Sunday, October 9, 2011


Times are a changing..times are getting tougher.

People that enrolled their land in CRP ( Conservation Reserve Program) or before that it was a similar program called Soil Bank of the 1950’s are selling out.  Traitors.

Fields that reverted to Natural Prairie, saving the soil and the water from the pesticides and over use by the Corporate Farmer are falling by the wayside one by one.

First they come in and put in a well for a center pivot irrigator.

New well Oct 06

This field has not been farmed for years..I am sixty ..sigh..and I have never seen a crop planted in this field.  It has always been a natural prairie home to the tall grasses, flowers, birds, rabbits and mice.

A spark burned this section of land on Friday when we had the wind from hell.

Burned area

This piece of land is two miles south of us.   Everyone was concerned where the wildfire would go..Far Guy said the flames were awesome.  His Uncle lives to the west, the wind was from the south..the fire travelled north.  If it would have jumped the would have been an out of control fire in the mainly pine forest along the lake.  The helicopters couldn’t fly and the water dumpers were grounded due to the wind.


This photo is history.  History of the Tall Grass Prairie that soon will become a home for potatoes that make Extra Long French Fries that stand up in a box..pinto beans and small grains.

“We abuse land because we regard it as a commodity belonging to us. When we see land as a community to which we belong we may begin to use it with love and respect.”
- Aldo Leopold

I have more to say about this subject..but for now I will be quiet. 

I found an old copy of my favorite book at a garage sale the other day.  A Sand County Almanac by Aldo Leopold..if you would like to be entered into a drawing for it then leave me a comment.  Please tell me how close do you live to a Tall Grass Prairie?  I live a mile from far it has escaped the clutches of the  corporate farmer. I will draw a name on Monday night.  The book cost a whole quarter, I buy them when ever I see them at garage sales..and I pass them on to people who I know will appreciate them:)

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The Musical Gardener said...

Kind of a sad commentary on life, I'm afraid. The only plus side I can see is that at least the field is not going into development - a subdivision, or a new shopping centre. Perhaps some day it will revert to what it has been - these paved over parking lots will never be prairie grasslands, or lands of any value in this millenium or milleniums to come.

CiCi said...

We have lived in this little hippie house almost one year and so far everything we see is land being farmed. It would be a good thing for us to drive around looking for natural areas, unfarmed. We haven't gone out on day trips since we got here. I researched the book and the author you mention and I can see why this is a favorite book of yours. An environmentalist speaking out in 1949! Hubby and I will be looking for this book at the library.

Gail said...

It is sad that family farms are disappearing. I hope we can hold onto to ours and pass it down through the generations.

I am not sure we have prarie grass lands but we do have green spots where things grow naturally through out the farm. Not only do our domesicated animals love it, it is often filled with the wild creatures who live here...when they are not in the garden!

I love a chance at the book.

LindaG said...

We live in a small town here.
And the retirement property is surrounded by either single family homes, or single family farms.
No prairie.
Sorry to hear people are selling out. Guess the estates only want the money now.

DJan said...

No prairie here, either, too much rain! It's all lush and green and filled with ferns and trees. But I'm always up for a contest, Connie :-)

troutbirder said...

How very very very sad. I have the book and read it often. I wish you would write more on this subject. Slowly, very slowly with remnants saved and education, bits of prairie and wet land are being saved. Here the demise of Conservation Acres is due to converting marginal acres to subsidized ethanol production. There are small patches of tall grass to our west and south as we live on the very edge of the unglaciated area (Bluff Country) to ou north and east. Iowa has a 500 acre virgin (unplowed) remnant about 20 miles south of Spring Valley called Hayden prarie. It's an amazing place. I blogged on it a couple of years ago and should do it again.....

Linda said...

Great post! I see a lot of "set aside" land when we go to Montana and often wonder at the waste.....especially when there's a drought.

Dreaming said...

I can feel your passion for saving the prairie! We felt that way about forests when we lived in the east. Oh, how I hated to see the equipment come in to strip all of the trees for a new development.
Your post made me curious about 'prairies'. I wasn't sure if our high prairie land is considered a tall grass prairie (the grasses don't seem very tall!), so I did some poking around on the Net. (Thanks for leading me to learning!) I found out there is a "high plains shortgrass prairie". Bingo. That's what we have. Then... more curiosity, where are the tall grass prairies?! I found this nifty map (I am so visual... I need stuff like this!)
So, to answer your question, the closest high grass prairie to me is in eastern Kansas.

Lynda said...

I don't need the book so don't add my name to the drawing. In our area, we see the old family farms sold to real estate developers for subdivisions, schools, and/or malls. That hurts me, too. It's like the death of a very precious loved one.

Rita said...

I'm old enough that when they were building the Minneapolis suburb of Fridley, where we moved when I was five, there was still a huge section of wild tall grass prairie, sand dunes, tumbleweeds, and a small lake. As I grew up I watched it disappear section by section until there was nothing left at all. I grew up in those fields watching the thirteen striped ground squirrels, rabbits, killdeer, meadowlarks, mice, skinks, garter snakes, mallards, red-winged blackbirds, monarchs, salamanders, frogs, toads, dragonflies, waterbugs, crows, flickers, owls...I mourn its passing to this day. I empathize with you on losing some natural prairieland. As a species, we don't think ahead very far.

Nancy/BLissed-Out Grandma said...

I agree. It seems that everywhere I go in Minnesota, I see just a little more of the natural prairie or wetland or forest plowed up and converted to "civilization." Very sad. And, as you note, maddening.

Nezzy (Cow Patty Surprise) said...

We really don't have prairie land here on the Ponderosa. We do have a multitude of cattle and cropland.

We do have much of the land still in natural timbers for our wildlife though.

Most family farms aren't in it for the money. Believe me, we are happy when we 'break even'. Jobs are held off the farm to have funds operate a farm. We do it for the love of the land.

Because of that we are good stewards of the land makin' sure we rotate crops so the soil is not depleted. Several rows and plots of crops are left for the wild life to feed on durin' our harsh winters.

Not preachin' but many people don't understand the sacrifices of those who feed the world.

Just sayin'.... :o)

God bless ya and enjoy what's left of this weekend.

BTW: I'd love a chance at the book! Thanks

Red said...

Interesting that this land was left. It was a gift for everyone. Too bad it's being developed again.

Red said...

For the Musical Gardener, I would like him to check off a couple more options for comments. The one that works for me is name and url. I enjoy his blog and would like to comment.

Donna said...

On my grandparents' farm in NE Nebraska, they had a big piece of land that had never been plowed. When the farm was sold about 1975, the first thing the new owners did was plow it. Very sad. Very short sighted. We can never get it back.

Thanks for a wonderful, yet sad, post. And it started good conversations.

Jeannelle said...

Very good post! This comment may be too late for the drawing. I've heard of that book and should try to find it. There is an Aldo Leopold wetland about ten miles from where I live. It is river bottom land that once was farmed but is now designated as a natural habitat. I hope it stays that way. I might be very close to a small patch of tall grass prairie right here on our farm.

Judy said...

We don't have prairie around us...however, we have forest and people buy wooded lots to cut down the trees and build houses...why don't they build around the trees...or buy where the trees are already gone...frustrating...

L. D. said...

I can not be quoted as this being fact, but I think the government has decided not to pay for reserved acres anymore. It was good for the small time farmers but large corporations were raking in the dough. Write to the Agriculture guy who use to be our Governor Vilsak and tell him exactly what you think about it.

Jinglebob said...

If you don't want farmers to tear up sod, get them to quit making ethanol as that is why they are planting corn.

Yeah, green energy, it's a hoot! (sarcasm!)

Lanny said...

Ahh ya snooze ya lose or is that looze? Oh well, I'm glad DJan won the book, she seems like a nice gal and a far more diligent blogger.

Any who, wow. I know the world is hungry but really? at the loss of dedicated land. I'm sorry that the economy is in the can so far that we lose beautiful restored prairie lands.