These days being harvest time.
Harvest time in Central Illinois.
When the corn has dried up.
The days are getting shorter already.
There's a crispness to the air in the morning.
And fog envelopes the barnyard at dawn.
Harvesting corn is quite an arduous process.
I have a few farmer acquaintances.
Really, husbands of moms I know from my kids' school.
These guys work hard.
Hoping for rain.
Then hoping for sun.
Then hoping for less rain.
It's a constant "keep your fingers crossed" form of employment really.
Because you can do everything right and Mother Nature can make it all go horribly wrong.
Warren Buffett, the billionaire, has a son named Howard.
And Howard has farms throughout the Midwest.
One of those is directly across the street from our home.
They do things a bit differently on his acres.
He does a no-till method of farming.
And he grows cover crops after harvest.
Which many don't do around here.
He utilizes agriculture students from Southern Illinois University to do some of his work.
My dad will drive by the barns across from our home, his childhood home, in March and declare "there's a car over there. What on earth could they be doing there in March?"
I reply "farmer stuff."
Which I really know very little about.
I know Monsanto limits what seeds are used.
And how farmers use their seed.
And if you try to make a new form of corn, that's frowned upon.
Only they can do that.
The corn is inedible.
It's got a very low moisture content and I've heard it tastes like cardboard.
Very dry, old, crusty cardboard.
It's processed into many things.
In our town, Decatur, it's processed into corn syrup.
And livestock feed.
Otherwise known as Archer Daniels Midland Co.
Otherwise known as God.