The fields have been harvested, and the traffic of combines, tractors, and grain carts has dissipated. Early November was extraordinarily beautiful. November 2nd I had my windows open and was outside in shirtsleeves--quite the contrast with two years ago, when it snowed in October. It has finally cooled down, and we had our first snow yesterday.
There are at least three country churches within reasonable walking distance of my home. This one, East Friesland Presbyterian Church, recently celebrated its 150th anniversary. A few miles away there is another church, West Friesland Presbyterian. West Friesland church is actually northeast of the East Friesland church: they were not named for their locations, but for the part of Friesland [Frisia], Germany each congregation immigrated from.
|Cattle at a neighbor's creek, September 25th.|
It seems many years we either have flooding, a drought, a hail storm, or something of the sort that sends grain prices up for the farmers that survive, and causes a lot of worry for those who don't. This year weather conditions were pretty much perfect. The only unfortunate excitement in the area was when a field of standing corn caught fire.
A few years ago there was a drought and grain prices went up to over 8 dollars a bushel. Some of the Hardin County farmers had crop failure since their soil is not as rich, but insurance covered most of them. Grundy County farmers had a decent harvest in spite of the drought because Grundy has some of the richest soil in the state. Since the price of grain was so high, they did well. This year everyone is having a decent harvest, so grain prices are normal, and farmers seem to be more or less breaking even.
My family started farming in Hardin County back in the 1850s and 60s, but my branch lost their farm in the 1920s and moved to cities. In the 1990s, my grandparents decided to move out of Waterloo to an acreage in Hardin County. Soon after, my uncle Rick (see his & my cousin Keith's photography website here) moved back from Florida, and finally my immediate family and I moved from Oregon to another acreage only a few miles away. Although none of us are farmers, it's very nice to live in the area where our forefathers lived, plowed their fields, harvested, and are buried.
|Top photos: October 14th. Bottom left: Sunrise, October 26th. Bottom right: November 21st.|
"I would rather be on my farm, than be emperor of the world." --George Washington
"The meek shall inherit the earth; and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace." --Psalm 37:11Many thanks to those who have participated in my survey and giveaway! Kit-Kat candy bars are currently leading over last year's incumbent favorite, Snickers, by a very small margin. The survey closes tonight at midnight. If you have strong feelings about which candy bar should win (and have not yet voted), there's still time to vote here.
The Barn Collective, Inspired Sunday, Our World Tuesday, Wordless Wednesday, and Good Fences.