Downwind"May: only three letters but packed with optimism"
May on the Farm
May is a big flower and plant season for our area greenhouses and farmstands. Early-season vegetables are growing and vegetable transplants such as tomatoes, peppers and squash are going into the ground so that farmers’ markets will be well-stocked in July. Strawberries are blooming as its fruit matures at the end of May. Tender asparagus stalks are ready to be snapped and munched. I am so ready!
The month of May represents a time when Cook County corn and soybean farmers are busy trying to put a crop in the ground. You will see winter wheat with its bright green, healthy growth moving towards an early July harvest! Hay fields of grass, alfalfa and red clover are growing, and farmers are carefully watching for the right window of time to cut, dry and bale the hay. The smell of freshly baled hay is incredible!
May is a wonderful time for homeowners of the area; digging in the soil, planting flowers and vegetables and enjoying the wonder that spring brings for new life. Nature’s colors come to life! May means the grass needs mowing weekly...lovely!
May at the Farm Bureau
In recent years, we have created a special pullout section of the May Co-Operator for “buy local” opportunities to support area farmers, farmstands and farm-related direct marketers. I urge you to check it out (pages five, six, seven and eight of this publication)! You will want to pull out this center section and keep it this summer as you seek local, fresh, farm-raised products!
And, of course, your Cook County Farm Bureau has fun and useful activities, programs and experiences going on for member enjoyment.
May at home
May means that my wife, the teacher, has one final month of opportunity to educate (kids would say torture) those delightful schoolchildren with brilliant lesson plans before achieving a well-deserved summer break. (From my view, it seems that the children do some torturing of the teacher.)
The windows of our house have literally burst open to encourage the fresh, clean May breezes sweep in and through our living quarters.
The “critters” that cohabitate our property survived the winter and have emerged stronger than ever. We have skunks under the shed, muskrats have re-invaded the pond and ground squirrels are tunneling under the patio. The odor, digging of holes and destruction of property is “challenging” me greatly.
”Bob versus nature” and Bob is losing badly!
May means baseball season is in full swing
My Cubs have not yet been mathematically eliminated and the White Sox have not yet imploded. Optimism remains in Chicagoland.
There would be no baseball without Agriculture
- The ball – Yarn made from cotton wrapped around a core and held together by leather
- The glove – Leather mitts made from cow hide with oil used to soften the glove from fish or animals
- The bat – wood harvested from northern ash trees
- Tickets, programs and schedules – printed on paper from trees using soy ink from soybeans
- Peanuts and Popcorn – Midwestern farm grown popcorn popped in soybean oil
- Baseball hat – Cotton grown by southern farmers
- Hot dogs – Pork and beef in a wheat bun with ketchup and tomatoes and relish from cucumbers… All farm produced
- Nachos and Cheese – Food grade corn flour topped with cheese made from dairy cows
- Soda – Sweetened using corn syrup
- Beer – Farm ingredients including barley, hops and wheat
- The Field – Meticulously maintained by specialty agricultural companies for great turf management I am looking at May through May-colored glasses and what I see is worth celebrating!