That’s a Wrap!

The weekend Farm Report comes to us from Ben.

Wrapped up another growing season on the farm.

Got my corn harvested last weekend. Best yields I’ve ever had plus a decent price so that’s all nice. Inputs costs were exceptionally high, which cuts into the profits, but all in all, it ended up being a good year. Was it the weather? (It was a later spring than we like) Was it the lime applied last fall? Was it the co-op applying custom rates of fertilizer? Was it the fungicide applied to the soybeans? Was it some of everything??

They finished the corn harvest on Saturday, I finished chisel plowing on Sunday, and Tuesday, the co-op spread lime on the fields we didn’t do last year.  I plow at about 6.5 MPH. I was doing about an acre every 15 minutes. Something I think about while I’m out there, it works up pretty rough. And that’s intentional because we want it to hold snow and prevent wind erosion. So driving across the field is really rough in the tractors. 50 years ago, when doing traditional plowing, it turned over all the residue, and if the conditions were good, left the field fairly smooth. And with the smaller tractors and smaller tires, that wasn’t a problem. It was probably in the mid 1980’s that we started doing conservation tillage, meaning we quit using the old traditional ‘moldboard’ plow and started using a chisel plow. One of the rules of the chisel plow is that you need to keep your speed up when plowing because the shovel is only 3” wide, and you want it to physically throw the dirt as it moves through the soil. The shovel is twisted to one side or the other, so my machine has 11 shovels; 5 throw dirt left, and 6 throw the dirt right. The whole thing is about 15 feet wide. Not burying all the residue also meant the machine has to be built to allow more trash to pass through it without plugging up in the shanks of the shovels.

The first chisel plow we got only had 7 shovels. And the tractor was not front wheel assist, meaning it had small tires on the front, and boy, it was really rough going across the worked ground. My tractor now, with MFWD (Mechanical Front Wheel Drive) and the larger front tires, makes it slightly less rough.

Course I had my tractor buddy Bailey with me the whole time.

If it got too bumpy she’d sit up and lean against my leg and I’d rub her head, then she’d lay back down again. It was tough going with some frost in the ground. Some places were frozen more than others; maybe different soil types caused that? There was a few minutes I was working in a snow squall. Weird.

My brother made the comment, “Thank goodness for heated cabs.” I agreed, and said I had thought about that too. I have spent time planting or doing fieldwork wearing a coat and gloves on open tractors. I also said I would have had to quit sooner because the lights weren’t so good back then.

With my bad foot, I generally get a new pair of shoes every fall because I’ve worn one of them sideways. After getting the soybean check is generally when I go shoe shopping. I only want steel or composite toe shoes. I move a lot of heavy stuff and I got enough problems without smashing a toe as well. And safety toe shoes are expensive to begin with.  With the brace I wear on my right foot, I take out the insert and need a size 11 for that foot. I have a custom insert for the left foot, which is 9.5, but since I have size 11, I add my custom one on top of the original and I get along OK. Yet It seems silly to pay so much money for shoes and then I’m taking out some of the main thing. And they have to be built right to fit the brace in the first place. This year I’m trying a pair of Keen boots. $170 at Fleet Farm. Gosh. I’ve been wearing a pair of Sketchers that have been good. These are the shoes I wear every day. I’ve also got a pair of Red Wing work boots I wear when farming. I think I can get another year out of them.

There are a few places that deal in mismatched shoe sizes for amputee’s or other issues with the feet. One place says, “Find your ‘sole mate’.” I’ve never tried them, but I think it’s a wonderful idea.



41 thoughts on “That’s a Wrap!”

  1. I have sixth nerve palsy in my left eye, which is basically a paralyzed muscle. I can only “cross” my right eye. So if I cross my eyes, my right eye does the thing but my left eye stares straight at you in a creepy way. It also happens when I look to my right or over my right shoulder. My right eye crosses but my left eye stays fixed. I’ve gotten a few strange looks. Apparently it’s genetic. My mom and my grandma had it too.

    Liked by 5 people

  2. Rise and Shine, Baboons,

    Ben, I am delighted to hear you had a good year financially, after so much uncertainty in the last several years. You must have had several million dollar rains around Rochester last summer when it was so dry here. We had a terrific harvest from our garden, but we had to water a lot.

    I would love to exchange or sell some antique things that my mother hoarded. This is stuff no one uses anymore—crystal pitchers, tea cups, etc. I have to research how to sell some of this stuff. I also have a display cabinet for these things that I will trade for just about anything else. It used to house all of her things that she wanted to see when she came to visit.

    It seems like today will be beautiful. A long walk with the dog is calling my name. Last night I made turkey carcass stock which then became turkey wild rice soup.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. I’ve got a friend who has several sets of China from their parents. It’s nice stuff but no one uses it anymore and the kids don’t want it. They don’t know what to do with it either.

      Yeah, we did get lucky with rains I guess. I was told a long time ago, once every 10 years will be a real good year, and once every 10 will be a terrible year. The rest will be average. 2012 was a good price year too. And 2016 it was terrible.

      Liked by 5 people

  3. Our move to Minnesota after I retire will help us divest ourselves of lots of stuff. I have one set of good China I will keep for future use. Books are our problem, along with sheet music that Husband keeps but has never played. We can’t possibly move all the books, and it will be tough for Husband, as he keeps many of them for sentimental reasons. I think I will get him the Swedish Death Cleaning book as a help to let things go.

    Liked by 4 people

  4. The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning by Margarete Magnuson. We’ve talked about it a couple of times, and it usually comes up whenever we talk about Marie Kondo, but not always.

    I also have china and crystal. It goes virtually unused. My parents were really insistent that I register for it when I first got married. If I had been able to see into the future, very clearly, I would have absolutely refused and put my foot down, but I was still young enough then to think that I might be living a life someday that I would want crystal and china. Oh well. YA doesn’t want it at all.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. My parents had both fine china and etched crystal glasses. Neither my sister nor I wanted them, so it was cleared out by whatever salvage company cleaned out their apartment after they both died.

      Husband’s parents also had fine china and all kinds of antique glasses. Unfortunately, Hans had all that stuff shipped over here when his father died in February of 2002. We have used the china perhaps ten times – at the most. The glasses were mostly deemed too precious and fragile to ever be used by the likes of us, so here they sit, collecting dust. Just this morning husband announced that, since he has sold all of his cameras, lenses and other photo gear, he has given up on the notion of photographing all of this stuff in order to sell it; so now, he’s just going to sell it! I told him he should consider himself lucky if he can find someone who will take if off his hands for free. He still thinks he has a small fortune tied up in these things. While it’s true that it was expensive in its day, I have my doubt that either of us will live long enough to see it back in vogue.

      Liked by 6 people

  5. Almost everyone our age has a set of china somewhere collecting dust, as PJ says.

    My mom had one foot at least 1/4 inch shorter than the other, due to her scoliosis, and had to have one shoe built up. Most people, including me, have one foot slightly larger than the other, but mine isn’t problematic. I have a couple of places where I have an extra “bump” of bone – one behind my left ear, a tiny one on forehead. I had the larger one x-rayed once and it was nothing but extra bone.

    What I could exchange with someone would be (select) books, clothing, and bowls. It would take a while to go through and select them, though.

    Glad you had a good year, Ben.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. If you look closely enough, I think the faces of most people are not perfectly symmetrical. Mine is no exception. What you can’t see, but which I’m keenly aware of, is that the hearing in my right ear is severely impaired. The left one is moderately impaired, too. Within the past six months, the eyelid on my right eye has begun to droop, to the point where it’s interfering with my vision; and within the past month, I’ve developed a pain in my left knee. I had a knee replacement on my right one, about twenty years ago, and so far, that’s holding up pretty well, but I’m afraid there’s another knee replacement in my not to distant future.

    Other than that, I’m in perfect shape for an old woman if you don’t look to closely at my teeth.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Asymmetry is why we look so weird in photos as opposed to ourselves in the mirror. I read somewhere that people of Asian descent tend to be more symmetrical.

      Personally, I have one nearsighted eye and one farsighted eye. My depth perception is compromised, I suppose, but I don’t have anything with which to compare it.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. I have that same characteristic with my eyes, but if memory serves, it’s the opposite of yours, i.e. I’m nearsighted on the one you’re farsighted on, and vice versa. At the moment though, because of the sagging right eyelid, the right eye is all but useless. I really need to get that fixed.

        Liked by 2 people

  7. i’m perfect in just about every way
    i wouldn’t wish my bum stuff on anyone. i can deal with it. i laughed one day a couple years ago at all my body parts on the bedside table to deal with when i wake up
    since then surgery for 3 or 4 issues add to the frankenstein syndrome but imagine not having access to all that stuff. life 100 years ago had to be very different . imagine life 100 years from now

    hey ben think about some a/b testing where you leave a section with no lime no fungicide whatever fertilizer analysis etc so you can see what kind of difference having vs not having makes with all other variants being similar

    Liked by 4 people

  8. Years ago, a friend had a program where he could take a photo and duplicate and flip half the face and merge the two halves so that both sides were identical. It wad bizarre looking. People did not look anything like themselves.

    When we sold the house we’d live in for 28 years, the only thing either of our daughters wanted was the “fine” china. I had 12 place settings, gave each of them 6 and found the pattern on Replacements Limited and ordered 4 additional place settings so now they each have service for 8. We ate off it on Thanksgiving and it was nice to see it. However, if we had waited until now to downsize, I doubt that either of them would have wanted the china.

    Liked by 4 people

  9. Being left handed makes mismatched to the world in many ways. But then I have always mismatched the world. Spent the day doing muchof Sandy’s care taking. Hard to find hood subs. Right now my fading left eye gives me weirdly mismatched vision. No china but lots of fancy glassware . Trashed lots of stuff last couple weeks.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. As I recall, several of the Baboons are lefties, myself included.

      I was going to say that we never registered for china or silver when we married and never inherited any, but then I remembered there was a set of china that had belonged to my grandma that had a sort of oriental or faux-oriental pattern that my parents passed on to us. It was hideous. It went right out the door again.

      We are overloaded instead with pottery, some of it brought by Robin’s parents from Japan and more that we’ve collected from local potters over the years. I really can’t predict how much of that our kids are going to want to inherit.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. I know the feeling, although I don’t have kids to pin my hopes on. It saddens me to think that belongings I treasure for their beauty, history and/or utility, will end up in a thrift store, or worse.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. For good quality pottery, there are options other than a traditional thrift store. There is a shop on Selby that sells used items made from natural materials, and a number of consignment shops sell home goods as well.


        2. Thanks, Linda, that might be worth pursuing. Do you have the names of the consignment stores? And what’s the name of the place that sells good quality pottery?


        3. The store on Selby is called Practical Goods, located between Snelling and Fairview. Not far from EggPlant. Used to be in the Jax building downtown. Elite Repeat takes some things on consignment, and there are a number of TurnStyle stores that take home goods.


        4. Now that I think of it. Elite Repeat take clothing, but the storefront next to them is called Moveables. They take furniture and home goods.


        1. With the china, I don’t think there’s a snowball’s chance in hell. I have never cared for it myself. The pottery, on the other hand, I have loved from the get-go, and I’ve had a personal relationship with most of the potters that made it.

          Liked by 4 people

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