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Green Thumb – The Sweet Story of Strawberry Success

Nothing beats the taste of strawberries ripened to perfection in your backyard. Strawberry cultivars are separated into three distinct plant types based on their response to photoperiod (hours of sunlight received per day): June-bearing, ever-bearers, and day-neutrals. Strawberry plants tolerate many soil types but often do well on light-sandy soil with high more

Around the Farm – Planting into Soil Strips

Spring is my favorite time of the year. It’s the promise of another crop, the smell of rain on the soil, and the Cubs on the radio. It’s also one of the most hectic times of the year. We run two planters on our farm, a 16-row high-speed planter and a more

Green Thumb – Seed Starting

Seed starting is a popular way to kick off the gardening season. If you’ve never started your seeds before, there are several advantages to doing so:• Better germination rates because you are providing ideal conditions• Less competition from other plants• Fewer insect and disease problems. Starting seeds to make your own more

Around the Farm – “I Remember When”

Most of the time you will see me “around the farm” with my dad, so I thought I would get his input on this month’s article. My dad has been farming forever and is a wealth of knowledge. This is especially true since farming has changed so much over his lifetime. more

Around the Farm – Supply Shortages

It’s February, which means our farm is currently hauling corn to the ethanol plant in Rochelle, working on some of our equipment, finishing up the books for 2021 and putting the final touches on our crop plan for 2022. When we look back at 2021 it was a good, but challenging more

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