Sunday, September 18, 2016

The Family Farm

As long as there is a son in the family who has farming in his heart, I will always have this place to come home to.
It looked totally different back in the 60's and 70's.
As I was growing up we raised wheat, rye, millet, oats, barley, corn, and later a few sunflowers. Oh, and flax, my favorite because it felt good to the feet and hands when you climbed in the truck bed to 'play' as it was getting augured in. Smooth and slippery like satin. Now it's just 2 crops, corn and soybeans. Yes, I'm sure they are both GMO and some day in the future that landscape will again look a bit different.
Dad retired from farming many years ago but my brother and his son are still there and are techno geeks when it comes to the latest and greatest methods. (GPS)
I sometime wonder what my grandfather would think about all of it. He farmed this land first. Well actually someone else did for a few years before him so we can almost say it was always in the family. 

There is still one original building standing. The barn where we milked cows. Not your typical barn, half as tall as most around the country.

 New reflected in the old.

I remember the pasture behind it and the cow trails and how you'd have to dodge the piles. That's where I first learned about grub worms.

There would always be a few foxtails growing there.
On the north edge of the pasture was a grove of trees. I only remember the Russian Olive trees, my favorite. They are long gone as is the pasture and fence. An extremely large metal building stands there where the guys do their inventing and building of specialized equipment. My nephew actually holds several patents and is the genius behind most of it. 

The east side of the pasture was bordered by the river. Technically called the Maple Creek. We fished there in the summer and skated in the winter. Swimming wasn't a good idea unless you wanted to come out with a few leeches attached. My sister-in-law paddles down it in her kayak these days.

Have you ever tried choke cherry jelly? To get the real flavor out one must grind the berries in a sausage grinder so the seeds will crack. The incredibly dark juice will stain everything in site and of course it must be strained through cheese cloth. A process of love for sure and a bit of a lost art in that area now. I was so tempted to pick some but I've cut way back on sugar and don't need this temptation.

And of course the milkweed. Ready to spread itself into the future.

How about your summer? Did you revisit some wonderful childhood places?


  1. Great pictures, especially the new reflected in the old.

  2. Thank you so much for taking us to visit the family farm. I love it!

  3. I didn't visit any childhood places this summer (and haven't in many, many years, actually) but I certainly enjoyed visiting yours through this post. The thought of the family farm going from the lovely diversity of the "olden days" to the GMO corn and soy monoculture of today makes me sad, but one must change to survive, I'm sure. It's wonderful that the farm is still in your family. Thanks for the great photo tour! I especially love the reflection in the old barn window, and the beautiful river landscape.

  4. Sweet memories. Love the images.

  5. Sweet memories. Love the images.

  6. The feeling og time passing by, cherishing the memories ... Yes it is something special to visit the places of one's childhood! Love all your images - the old window and the Maple Creek ... Beautiful


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