Winter Rye

I finished picking corn Thursday about dusk. And went straight to bed. I’d been up since five am for I don’t know how many days, working till near ten pm each evening. On Wednesday night at a quarter to ten the feeder house disintegrated. Where it attaches to the combine on one side was splitting apart stopping the rattle chain where it would jam up in the pinch. Looked like an old wound that had been welded by the previous owner. Or his blacksmith. The greater part of Thursday was spent wrenching another feeder house off the parts combine onto the “new” one.

I was ready to roll by mid afternoon. Afternoons are very short this time of year. We are what, a week away from the shortest days of the year? Sun stands still. Our little Indian Fall was just the window of opportunity I needed to finish up combining corn and get a drill full of homegrown rye planted on the headlands for a cover crop. Or another rye crop depending on when it germinates. Quite possibly the last day this crop year to run in the soil. It was none too dry as it was. Winter Rye only needs a minimum 35 degree soil to germinate, and a following freeze to give the berries viability.

It rained all Saturday night , Sunday, and Sunday night with a whitening of snow to finish it off this morning. Had to be a couple inches. By afternoon the snow was melted and the sidewalks dry. The creeks were half way up their banks and many fields were puddled along them when my daughter and I went for a short drive around sundown this evening to snoop on the other farmers who’d been picking as I was. Damn it’s good to be done. It’ll take a hard freeze to get back into the fields now. But I’m sure that’ll come. It’s darn near winter.

Now, where’s that bottle of rye?

Cc

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