|Field of Grass, Whitelaw, Wisconsin (7.20.2013)|
© J. Shimon & J. Lindemann
Corn and soybeans grew on the land the last few years before we owned it. Local farmers going "big" leased it and told us proudly that they were using "no-till" practices to prevent dreaded erosion. We didn't quite know what that meant, at first. They'd drive through our 1930s scale yard with its narrow gravel driveway with gigantic late-20th century chemical sprayers to apply regular doses of Round Up and Nitrogen sometimes leaving spill that left a bald spot. In summer, the corn or soybeans grew green and strong, but after the harvest, the fields looked like a nuked dead zone. We tried letting a small corner go fallow at first and nothing grew but thistles. We planted grasses on the rest and soon spring peepers, cranes, monarchs, cardinals, and creatures of all sorts repopulated the land singing cheerily as spring arrives each year.