Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Harvesting and Fallow Soil

harvest |ˈhärvist|nounthe process or period of gathering in crops helping with the harvest.• the season's yield or crop a poor harvest.• quantity of animals caught or killed for human use a limited harvest of wild mink.• figurative the product or result of an action in terms of science, Apollo yielded a meager harvest.

Harvesting has begun!  Within four and a half hours, six semi-truck loads were harvested from the corn fields.  Arliss and Travis were doing their best to keep track of the number of times each truck left full and returned empty.  It was impressive to see such efficiency and speed in the whole process.  I was reminded of a picture of my grandfather standing beside a team of horses.  How long did it take him to bring in all of the corn?  I know he was aware of the progress in farming when he retired, but somehow when I compare the size of his Farmall H tractor to the "new" machines, it's a wonder it didn't take "forever" to get the work done.
Once the fields are empty our dogs, Rover and Rufus, are going to have the added room to run.  My dad said, "Just wait until the dogs see the geese in the fields."  Rover has already tried to catch a white-tailed deer, I can only imagine what he would do if he caught a goose.  Or what the goose would do to him for trying.

fallow 1 |ˈfalō| adjective
(of farmland) plowed and harrowed but left unsown for a period in order to restore its fertility as part of a crop rotation or to avoid surplusproduction incentives for farmers to let the land lie fallow in order to reduce grain surpluses.• figurative inactive long fallow periods when nothing seems to happen.• (of a sow) not pregnant.
An empty field serves a purpose, just as much as a field in the middle of the growing season.  A field that stands empty is actually replenishing itself.  Farmers have learned the wisdom in letting the soil rest.  That's one of the reasons farmers also rotate crops.  If a farmer only planted soybeans in a field each year, eventually the nutrients the plant needs to grow would be depleted.  Corn is actually a tyrant in this case, notoriously pulling every nutrient from the soil and leaving it empty for the next growing season.   The Bible says in Ecclesiastes that there is a time for everything and a season for every purpose under Heaven.  Being still has a season, just as activity has a season.
Winter is a time to rest for the fields, the animals, all of creation.  I am looking forward to the season of rest after a very busy season of activity.  I am ready to curl up with tea and a good book and be still for awhile. Until that season begins, we will be busy counting semi-trucks.

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