I was driving Dad’s old farm truck along the alfalfa patch last Sunday afternoon when nephew Blake told me to watch out for the corn field.
I looked out my window and then I looked at him and asked, “What corn field?”
“That one,” he replied, pointing out my driver’s side window.
“Ah Blake, that’s a bean field,” I said.
“Yeah, those are soybeans,” declared Zach, who has spent quite a bit more time on the farm than his Fairmont cousin.
It seemed rather odd to me that my nephew wouldn’t know the difference between corn and soybeans. I don’t know why it should — he is a generation removed from the farm.
If just one generation removed from the farm doesn’t know the difference between a corn plant and a soybean plant, imagine the lack of farm knowledge among people who are two, three or more generations removed from farm life.
I can’t imagine not being able to tell the difference between an alfalfa field and a wheat field, or knowing the difference between a cow and a steer. These are things people should just know — especially people who live in farm country.
Thanks to Nobles County Farm Bureau’s Breakfast on the Farm event planned Saturday, people without any connections to farm life can see a real, working farm. They can see where cattle live and how corn plants in the field are turned into cattle feed. They can sit on a tractor seat, go for a hay ride and, perhaps most importantly, speak face to face with local farmers who work every day to feed not just the people of southwest Minnesota, but people half a world away.
Having spent the first 20 years of my life on the farm, I tend to feel sorry for people who haven’t had the experiences I did growing up. Oh, I don’t mean walking beans, picking rocks, baling hay or scooping manure — although all of those farm jobs taught me a strong work ethic. Instead, the experiences that come to mind are the little things — the fun things.
I learned how to drive a tractor when I was about five years old (granted, I steered that ‘M’ Farmall right toward the grove but still, I was the only one with my hands gripping the steering wheel!)
I made mud pies with my brothers from dirt we dug up from the floor of the granary. We built forts in the hay and straw bales up in the haymow and chased geese around the farm yard (more often, the geese chased us … those mean birds!)
There was always something to do on the farm — always some mischief for us kids to get into, and always some place for us to hide when Mom or Dad was looking for help.
I can guarantee that if you visit the Tim Blume family farm on Saturday, they won’t put you to work — although I’m sure there is plenty of work that needs to be done. That is, after all, the life of a farmer.
If you haven’t yet heard about Breakfast on the Farm (there was a story in Wednesday’s Today’s Farm, and it’s been talked about on local radio), here is one more invitation for you.
The Blume farm is located at 28319 260th Street. To get there, just follow Nobles County 35 two miles west of Worthington, then take Nystrom Avenue one mile south and turn west on 260th Street until you reach the Blume’s driveway.
The event is from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and includes a free pancake breakfast.
Free food and fun on the farm, what could be better?