The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.

The Wisdom Of Barnyard Bruke: "Rain, Buffalo Gnats, Organic Farming, and Sub-surface Drainage Tile!"

Greetings to everyone in western Illinois. We've been have'n us some mighty powerful rains again this spring. Some folk claimed a week ago Wednesday they had a 7 inch rain in one downpour.

Others were fortunate enough to receive only 1/2 inch rain in the same storm. Also, a wee bit of hail and wind along with the darkness like night durin' daytime oooooo my isn't nature enterest'n!

"Life is not a cup to be drained, but a measure to be filled". With that attitude, come what may, a feller can handle most anything, include'n variant weather.

As for meself, I'm have'n a bit of a time coaxe'n me body to adjust'n to these dramatic temperature changes.

One day it can be chilly jacket weather, and the very next day, after all the thunder storms and severe weather has rolled thru, like what came as a toad strangler on Wednesday, we then gets heat and humidity what only the Buffalognats seem to enjoy.

If'n any of you'ns has tried work'n out in the garden or yard lately you knows what I am write'n about. Those pesky little fellers go fer your head and won't give up. Spray'n with vanilla mixed with them there essential oils rich folk use, helps some. If'n you gets a chance, give it a try or otherwise wear mosquito head netting. They have been known to fly 10 miles for a meal.

As I write this column, it is very breezy and 90 plus degrees outdoors. Mrs. Bruke has clothes hang'n on the line, and it is a pretty site for old eyes.

We had us a nice sweet corn dinner and dessert made up of fresh picked strawberries on top of homemade ice cream ever day this past week. The strawberries are early this year in our patch. We've been enjoy'n them for over a week and a half already. We's about to founder on "em, but enjoy'n every bite full.

One feller over east, beyond Warren County, shared with me an enterest'n story the other day. It seems a back to nature couple came out from the city to enjoy organic garden'n and to sell produce off a relatively small patch of land.

Before too long a government official came around to all the neighbors within 5 miles of the organic farmers to warn them against possible liability of ground and/or aerial spray'n any kind of chemicals on their commercial non-organic farms.

One large commercial farmer in the area went to the organic farmers and offered to buy them out at a handsome price. The offer was refused. They were reminded not to spray anything which would include, insecticides, herbicides, fungicides etc. that would threaten their organic status and the premium they hope to receive, or face a lawsuit and EPA punitive action.

It is an enterest'n world we live in today. There are some, or I should say, many larger cities which won't allow you to hang clothes on the line to dry after a wash. They would rather you used up energy in a dryer and at the same time clamor for energy efficiency in other areas.

Now they is move'n out into the rural areas and a bring'n their big city organic back to nature ideas with them. They don't like dust nor do they like noise. But, they don't mind trouble. Cross em a wee bit an they'll take you to court in the blink of an eye.

Last week I wrote about the Glen Rankins that my friend told me about. They also was tellin' me there was another Rankin, up north into Biggsville township, Henderson County, named David Rankin. His idea was stated perfectly clear one hundred years ago, "Never sell the farm". Maybe today he would add, "To a city slicker, back to nature organic farmer". Have mercy on your neighbors.

I'm not agin organic farming nor am I agin back to nature organic farm'n city slickers. I'm just apprehensive about one feller force'n his high fallute'n ideas onto another feller and cutt'n into his way of make'n a liven'.

As for me, I spent many a year organic farm'n and worked mighty hard at it as well, when that was the only way.

Fer ya see that was all there was available years ago. Yields weren't nearly as good in those days and farm income was mighty low. Labor was cheap and powerfully hard for a day's work.

Everything today costs so much more than it did back then, which requires efficiencies gained in both size and modern technology. Combined with conservation tillage, to save the soils whenever we has one of those "duck drownder" rains, todays farmer needs to use chemicals and commercial fertilizers.

That's my story in Readers Digest form and I'm a stick'n to it. Organic farmers should respect that before move'n in fer a brief stint of hobby farm'n a hope'n for a windfall lawsuit settlement agin someone who was there already try'n to make a live'n for himself and his family.

This be'n Memorial Day one thinks of all those who have gone on before to make our country the great nation it now is.

Cornelius Farkwad sez the lawmakers meet regularly now-a-days to accomplish one or both of two essential primary goals. They are either regulatin'' and limit'n some already exist'n freedom we already have and/or they is figure'n new ways of tax'in ya. It is all done under the disguise of "big brother" knowin' what is best for ya.

Think it thru and ultimately you'll have to agree, Cornelius might be right. It doesn't matter whether it is seat belt laws or smoke detectors in your home. Either give up the freedom you once held in certain areas or risk payin' a fine. Oft times payin' the fine means helpin' government cover its over spendin' habits and becomes an end goal in itself.

Maybe those lawmakers should look into ways to protect farmin' methods which now result in the most efficient food production system in the world.

As a final note, I'm include'n a picture of a neighbor's drainage tile put in last fall. Take a look at this picture and see if'n ya can see the benefit this farmer is receivein' from applyin' pattern drainage tile to two eighty acre fields. Each of the bigger tile in this picture represents drainage on 80 acres. They are a 10 inch and 12 inch tile respectively. The third tile, a 6 incher, is an overflow pipe fer the 10 inch tile on the left. Those drainage tile are a pay'n for themselves agin this year, especially when ya has one of those 7 inch "toad-stranglin'" downpours!

Have a good week and take no offense to me views on organic farmin' fer no offense is intended. It's simply a, "live and let live" philosophy that so often seems to get lost in the shuffle these days.

Keep on Smile'n

Catch ya Later

Barnyard Burke