Trying to save the world — if the clock would cooperate

Farm Forum

According to my calendar, it should be June. That means that my garden should be planted, our crops should be pretty well in, our cows should be out to pasture and summer break should be in full swing. I said should.

What is the reality of the situation? Well, very few of those things are true.

In fact, our cattle are just heading out to pasture as I type this, a full two weeks behind schedule. But it’s hard to send your cattle to grass, when it wasn’t warm enough for the grass to grow. And to add to the situation, we use artificial insemination (along with the original breeding method: bulls), but cattle should either be moved within 24-hours of having been bred, or wait a full two weeks, to lower the risk of aborting.

So, here we are, everyone — and seemingly everything — behind schedule. Finally, Mother Nature is running on the same clock I am!

As much as I joke about being behind, it is cause for concern. And it should be for you as well.

Crops are in late, which will affect things farther into the future than you would think. It means that fewer acres will be planted as were intended. It means that there will be less corn and wheat than originally planned (and reported). It means that markets will be a little on the more volatile side, and all other weather patterns will be closely watched and monitored. It puts us behind the eight-ball a bit.

But, as usual, we will keep on keeping on. It’s hard to deal with Mother Nature year-in and year-out, but it’s a choice that farmers have made for generations. And we will continue to do so for generations to come, or as long as people still enjoy eating, driving and wearing clothing.

My garden will be planted, eventually. I just will be spending more time and money at the local green house, transplanting their hard work, and taking care of it best I can until it is time for me to reap the benefits of their hard work earlier this spring. As part of my mission to give back, I will be donating a good share of my extra crops to those that didn’t have the same opportunity, time and space that I did, harvesting for the local food bank. It’s the least I can do, to repay all the blessings that we have received.

I have an acre of sweet corn that has been planted. A good share of that will also be donated. And come fall, when it’s time to harvest, if you have an extra minute or two, or more importantly, an extra pair of hands, you can certainly come help pick corn to be passed around the state. And a little for yourself, of course.

As my husband would say, “Val, you may not save the world, but you’re always trying.” I’m not sure he means it as a compliment, but that’s how I’ll take it.

Val Wagner loves raising her four boys on the farm in Dickey County, along with her husband, Mark. Catch her blog, Wag’n Tales, at, or follow one of their cows on Twitter at Cows_Life. Contact her at