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“Could it be,” I thought to myself, “that the 4 inch high corn I saw several days prior had a growth spurt from our heat wave and I was seeing a perfect row of foot high corn glinting in the sun?” I was excited! I could not quicken my pace because the trail was so rough. Eagerly rounding the final bend for a full view, my jaw dropped. The white I saw was a newly toppled birch tree in the middle of the field. Deer tracks were everywhere which I erroneously thought was a good sign.
Something was conspicuously absent however. I hopped off my ATV to find the 23 corn rows that were 75 feet long each, picked clean. Deer tracks went row by row where corn shoots used to be and only wee holes remained where the corn babies were ripped out. I was stunned.
Prior to this awful discovery, I had spent three months searching to find a John Deere Model 71 one row corn planter, to no avail. My time was running out to get corn planted. Instead I was loaned a manual push planter intended for a home garden. I had planted this field with the push planter. It was sadly under gunned for planting in this rough soil food plot, rife with rocks and tenacious weed roots. But, by golly, I got my corn in with that bugger and I was proud. Farmer Linda. My grandpa was a “real” farmer and I was doing what he did. (Sort of.)
Now, I felt like a little kid who had gotten their lunch stolen at school. The urge to be a girl and cry hit me but I suppressed it. Here was this lovely huge black dirt patch in the middle of two lush acres of clover and brassica plantings. Head hung low, I mounted my Motor Horse and went back to camp. I had to replant and fast, but how?
Back at the cabin, I got on the internet and again searched want ads, Ebay, Craig’s List and auctions for a one row planter, praying for a miracle. No luck. I went to my shed and surveyed all the tools and gizmos I owned trying to do a McGiver and somehow make a furrower rigged on my ATV hitch. Nothing worked. Not content to wallow in the impossible, I loaded seed corn, shovels and a hoe and hit the woods at 1pm. Rain was in the forecast and if I got the corn in, it would get a good watering. My neighboring landowners said that their corn was doing lousy which meant if I had any corn at all, I might attract a big buck during hunting season.
Hopping off the ATV at the field, I stood there in rubber boots, camo pants, and ball cap – reeking of Deet and really dreading this task. I felt like American Gothic by Grant Wood, leaning on my hoe with the same grim countenance as the people in that painting. Just Do It, says Nike. So I just did it. For five hours, I hoed and I hoed, and I planted, and I filled in the dirt over my seeds. My arms felt like rubber. I was soaked to the skin and I ached all over. As the mosquitoes landed for the evening I stood and surveyed my work. Even the pioneers had a horse drawn plow. I was one sore horse! And I was determined I would come up with a way to keep those deer from eating my corn.
In one epiphanous blast, it hit me: SCARECROW! I had no idea how to make one but I knew I could figure it out. In my home garden, I bought one of those plastic owls but this field was way too big for a plastic owl. Desperation is the Mother of Invention.
Scarecrows worked for grandpa and he has to be in heaven getting a good chuckle out of all of this. I seem to be the most like him of all his progeny. I sent my husband a photo of my creation and he promptly named her Hubba Hubba. I will be placing Hubba for sentinel duty in a couple days. I’m thinking Hubba needs a boyfriend however. His name? Bubba, of course.
Alaska and the Yukon
North Alabama, Mississippi p
and North Georgia
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