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Around the Farm – Meetings, Maintenance & More

Many people ask me, "What do farmers do during the winter?" While things slow down some, compared to harvest and other times of the year, there is still much to do! One thing that all farmers do in the winter is participate in meetings. This isn’t something I thought of before I more

Around the Farm – Holiday Traditions

Farming is not just a 9 to 5 job. It is 365 days a year and can include long hours for most farmers. For my family, we are typically wrapping up our harvest field work for the fall and then I begin my winter business of selling pre-cut Christmas trees to more

Around the Farm – Harvest Recap

I write this with a sigh of relief that the harvest season is over. I am always excited when it begins and just as excited when it ends. This year things went pretty well, although there always seem to be some challenges or breakdowns during harvest.For the 2021 harvest, our main more

Around the Farm – Pig Farms & Biosecurity

Biosecurity is an important measure that farmers take very seriously in order to keep our animals healthy. For hog farmers, biosecurity practices start even before the pigs show up on our farm. Once the pigs are here we continue our biosecurity measures by limiting unnecessary visitors, therefore reducing exposure to possible more

Green Thumb – Sensational Succulents

In 2009, I had the opportunity to tour the Ball Seed Demonstration Gardens in West Chicago. There I learned that one of the cutting edge plant trends was to be growing succulents. Really? If I had been in the desert southwest, this would not have surprised me; but for northern more

Green Thumb – Colorful Chrysanthemums

Chrysanthemum is Japanese,She's a fine lady, if you please.She comes to see us once a year,about the time Thanksgiving's here.— Elizabeth Gordon By late summer, the petunias get spindly, the coneflowers get floppy, and the phlox come down with mildew. That’s when chrysanthemums come to our rescue, revving up our enthusiasm more

Around the Farm – Assisting with Aerial Applications

It's that time of year again when you see the yellow planes out diving over the corn fields! (At least it was when I wrote this at the end of July.) I love this time of year! Several years ago I started helping one of those crazy guys dive bombing the more

Green Thumb – Alliums

They're Not Just Onions Anymore Alliums are a large, diverse family of plants. The allium genus contains 700 different species.We first find them in early American kitchen gardens where onions and chives were important plants to grow for culinary purposes. Today, many new forms of the original alliums have been hybridized more

Around the Farm – Family Vacation

As a new self-employed hog farmer it can be challenging to get away for a family vacation, however it is something that is important to my family.Stepping away from the farm for a week means finding someone else to complete daily chores, make feed for the pigs and keep a more

Green Thumb – What’s That Weed?

A weed is a plant in the wrong place. As a small child I got a kick out of picking dandelions just to blow away the fluff. Now I pluck them from the lawn in slow motion. Dandelions have a bad rap because they spread so easily, but it’s important to more