Farmers Came to Town

Gold Rush and Snow Sweet apples purchased on the last day of the season, Oct. 31, 2019.

The soybean harvest was disrupted by snowfall.

Several inches fell in the last 48 hours. Farmers came to town, including to the home, farm and auto supply store.

It will be a wet crop, propane prices are already higher. The main worry is when will farmers be able to get soybeans and corn out of the field. There’s no clear answer.

Farmers sought things to help deal with unexpected winter weather: boots, gloves, salt, sand, feed, bedding, shovels, and the like. We do a fair amount of trade during and after snowstorms.

Employees who farm called in asking for an additional shift because they can’t get in the fields. Our pay is meager, but off-farm income is important in the financial calculus of small-scale farming.

In the nearby county seat there is little discussion of the daily lives of row croppers and livestock producers. Those city folk come to our store, but to purchase pet food, shovels for the walk, disposable hand warmers, and ice melting compounds less harmful to pets. We cater to everyone.

After my shift I diverted along the Interstate to visit the orchard sales barn on the last day of the season. While there, I was recruited to work an event in December. Details are sketchy but why wouldn’t I do it?

I picked a dozen Gold Rush apples for storage and another five Snow Sweet for fresh eating. There were still a lot of apple varieties available.

Hurrying home, I made final preparations for Halloween, which included sweeping and salting the front steps, preparing a bowl near the door for treats, and baking pizza for dinner. Our visitors during the two-hour window for trick or treating were neighborhood children, many of whom made a previous costumed appearance on their parents’ social media accounts.

Regarding the Nov. 5 election, I’m settling into choices. I asked around about the election of our trustee on the Kirkwood Community College board and plan to vote for the incumbent, Tracy Pearson. For school board my decision is not final. I’m leaning toward Carlos Ortega and Jami Wolf. I also like Lauren O’Neil. If she doesn’t win this time I hope she runs again in 2021 when three positions are up. I’ve written so much about the school board election I thought it important to communicate where I’m landing. It seems doubtful most of the hundreds of post readers will find this obscure reference to the election. I’m okay with that. It’s not about me.