.

A cool High Pressure Zone settled over our area around the 5th of July. On the fourth it rained slowly all day.

This has been great for work outdoors and crop scouting, absolutely picture perfect. Crop wise we could sure use a good soaker but that is not in the forecast.

You can walk outside any night barefoot and the soil is cool but the grass is dry. That is quite unusual for this many days in a row.

Climatic cycles and solar flares have always interested me and this is no exception.


Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Hired a New Helper

We hired a new helper last night.

LuAnn and I have learned to manage more while hiring work done, we can't do it all ourselves.

The young man seems eager. He will have to figure out a lot of things for himself as we are doing other tasks.

I tried to help a neighbor boy 5 years ago but he was too young and I was too busy to teach him. I will always feel bad about that deal but we both tried.

You ought to walk outside. We have had the most beautiful skies these nights. I see the sun peaking throught the east out my office window. Very few stars and the planets are shining through.

It is going to be busy keeping the new help busy today and I have several hours of serious paper work to take care of.

I guess we will get it all done somehow.


Monday, July 13, 2009

The Story

You have to hear the real story.

10 years ago today I got this special email from a lady in Buffalo NY. She was working on a grant for notill for her farmers in Erie County and my name kept coming up on

I had just signed up for an ag singles online group and I must admit I was scared.

It wasn't that at all.

She asked honest questions about notill farming and I gave my best answers. We must have written in a way that was interesting to each other because we just kept writing.

I guess we were new kids at the keyboard.

It turned out that she was divorced with three kids, I was divorced with three kids and one day I got up the nerve to call her, I believe it was in August. We decided we should meet and she asked me to pick a place for that occasion.

I picked Geneva on the Lake, Lake Erie near Ashtabula.

On October 10, 1999, I was sitting on the tailgate of my old 1990 Dodge Dakota, just whiling the time away, kicking my legs back and forth.

Here she comes in brand new shiny blue Ford Expedition and I looked down at the licennse plates.


I thought oh my God, I have met my match. I knew right then my life would never be the same.

I was so intrigied by her I drove past every gas station on the way home and ran out of gas near SR 38 on Interstate 71. I counted several hundred cars gone by until I guy finally stopped.

It was a wonderful day, long night and prediction of the future. I had to teach school at 7 AM the next morning.

On June 22, 2001, Reverend Fred Shaw performed the Native American ceremony merging of soil and water during our wedding vows. I never saw a dry eye in the place.

I will never forget the look on Uncle Roy's face as dad had just passed away January 3 that year.

You know, a guy just can't make this stuff up.

Kevin, Shannon, Madison, Brynn, Eric, Stacy, Tyler, Tara, Erik, Matt, Rachel, Corbin, Claire, Rebecca, Will, Liam, Caoilin, Mark, Anna. Just from one little email.

As a plus, Becky won the County Beef Showmanship Award that day.

We can both laugh at it now as July 13 had a much larger implication on our family.

Happy Anniversary my friend.


Nice to be liked

But... I am reading through my Ohio Country Journal after dinner and there I am scheduled to speak on cover crops at Delaware Ohio on September one!

I never agreed to such a deal but LuAnn did say there was a phone message about it.

I have to admit I am getting bad about phone messages.

Dave Brandt did you do that to me? I know it wasn't Steve Groff.

Sorry folks, don't intend to be there.

I intend to be in Oregon with Garth, Brian, Buddeshepherd and the like. That Old Pokey seems like an interesting character, too.

I hope the old Chevy will make it that far, Been too many years since we made that stretch across the beautiful states.

That is only a month and a half away so I better get digging.


59 Chevy

My first car was a 59 Chevy, yellow and rust, you wouldn't be caught dead in that thing.

I know LuAnn wouldn't.

I have this boy asking me for work and I really want to help him. We have this 2001 Pontiac Grand Prix sitting in the garage we don't use but for a spare.

He saw that and he drooled, he actually drooled.

I know that feeling, I had it in 1967.

I wanted off the farm so badly dad bought me a 59 yellow Chevy for $100 from Naylor's car lot in town.

It was ugly but to me it was my crown jewel. I got my license at 17 and drove my sister and I back and forth to band practice at Macon, Ohio.

SR 32 had this long staight stretch from Macon to Sardinia. One night a state Patrol clocked me at 105 MPH on that stretch. That was wide open, 6 cylinder Chevy three on the tree.

When I got home I just handed my keys to Mom. I said I am not going to be needing these for awhile.

The judge gave me 6 months probation. I rode my bike and walked more than I ever had before.

Ed Winkle


No, it is almost cold. Is this year going down as one of the coldest on record? It sure seems like it.

The crops are just sitting there in low gear. We need some heat and moisture to get them going again.

I know, I know, farmers are never happy!

When I see Gore on TV I just laugh out loud then I get mad. What a crock of bull and waste of money.

Cap and Trade? Are those fools nuts? There I go getting into trouble again.

I better stick to crops and kids. I am much safer with those!

County Fair opened Saturday and Madison shows her pig here in a little bit so I better get on the road.

I have some good pig stories if I get around to them.


Saturday, July 11, 2009


I am blessed with the neatest friends you could ever ask for.

I got home and there is David Brandt at Carroll, Ohio leaving me a message on cover crops. He said Ed, Bruce Goodwin might be able to help you.

No Doubt. I met Bruce when I was the ag teacher at Blanchester many moons ago. Young kid fresh out of Wilmington College and enrolled in my Adult Farmer Classes.

What a class act. He told me one day that Ed, Pioneer is trying to get rid of their little dealers. Would you give them a note?

No, I gave them an earful. I said Bruce is one of the sources for Agronomic information in these parts, do you really want to cut him off? Local farmers DEPEND on his information.

That was one of the best pieces of knowlege I ever shared.

They got wise and didn't let him go. I think they had too much invested and they heard too from us little guys.

Bruce is just a farmer like me but he is one smart farmer.

I had him come here and look at my wheat last fall. I can call the shots but doggone it when the rubber meets the road I wil call on Bruce. He will explain all the things I have been thinking of then lay it on the line.

Bruce, I owe you my dear friend.

You are one good sonofagun.

Ed Winkle

Another Week

Another week went by so quickly, where did it go?

It is true the older you get the faster time flies. You younger readers better keep your seatbelt on.

I missed the Orleton Farm Sale. Orelton is where they found the dinosaur bones in central Ohio in the fifties. Pretty neat article if you find it.

"The central Ohio land market saw a major test June 30 as 6,001 acres passed under the gavel. The sale involved the historic Orleton Farm located in Madison County. The farm featured 5,324 contiguous acres and another 677 acres not far away. In all, the farm sported 5,549 tillable acres. Halderman Real Estate Services handled the sale.

The first round of bidding concentrated on the 25 individual tracts. After that bidding closed, the auction for the entire farm as one unit began. There were four competitive bidders for the farm as a single unit. In the end, Midwest Farms, LLC, an Indiana-based farmland investment group purchased the entire unit.

"The Orleton Farm sold above our original expected range," states Howard Halderman, President, Halderman Real Estate Services, Wabash, Indiana. "We had bidders from all corners of the United States: Florida, New York and the West Coast, as well as many local interested parties. We feel the price is well substantiated by the fact that we had over 73 registered bidders. The final outcome was not surprising as we had many inquiries into the farm as a single purchase. The sale price of $27.1 million and the number of interested parties indicates continued strength in agricultural land values in the Midwest, especially for prime farms such as Orleton."

I like to attend such sales and rub elbows with the upper crust. Money and land are just tools to get you from point A to point B so I just have fun with it. You meet the neatest people at these sales, people who made it big with a good hunch.

Some is inherited but how many interited a bunch and lost it all?

LuAnn and I have had to scratch for every nickle and it has made us better people.

When you are given too much it just makes you lazy unless you are really disciplined.

Our society is not disciplined as a whole.


Friday, July 10, 2009

My Friends

In 1992, I was selected as a member of LEAD Class IV at Ohio State. There I made many new friends, one of whom was Bill Coppess, farmer near Ansonia, Ohio.

We like to compare notes on family and crop and looks like Bill's family took a hike up in the USDA.


WASHINGTON, July 9, 2009 - Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today named Jonathan Coppess as Administrator for the Farm Service Agency (FSA).
"Jonathan Coppess brings a wealth of agricultural policy experience to USDA's leadership team," Vilsack said. "His farm background will be invaluable as President Obama and I work to assure the soundness of the safety net for American farmers and ranchers."

Previously, Coppess worked for U.S. Senator Ben Nelson as his Legislative Assistant for Agriculture, Energy and Environmental policy. He joined Senator Nelson's staff in February 2006, and practiced law in Chicago for four years before returning to Washington to work on agriculture policy.

Coppess grew up on his family's corn and soybean farm in west-central Ohio, where his father and brother continue the seven-generation farming operation. He holds a bachelor's degree from Miami University, Oxford, Ohio, and a law degree from The George Washington University Law School. Coppess and his wife, Susan, have a nine-month old daughter. They live in the Washington, D.C. area.

The FSA administers and manages farm commodity, credit, conservation, disaster and loan programs through a network of federal, state and county offices. These programs are designed to help producers manage their business risks and improve the stability and strength of the domestic agricultural economy."

I know some really neat people.

That is cool!


Thursday, July 9, 2009

Pa Trip

Just got home from our another trip to Pennsylvania. We got to Maryland, Delaware and New York. The crops look good.

The dairymen are really hurting in Pa, heard it time and again. They need more stable prices for their product. The average dairyman gets a dollar a gallon for milk and all they do is package it and haul it to us. What do you pay for milk?

Lancaster County is like the garden of Eden to us every time we visit. The fields and flowers and landscape is so beautiful, breath taking. They are in a very special area of soils and climate and they use it to the max.

Got home and my test plot is tasseling depending on hybrid. 30 hybrids replicated in one 50 acre field. It is absolutley gorgeous though I think 2004 will turn out to be a bit better but who knows.

One of the coolest stops was the Milton Hershey School I wrote about. 10,000 acre school where Milton Hershey had the dream of teaching kids how to grow up by way of a farm. He has been very successful.

I met so many nice farmers this week, I can't quote them all. My first farm was a dairyman with all IH tractors and his dad's original IH 806. I told him I had fond memories of pulling one just like it and the ball got rolling.

Another farm had all White's and Olivers. We hit it off at the beginning. So much to talk about. He was raised just like I was.

Another farm I was so embarrassed, the farmer through open the cab door on his IH rotary combine cutting wheat for me to get it. We started talking and in a few feet it died. He had pulled in a gob of of wet wheat. He said sorry but I was more embarrassed than he could ever have been. LuAnn was sitting in the car and saw and said Oh No.

Pennsylvania leads the nation now in no-till acres and I know why.

What a beautiful week and trip.

Ed Winkle

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Merle Haggard Story

I have been working some with Merle's cousin John and got reinterested in Merle's story.

"Hennig refers to his film as a documentary of Haggard’s life and art. “I like to call it art more than just music,” Hennig said. “Because I think he’s one of the greatest poets of the 20th, and now 21st, century.”

Currently, Hennig’s crew has been on the road with Haggard and his entourage for about a week. He said they came to Bakersfield to learn more about the how Haggard grew up and about his friends and family. Hennig politely referred to Bakersfield as Haggard’s playground.

The previous night, Hennig’s production team moved about the hidden recesses of the Fox Theatre. They filmed Haggard’s Feb. 13 show not only from either side of the stage but from between cracks in curtains. Afterward they captured the mood and essence as family members and friends disappeared into Haggard’s tour bus.

The entire time, Hennig’s cameras rolled. They captured fans outside a gate and even held a camera into the tour bus windows for a glimpse of Haggard’s nightly show-on-the-road life.

As they passed along historic Route 99 the next day, Hennig was presented with the idea that Bakersfield’s old highly-valued traffic artery had undergone a transformation over the past 40 years. Fancy Basque restaurants along a stretch of a once rural motel-pocked road had fallen out of the city’s favor to become a dilapidated stretch filled with businesses, and in some areas, a shantytown of drug-infested motels where prostitutes frequent. One memorable Basque restaurant had even been gutted to become a casino.

Hennig’s fascination with Haggard began while exploring the life of Gram Parsons in the 2004 documentary he wrote and directed, “Fallen Angel.”

“Gram was influence by Merle Haggard quite a bit,” Hennig said.

In one of the film’s scenes, “Fallen Angel” documents John Nuese, a fellow Harvard student and musician of Parsons, who told him in 1965 about Merle Haggard and Buck Owens. Haggard’s and Owens’ work became much of Parsons’ building blocks as he ventured into a hybrid of rock and country that he called “Cosmic American Music.”

Parsons died in 1973 at the age of 26, but he helped spawn the country rock movement. Hennig’s film has been received as the first official documentary of Parsons and includes interviews with country music stars Dwight Yoakam and Emmylou Harris, as well as Peter Buck, Keith Richards and others.

Hennig said after he created “Fallen Angel” he wanted to learn more about Haggard, calling his life a “true American epic story.”

While Hennig notes both Haggard and Parsons both suffered the emotional trauma of losing their fathers early, he said the rest of their lives have been vastly different. He said the Haggards were a hard-working family, but not poor, and never quite fit the Steinbeck "Okie" cliche of starving dust bowl immigrants. He said they had to work for a living, and they did so with pride.

Hennig defines Parsons differently: “The most striking biographical difference is to me that during his short career, Gram always led a financially comfortable life as a trust fund kid, but never got a grip on his personal demons. He finally burned out and tragically died at the age of 26, leaving behind a great and influential, but somewhat limited, body of work. Merle however overcame the obstacles in his way, and, although struggling at times, blossomed and matured artistically, continuously creating songs that touched and continue to touch the core of the hearts of so many people.”

The pickup eventually wound along the Panorama Bluffs for views of the Kern River Oil Field before descending onto Alfred Harrell Highway to Ethel’s Corral, one of Bakersfield’s last remaining bars with a Honky Tonk theme. There, people can tie horses to hitching posts and enter the rustic building for food, drinks, and on weekends, dancing.

While outside, the film crew walked up to a giant statue of a Native American where they met a man who had been on Haggard’s baseball team. Wearing a cowboy hat and dark glasses, the man laughed that since the team didn’t win very much, they were called “Merle’s Girls.”

After interviewing some of the patrons who played Haggard’s music on a jukebox, Hennig sat down and spoke with ABC23: “He created this unbelievable body of work,” he said about Haggard. “Unlike most other country artists that are still around, with the exception maybe of Willie Nelson, he continues to do it. He’s not a cabaret act. He’s not a greatest-hits show in Vegas. He’s on the road, I don’t know, 100 dates a year, and keeps getting better. He’s still writing albums all the time. He’s writing extraordinarily great songs.”

Asked what he found fascinating about Bakersfield, Hennig said it’s “interesting to see the oilfields, the pumps, the long roads, some of the Honky Tonks. You start to get an idea of the kind of place this must have been 40 years ago.”

While Hennig spoke, just behind him a dog lay just outside the back door to Ethel’s waiting for a food scrap. Soon a truck engine started, and there was a pause while the crew prepared to drive into Oildale. They were going to make their first visit to Trout’s Bar.

Hennig sat at a picnic table and waited for the truck to drive away. He’d spent days following one of the most lasting country legends alive. In Ethel’s at least, there was no sign of a young country big band getting ready to blast the Bakersfield Sound. There was only a jukebox. “From what I understand when I talk to people from here, that magic time in Bakersfield … is probably pretty much over,” he said. “Doesn’t mean there’s no longer a scene and no longer bands playing. But unfortunately, Nashville won. At least for now.”

Quite amazing, this walk in life, isn't it?


Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Milton Hershey School

“It was Kitty’s idea,” Milton Hershey always said when he spoke of the Hershey Industrial School. “If we had helped a hundred children it would have all been worthwhile.”

Fifteen years younger than her husband, Catherine Hershey developed an undiagnosable illness circa 1901, and was increasingly sickly for years. Hershey’s father, Henry, had been highly intelligent, but not too realistic; his get-rich schemes never worked too well. Hershey did not cope well with the instability; he had attended seven different schools, yet never made it into the fifth grade,[5] so when Kitty was unable to bear children, the Hersheys decided to give needy kids the kind of upbringing he never had. Milton and Catherine Hershey established a home and a school for “poor, healthy white, male orphans between the ages of 8 through 18 years of age.”

On November 15, 1909, Hershey signed over the 486-acre (1.97 km2) farm where he had been born, complete with livestock, to start the school. In 1910, Nelson (age 6), and his brother Irvin (age 4) were the first to arrive. Their father, who had worked as a polisher in a Mount Joy foundry, had died after a long illness, and their mother couldn’t support six children by taking in laundry. Their brother William, 2, was too young to be admitted for two more years. Another pair of brothers, sons of an Evangelical church’s pastor, arrived a few days later. The first class consisted of 10 students, and by 1914, there were 40 boys enrolled in the school.

While Hershey consulted with experts on managing the school, he used three guiding principles to ensure the students had a good education, a sense of stability and security: every graduate should have a vocation, every student should learn love of God and man, and every student should benefit from wholesome responsibility. The vocational education program started with a woodworking shop, where the boys made their own beds and chests. Although Hershey was nonsectarian, claiming the “Silver Rule” as his religion, Sunday school was held regularly at the home. Starting in March 1929, the boys got the responsibility of doing daily chores in the dairy barns.

After Kitty’s death in 1915, Hershey gave his entire personal fortune - thousands of acres of land, and controlling interest in the company, worth US$60 million - to the school. He continued to be involved in the school’s operations until his 1945 death.

The organizational papers were modified in 1933, allowing the school to accept older students, and again in 1951 to change the name of the school from the “Hershey Industrial School” to the “Milton Hershey School.” In 1968, the school was racially integrated, although it wasn’t until 1970 that the organizational papers allowed that, and another modification 1976 allowed female students, who started arriving in 1977.

In 1989, the school stopped requiring students to milk cows twice daily, reflecting a changed focus from vocational to college preparatory education, but students were still required to perform chores.

Maybe you knew about his amazing school but I really never knew the story until someone explained it to me today.


Monday, July 6, 2009

Wheat Harvest

Wheat harvest is in full swing in the eastern states.

Yields seem to be good from what I have seen and heard.

Hopewell continues to be the number one certified Ohio wheat variety!

If you enjoy Oreo cookies or any kind of pastry, think of us! Ohio is the number one provider of soft red winter wheat.

We used to bale all the straw but there are so few livestock around here anymore that many farmers just blow the straw back on the ground, it is loaded with nutrients.

Many farmers have Shelbourne stripper headers now and just strip the grain off the stalk. This is popular in Europe and is becoming more popular in the states. I have several friends who use stripper headers. The advantage is faster harvest speeds as you don't have all that straw running through the combine.

It makes for some funny looking fields if you are not used to it!

Ed Winkle

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Sunday Blues

LuAnn and I always had to fight the Sunday blues. It is a down mood after a good weekend doing what you want to do and not looking forward to another weak of challenges.

I always had them going back to college after farming all weekend. Yes, I was a weekend warrior too long. Since 2002 I haven't had to so it hasn't been so bad for me.

LuAnn is still working though and has to go back to work. We would rather stay home and work in our gardens and play with our grandkids.

Do you get the Sunday blues?

How do you handle them?

I have to pay a lot of attention to LuAnn on Sunday so she doesn't get them. She will even tell me it is coming on so I drop everything and we go do something fun to get our minds off it.

I am no psychologist but I know they are real.

How we handle our mood changes definitely affects our happines and our ability to handle new challenges.


Saturday, July 4, 2009


I used to enjoy fireworks but haven't seen many in years. Last time I remember was with Paul Reed's family in Washington Iowa near Keota. The place was packed.

I have to give the Blanchester community credit, they do a pretty good job honoring the fourth.

Sardinia had the best around but it fizzled out, literally!

I get so that when I hear big booms now I am looking over my shoulder. Usually some piece of equipment just blew all over the ground and that spells money and downtime.

Hearing is probably my best sense, it sure isn't vision.

Got to get my eye test so I can pass the drivers license again this year.

Without my keys I would riding a bike, the Mule or a tractor.

Independence Day, that is what it is all about.


Friday, July 3, 2009

Has the fourth ever been more special?

I think about our soldiers protecting us almost every day.

I often think about all the discussion on how tosolve our country's problems and I really wonder if this fourth of July is most special to us?

We used to attend the then once big Sardinia Fourth of July Celebration. Dad would always take time out for that. That became a big deal in our little town.

There could be 100 tractors and floats from all over the region in that parade.

Antique cars from everywhere.

I have pictures somewhere I would have to scan and post.

I have three orange boxes full of pictures! Uncle Roy would love to see them I am sure.

Happy Fourth,

Ed Winkle

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Here's to dad!

Dad was born today in 1915.

I have tried to imagine what it was was like then. He had older sisters, Florence and Mildred and he was number three of nine children. Uncle Roy and Aunt Jane are still here with us.

They watched automobiles, tractors and electricity come and the out house go.

Dad taught me so many valuable lessons but the big ones were hard work and respect of others.

I am wearing a long sleeve shirt today like I do in late fall. It is 62 degrees and the crop is all stationary. It is just sitting here, waiting for heat.

Dad talked about a year like this and I think it was 1936. They cultivated corn under snowflakes. The crop was so short that buckwheat was planted and saved the farm to feed the livestock. I have always had a fond admiration for buckwheat and buckwheat pancakes.

Yesterday Dad had another Great Grandchild born. With all the girls in the family the Winkle name is becoming more extinct but the bloodlines are still here.

When I held her I was holding her for dad, too.

We love and nurture our family and try and represent our ancestors all at the same time.

It is really amazing.

Before LuAnn's dad passed last month his little great grandson spread his little self across Gordon and told him he loved him, sobbing, knowing grandpa was short for this world.

Isn't that what life is all about?

So many people are yearning for this but our families have learned how to "spread the wealth," and I don't mean money, and pass it on.

I pray it never ends.

Ed Winkle

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Caoilin's Here

Round face, 8 lbs, long piano fingers, 21 inches long, healthy baby.

Becky did well and she is so happy. My hat's off to these young women, three grandchildren and a grand nephew in one year!

Nine months is a pretty long time in these days and the girls get all the credit.

Papaw is very happy.

Caoilin, Tyler, Claire and Joshua, what a crew. Seven within 6 years of age.

See you later or as Brynn says, C YA.

I need to go see her and her sister soon. They are all precious.


No Delicious Living

LuAnn picked up this free magazine at Kroger's called Delicious Living.

She said read this article and walked away. I think she knew I would get mad.

Some treehugger wrote about farmers and ethanol ruining the world in a so called free grocery magazine where I have invested thousands in 40 years.

My local Krogers is the only place I can buy E-85 and yet they hand out magazines disputing it? Left leg doesn't know what the right leg is doing!

Drea Knufken obviously never had a real job in her life or has any understanding how food is produced or what is really going on in the world.

We want peace but we start wars. We want food but we have to buy fuel. Did anyone ever really study our past?

A good farmer friend said Ed, you are getting cynical. Who me? I want my grandkids to have a life and a whole bunch of people are trying to ruin it for them!

We are dangerously getting to a point that people are so far removed from their food they don't understand the process, even if they got an A in Biology.

The best thing I have seen this year is LuAnn's garden. She is putting people right back to their roots, where "corn is grown and future farmers meet."

If I saw a family with a garden in their front yard, I would knock on the door and shake their hand.

But we are probably considered queer in this society!

Sorry for the rant, but the CEO of Kroger is going to hear me, guarantee you.

One of the VP's signed my paycheck for 8 years. He is a good man and will address this issue. He is a scientist from a long line of family farmers in Ohio.

All this hoopla this week and they are missing the point!

Food is basic, we all need to know how to grow it or trust those who do it. Everything else comes later.

Ed Winkle