Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Bill's Bits

SUMMER ON THE FARM:
Just having had a summer of hot and dry weather jogs my memory of farm days back in my early "teen years."
Once the crops were in for the summer growing season was also a time for those "pesky" weeds to make an appearance.  One of the first weeds that I recall was the yellow mustard that loved to grow in he oats and flax fields.  Walking through those fields was no easy task and to top it off, each weed had to be pulled out by the roots and then carried to the end of the field, because if left, the plant could possibly re-root and start growing again.

Other growing crops (corn, beans and others were walked through also.

Once the Mustard plants were pulled came another weed called the Canadian Thistle. These plants were not the kind to be pulled because they had prickly stickers on them.
The use of a hoe was a way to slow down their growth some, but it was not long before new shoots came back to haunt the person who had sweat up a storm just to try and get rid of them.  If the thistle pant got ahead of one's hoeing, then the plant started to grow its purple-ish flower. These lovely additions had to removed quickly so they would not go to seed and start new plants next year.

A County Weed Inspector kept a very close eye on these "noxious" weeds. Later, when spraying weeds came along, one had to be careful not to over-spray and damage the good plants that needed to be kept growing.

Another weed that made for more pulling out was the well-known Cocklebur. These pesky plants were also carried to the end of the field to be sure they didn't re-root and start growing again. On a 13 acre field that we had on our 80 acre farm, I kept track of the cocklebur plants we pulled, and the figure was 492 individual plants.

Now I know why I became a teacher instead of being a farmer.  Oh Well! it was hard work, but in the end, it was satisfying to know that you tried to be a good farmer.

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