Happens every year

Published 3:41 pm Friday, August 24, 2018

have always been a “glass half full” sort of person. When I was farming with my Daddy, I would ride around the fields and count the pounds of tobacco we would make before we gathered the crop. It was the same with any crop. I always imagined more tons of peanuts and bales of cotton than my Daddy did. I guess he came from the “Don’t count your chickens before they hatch” school of thinking.

I’m not farming any more. God works in mysterious and, I might say, wonderful ways when I think of that. Farming is a tough way to make a living and as good as the crops look in August, they’re not yet at the cotton gin or at the peanut buying point.

There is also another thing to consider. Prognosticating (50 cent word) good yields is not the same as actually making good yields. It remains to be seen as to whether this will be a good year or not. Having said that, the crops are sure looking good at this time.

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As many of you know, I like boiled peanuts and I keep my eyes on the fields. At least those that are close to the road and those that belong to farmers I know. I have heard the wild hogs are starting to root around in the fields and, if you happen to see a short, few feet where it looks like the peanuts have been pulled up, just imagine that some wild hogs have gone in there and rooted up a few vines.

I know it might look like they have been neatly pulled up and just outside the field it might look like the peanuts have been pulled off and the vines cast aside. Please don’t think that some human being would do such a thing. Those wild hogs are getting pretty sophisticated. And be thankful that there is no southern delicacy like boiled cotton bolls.

By the way, those few peanuts I have pulled up this year look great!

I serve two churches. One is in Decatur County and the other is in Mitchell County. In the spring of the year, I watch the land being prepared for planting. Most of the time, I know from the preparation what crop is going to be planted and where. It’s pleasing to the eye to how straight the rows of corn, peanuts, and cotton are planted.

Daddy did most of the planting and, bless his heart, his rows never looked as straight as those rows planted today. Of course, on that John Deere 4020, there was no computer or GPS system for helping plant straight rows. I think Daddy used the “focus on a tree at the other end of the field” method.

I know you’ve heard of the farmer whose rows were very crooked and he was asked, “Why are your rows so crooked?” The farmer said, “Well, when I started the row I focused on a cow that was on the other side of the fence and I guess the cow didn’t remain in the same place.”

In my ride on the Vada Road and the Branchville Road, I have seen the various crops go from little shoots breaking out of the plowed ground to lapping rows of peanut vines and deep, dark green waist-high fields of cotton blooms and bolls.

It’s about this time of the year that the deep, dark green begins its subtle change of color. The cotton leaves will soon be rusty and the peanut vines will fade. It won’t be long now. The smell of dug peanuts and picked cotton will fill our air. It happens every year, thank God!