Busy neighbors

I work across a wide swath of central and northwestern Ohio. Our group is specifically active in four counties: Henry and Sandusky in the northwest and north central respectively; and Champaign and Madison in the central part of the state.  We also collaborate with other soybean scientists throughout the North American soy belt, but that involvement goes beyond what I want to share today.

So back here in Ohio we travel from our base in Union County to the various research plots on a regular basis. To get to Henry and Sandusky counties we travel through Hardin county and an area containing a fair concentration of Amish farmers.  The Amish are an interesting folk.  Known widely for their simple approach to life, the few who understand the hard work it takes to farm as they do might disagree with ‘simple’ as an apt descriptor.  Working with horses makes some of the labor intensive work appear less onerous than doing everything by hand.  And there is a serious benefit from the help of the beast.  But working horses is still more effort than climbing aboard a tractor, turning the key, and pointing the metal beast in the right direction.  Horses have a mind of their own.  Watching a skilled farmer ‘work’ a team is a beautiful sight – and the most skilled make it look far simpler than it really is.


                                                           An old solution to peak oil?

Harvest is upon us now and most of our Amish neighbors are shocking corn. Not too difficult – you take your Taser to the field and let ‘em have it.  No?  Well, you’re right…it is more work than that.  And not just the physical labor to cut all those stalks, bundle them and tie them up.  To be good at shocking you arrange all the shocks in neat rows as well.  And why not?  Tidiness is next to godliness.

All shocked up and no where to go (for now).

                                               All shocked up and nowhere to go (for now).

On our last trip back from Henry County the other day we passed a corn field that had just been shocked. I was going to admit I knew all summer that this was an Amish corn field.  And I was on the lookout for the corn harvest to commence… but I didn’t say anything earlier because I didn’t want to be accused of stalking.  (Sorry, the Bucket made me do that – I lost a bet.)


If you want to know more about shocking corn (no Taser needed) you can check out this publication from U. Kentucky Extension:






  1. Having tried my hand at working horses, I can attest to that particular difficult path. Time to go warm up my Kubota.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I have to say that those were some rather shocking photos Clem. Next time please put a parental advisory notice at the top.

    Henry County you dare say? I am, as it turns out, from neighboring Lucas Co (Toledo). Our beloved Oak Openings dip into NE Henry Co. just a bit. It’s a big old sand dune that extends from there to somewhere between Monroe and Detroit, roughly. Back in the Pleistocene they used to hold the Baja 2000 there, but that was before mammoths went on the Endangered Species List.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, an advisory notice may well be warranted. And perhaps we should suggest to WordPress that they work on an ap to warn when the pun content gets to a level that might offend the delicate minds wearied by wanton punning around.

      Was just up in Henry County again this afternoon. Missed the big old sand dune – but now that I’m aware of its existence I’ll have to be on the lookout for it.

      Wood County is also a neighbor to Lucas CO, and I passed through there this afternoon as well. Specifically through the town of Wayne, where I spied a sign that will be featured in an upcoming dispatch.

      Knowing about your favorite baseball team (and now that the Cardinals are out of the post season picture) I should relate one baseball anecdote for all the world to ponder. Earlier in the summer I was at the very same research plot in Henry CO and was finishing up for the day. A colleague from Bowling Green was there with me and as we packed the cars there came a ferocious tumult out of the north. Both puzzled by the unusual noise, he finally came with a notion… the Mud Hens were at home playing a day game. He checked his phone and sure enough they had just scored a go ahead run late in the game. This being such a rare occurrence the fans went wild. I wasn’t inclined to believe it… Toledo being so far away. But the very flat topography of NW Ohio does lend a touch of plausibility. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Ah yes, the Hens in a walk-off win, followed immediately by all the fans firing their shotguns into the air on the count of three. It’s quite a spectacle, though it does quite piss off the USGS seismic detection guys, who get all excited and then let down. And yeah, lot of flat up there. A recent survey indicated that NW Ohio has the highest per capita rate of flat in the country, not counting the Bonneville Salt Flats but that’s not really a fair comparison since there are exactly three people out there.

    Yeah, Tigers and Cards both out, but I ain’t cryin’ no tears–both have had plenty of chances recently, time for new blood in there. And speaking of the Pleistocene, we could have either the Cubs or Tribe in the WS, or even both of ’em.

    Should mention also that I recently received a grant to investigate “just who the heck was Henry anyways and how did he get a county named after him?”. It’s not a lot of money but does allow me to glean all the soybeans I want, if I bring my own basket.


    1. In the case of Henry… we’re betting on Patrick Henry of Revolutionary War fame. Not that I want to let the air out of your grant – but I’m supposing if you dial into Google for Patrick Henry Local Schools, Deshler, OH you’ll find much of what you’re looking for (Minuteman with flintlock, the whole deal).

      The Cubs vs. the Tribe. That does have a poetic ring to it. But its too mid-American. The coasts would snooze… TV wouldn’t like that 😦


  4. You’re probably right on Patrick Henry. “Give me Liberty Center or give me death” I think he said, right before some expletives about Napolean.

    Yeah, the TV advertisers most likely want Red Sox and Dodgers or Giants…well screw the advertisers. Great Lakes WS baby, and I ain’t talking ’bout no Canucks either.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: