Sunday, April 22, 2012

April 22!

Happy Earth Day! I have written about Earth Day in the past but today it has a different meaning to me. I was thinking about Earth Day and what I have done to make it a better place and I came up with this conclusion. Learning to no-till is the one best thing I have done for earth from me.

Now I have organized and participated in all kinds of trash pickup, recycling efforts and even tried to get a bottle bill passed in the state of Ohio when I was Farm Bureau Vice President. Our efforts narrowly failed and we still don't have a bottle bill in Ohio or anything close to what our neighbors in Michigan have. I can say one thing about Michigan, their roads are cleaner. Farmers and others don't have to fight broken glass in tires and other bad places as much in Michigan as we do in Ohio.

Dad renting that White 5100 no-till planter in 1976 is the one best thing we ever did on that farm. The soil is still basically there on that old rolling, hilly, plowed-thin piece of land God gave us stewardship over. I can say the same about this farm; we have had erosion but the soil is still basically here and ready to grow a crop like it was in 2004, like we found it, thanks to no-till.

So my gift to Earth and its people is spreading the good word about no-till. With it you can save soil, oil and toil and raise a profitable crop without plowing it. The Plowman's Folly surely told readers what was going to happen if they continued to plow or invert the soil. It was used to control weeds, now we use a little bit of herbicide safe to animals to control those pesky weeds.

April 22 is listed in the Almanacs as a good planting day this year. The signs are right. The most important signs are wrong, though. It's Sunday, it's cold and it's too wet too drive a tractor in the field. So the 18th and 19th were as close as I could come as next week doesn't look much better.

So much for planting corn or soybeans, maybe it's a good day to plant a tree or a bush. We picked out some blue flowers with Liam yesterday at Grant's Farm to plant at his house this week. Today I ask you what have you done for Earth Day to leave it a better place?

You surely have done something and I would like to hear your stories.


Ed Winkle


  1. Well, I do work to make the railroad run efficiently. By doing so I have helped reduce the amount of trucks on the highways and the amount of oil used to run them. This improved efficiency helps get needed supplies to places with less affects on the enviroment. I raise goats for meat. I raise them on land that wouldn't be able to be used for anything and make a food product available that is safe and tasty.

  2. Great comments. Like you, I have spent several years spreading the good word about no-till. You, and many other committed no-till farmers, "preach what you practice". And you keep innovating with new ideas to make the "practice" even better.