End of Season Work

Fall Colors

Fall Colors

SOLON— One was planning to harvest corn until Sunday, when he would turn to beans. Half the beans are already in and the fields have been too wet to get the equipment in the last few days. Talk is about how much propane will be needed to dry the harvest.

“It could easily run up to a thousand gallons,” he said. He plans to take a slower approach to erode less of his margin.

Another is cleaning up the fields and barns after a long season. Picking up and stacking tomato cages is the last big task before turning to livestock and wintering.

While no farmer, I’m still picking kale, peppers, apples and a few tomatoes, delaying the garden clean up for another week. There’s a lot to be done before settling inside for winter. People winter too.

Fall Colors

Fall Colors

Not really ready for winter and don’t want to be. Perhaps that’s why I let the scraggly bits of green shoots grow on top of the tomatoes. That’s why I hope for an ability to use more of the abundant kale. Eventually I’ll get the extension ladder out of the garage and pick the high apples. But I’m not ready for the last lawn mowing, mulching the garden, or inspecting the gutters one last time before the cold. Perhaps it all seems too much like death.

So not ready for that. I left the house.

Fall Colors

Fall Colors

The fall colors are just slightly past their peak, and still beautiful. They are breathtaking really, and hard to capture in digital images.

I drove to town to buy a newspaper because my first article appeared in the Iowa City Press Citizen this morning. While I’m mostly digital, having a print copy of my first still means something. I spent the last 75 cents in my pocket on a second copy.

There is a shift at the warehouse this afternoon. To get ready for a celebration, I pulled a couple of beers out of the box to chill while I’m working. Expiration date July 2014, so I hope they are not skunked. Is that still a thing?

Whatever end there is to this season, and it is palpable all around us, here’s a toast to the idea that it will not be our last trip around the sun. May we sustain our lives on the prairie for yet another year, with an abundant harvest, a great margin on our work, and fresher beer.

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