Saturday, August 2, 2014
About this time 51 years ago Ed was all antsy. Dad rented 19 acres for me out by the water plant at Sardinia, Ohio. I was nervous as a cat on a hot tin roof but it was positive excitement.
I always wanted to be like my dad. I still do. He was the nicest guy I ever met. He would do anything for you or me or anyone else. He was a farmer, a true farmer, 24 hours a day for 85.5 years. I bet he is still involved in farming somewhere. Heaven is for Real, isn't it?
I plowed my new land, I disked my new land and my dad helped me plant it with that Oliver 2 row planter behind the Oliver 550 tractor I plowed with. I rotary hoed it three times and cultivated it 3 times. We limed and fertilized and that corn looked good.
Our 4-H Club and FFA Chapter had tours at our farm at Sardinia. That was rated as the best looking project of all the group. I got lots of compliments and I would compare that corn to what our first crop looked like here in 2004, one of the best crops in 50 years.
In September or October, I don't remember when, that all went away. It rained all month like it did here in 2009 and the White Oak creek flooded and flattened every bit of my corn and all of dad's corn. We harvested very few bushels that year and the feed mill gave dad all of their corn cobs from shelling to feed his cows all winter. Hay, corn cobs and molasses got us through that very promising but horrible year.
That changed everything. We learned to farm more upland instead of just grazing it. Farming lost its appeal for a bit so we went searching higher and deeper, just like our parents and teachers wanted us to. That led to a life of teaching children for me but I never lost the farming bug. I just couldn't be a full time farmer and that is OK today.
I wish I had the photography bug back then like my aunts did. I had the farming bug, the engine bug and the ham radio bug. I was too busy to take pictures!
I thought about this while I was driving yesterday and listening to 820 AM, my regular media in my Dodge Dakota. I saw guys ripping up some pretty wet soil yesterday on my trip to Urbana and back.
I hope they don't have a year like I did in 1963.