Wandering Minds

When trying to pick a topic for today’s blog…my mind keeps wandering all over the place. I have no topic that I really want to go in depth on today so I will talk a little bit about what’s been happening here on the farm.

I have sat down with the NRCS office, which under Vilsack’s proposal to shut down some offices is on the chopping block, about setting up some intensive pasture areas here on the farm. We have huge issues with erosion and after leasing the land out for the past two years, we have decided that leasing it out was a HUGE mistake.

The farmer, who is a big commercial dairyman, decided to not use the topography of the land or have any respect for the natural environment. We now have hills that are plowed straight up and down that the water just runs down like a creek. We are also having some phosphorus contamination issues in our pond as well.

More stress that we really didn’t need!

What are our next steps? Taking back the land! Using systems like the intense pasture management, controlling water run off and improving drainage are going to be the first steps. It makes me sad to think that we trusted someone to do the right thing and instead they have come close to destroying our beautiful pond. Some people are just idiots and don’t care.

Right here is a perfect example of a small farmer trying to do the right thing and a commercial farm with an ego the size of Texas doing whatever he wants to with no regard for anything or anyone. Well, we are putting our foot down. Enough is enough and he will not be allowed to use the property ever again.

This is also the guy who seems to think that he doesn’t have to abide by the law either. None of his tractors have lights, he completely disregards the manure spreading laws and he drives about 70 miles an hour down our hill (which by the way is full of blind spots, animals and kids). There are just too many things about this guy that rub me the wrong way.

Maybe it’s because I was raised to treat everything with respect. Respect for my environment, my family, the land and even the animals. I know he was raised different too. I actually love his dad. We have very lengthy discussions about farming, God and family.

This whole situation is mind boggling and depressing really. I just can’t fathom what goes through his head sometimes.

But, back to our farm….We have been approved for a no-till or minimum till for all of our plantings this spring. I am exciting to start getting things back to the way they should be here on the farm! I can’t wait to see the grasses swaying in the breeze and watch the cows out in the pasture munching away on it.

I can almost see it in my head now. Lazy times out watching the cows graze, the chickens and turkeys following along digging and scratching for bugs and worms….the sound of the birds chirping. Oh, how I miss warmer weather and the green of the grass!

The view from our top field during the fall months.

This spring is going to be really busy for us. There is going to be lots of work that needs to get done. We will need to plant, build fencing, finish the exterior of the barn, remodel the interior, build a milk house, cheese room, sugar house and still manage to hold down jobs and attend meetings.

But, you know…I look forward to it all! Every last bit of it. If I can manage to get it all done, I will get to live my dream and set an example for others to look at and think about. It almost brings tears of joy to my eyes thinking about it. I can close my eyes and see just how it will all look and I can almost live the moments.

So for now, I will take my wandering mind back and go daydream of what the next year will hold in store for me and our little farm.


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