Friday, June 28, 2013


Once again this year, a drive up through the southeastern part of the state showed the sickening effects of too much rain on too much bare soil.  Some of the academic types who were so quick to collude with industry in the destruction of the small dairy farms that kept at least some perennial crops on the land are having second thoughts, I hope.  Not so much hope for the Washington types who seem willing to push more corn no matter what.

Here in western Minnesota, our soil is different; more clay, less silt loam, less slope, less erodible.  But we are not immune.  Farmers know what the soil surrounding those tile intakes show after a heavy rain and erosion is sometimes obvious from the road here too.  Everywhere the need is for more diversity.  A greater variety of plants on the land feeding a more diverse group of animals and humans.  More people doing different things to create a local economy.  More real wealth for the support of the rural community without increases in commodity production and the resulting hard use of the land.

You all help with that when you buy local.  Thank you!


Saturday, June 15, 2013


Sometimes the way we farm seems very much uphill.  We use neither GMO seeds nor crop chemicals, so spring plantings during wet seasons are a weed problem.  We practice a very conservation friendly six year rotation, so that means we do mostly without the heavy government income guarantees.  We use straw for bedding the hogs instead of liquid manure systems, pastures for feeding the cattle and sows, and much more indoor space per animal for winter confinement of hogs.  All of this may sound like a complaint, but the fact is, we do these things willingly because it seems right to us.  Just as your buying from us seems right to you.  And thank you for it!  The truth of it is, of course, that anything worth doing, is worth doing well. 

Monday, June 3, 2013


Spring is finally here at Pastures, just in time for summer.  Lilacs are coming to full bloom more than a week after Memorial Day, the mourning doves greet me every morning with their "who-who-who", the grazing is well started with two groups of cattle and two of sows out there.  LeeAnn's father's name appeared for the first time on the list of honored dead read each Memorial Day at Sacred Heart.  And a special joy, we have a high school graduation this spring and all the excitement that goes with it.  Jake is our oldest son/grandchild.  How did we get this far so fast?  Prom and baseball and graduation all came so fast it became a kind of blur.  It is what life is, and if we have any sense, we will figure out a way to be there for it, and to be grateful for the chance.