A little history about farming life in Isanti County

By Jack Puterbaugh
Contributing Writer

For farmers, spring is a most important time of the year. After a long winter season, thoughts turn to the upcoming crop year.

During the cold months equipment was maintained to assure that it would be ready for the tasks ahead. Back in the days when potatoes were a major crop in Isanti County, there was an “old wisdom” that said they should be planted on “Good Friday.”

The wisdom of that was never shown to be true. Today the folks who till the soil tend to plant corn and soy beans. Those commodities play a very important part in the nation’s economy. Once the spring season arrives it becomes a waiting game as to when you can get into the fields to prepare the ground where the seeds will be planted. The time when this can be done depends on the kind of weather were having. Some years are more favorable than others.

As an aside, this year so far has not been that good, as very few fields have been prepared for planting. After the fields have been planted another period of watching and waiting takes place. Will the seeds germinate and grow. Finally, they “poke their heads” through the ground, and they are on the way. Now it becomes a hope they will grow and thrive. Today that hope is assisted by the application of various chemicals. Along the way there must also be sufficient rainfall to ensure there will be a crop.

Back in the 1930s there were a couple of years of drought that greatly diminished yields. Finally if everything falls into place there will be harvest in the Fall. There is always the hope that it will be a bountiful harvest. Some people go to casinos in the hope of hitting it “lucky.” Every year farmers hope the gamble they take will result in a winner when the fall season rolls around. Just remember food doesn’t come from a supermarket, it comes from the hard work and risk taken by farmers who till the soil.

Incidentally, as you’ve shopped recently have you noticed that the price of food is costing more?