September 29, 2010 – I’ve Been Hauling a lot of @#$% Lately

Where’s Mark been? I’ve been hauling a lot of stuff lately.

It all started when we agreed to temporarily store some shelving for the MCC farm manager last fall until the new incubator building was enclosed, then wait until it was complete, then wait until the dedication, then wait, well, I couldn’t wait until the next wait – with our garage torn down, I needed some more space, so started loading, hauling, and unloading a small grocery store’s worth of loizier shelving.  Fortunately, fuel pellets were on sale, so it was not a wasted trip.  All the shelving is now removed – about 9 trips to town, and 230 bags of wood pellets hauled back to the farm – two tons tucked in the basement and two and a half tons in the shed – they were on sale, so I wanted to get as much of a winter’s supply as possible.  With corn flirting around $5 bushel, the pellets are a better deal this winter.  I’ve also been hauling a bit of hay, but have more of that to fetch.

one year ago…”Mother Hen”

September 28, 2010 – Updates from U of MN

Faithful readers have no doubt been exposed to my soapbox about the squelching of the film about water pollution from agricultural practices. I received an email response from the office of the President Bruininks and post it below:

I am always heartened when academic freedom and scientific integrity are vigorously championed, and I appreciate your taking the time to share your concern with me.

As has been publicly stated, “Troubled Waters: A Mississippi River Story” will be shown as scheduled on October 3, 2010, immediately followed by an open discussion of the film.

The original decision to postpone the showing of the film at the Bell Museum and the rationale behind that decision could have been handled differently and communicated more clearly by the University. At no point, however, was there a question about the importance of the issues raised in the film or whether such a film should be made and shown. We will continue to review this situation, and I am confident that we will learn from this and improve our procedures as we move forward.

Thank you for your commitment to the mission of your alma mater.


Robert H. Bruininks

one year ago…”Clean Garlic”

September 27, 2010 – Google Maps Might not Show the Best Route!

Thanks to Claire for pointing out this new feature of Google maps.  I put in I wanted to go from Des Moines to China.  By george, it did it – taking me over as much land as possible.  It included a 2,756 mile kayak to Hawaii, then overland in Hawaii, then a 3,879 mile kayak from Hawaii to Japan, overland in Japan, and finally a break from kayaking as it suggested a short 486 mile jet ski from Japan to China!  The route is 11,124 miles and it should take 38 days and one hour according to Google.

I think the time calculation must not take into account carrying your kayak and jet ski overland across Hawaii and your jet ski overland in Japan.  That’s got to add a week to the trip! Who’s going to be the first one to try this and then have their family sue Google after the kayak overturns in Puget Sound and drowns the poor sap trying to kayak to China!

one year ago…”Big Tomato Day”

September 26, 2010 – Garden Cleanup Begins

Now the unglamorous portion of the gardening season begins (is there a really a glamorous portion)? But in some ways it is as important as what happens during other seasons.

Here’s the tomato cages, posts, dead vines and seedling protectors all pulled and ready to move to their appropriate places. It’s good garden hygiene to remove the old vines and plants from the gardens, especially tomatoes and squashes.

one year ago…”Foraging Turkeys”