Like many farm girls, I ‘earned my keep’ by picking rocks in the spring. Here in southwestern Minnesota, there are rocks but the rocks are nothing compared to back home. In central Minnesota, where I grew up, you could literally walk across a field and never step on soil. A few times, on particularly rocky acres, we wouldn’t plant them and then the rock-picking could continue all summer.
Somehow or another, I have pretty fond memories of picking rock. My brother, Aaron, would always drink gallons of water (there is nothing so quenching as a long drink of cold water during a hot and dusty day in the field) and that is how I nicknamed him ‘Camel’. Every now and then, I will now call my 7-year-old son a camel as he reminds me a lot of my brother. Another fond memory is the family picnics my mom would prepare for us to eat in a grassy area near the creek. The woodticks probably enjoyed the noon picnics as much as my brothers and sisters and I did.
These memories came to me when reading an article in the Minnesota Farm Guide recently. It was titled, “Rocks in producer fields may be from out of this world”. Meteorites! A Kansas farmer found one in his field when he got out of his tractor to do a little fixing. It was worth thousands of dollars. Better yet, a Missouri farmer found one valued at $850,000.
I get it…my dad was giving me the opportunity to find treasure. It wasn’t actually to remove the rocks so they wouldn’t damage equipment. Maybe.
Think you could spot one? I read they have dimples like golf balls and will be heavier than expected. Most are small: fist-size to basketball-size. They are black, and have a charcoaled or burned appearance. Usually they are magnetic.
I plan for my kids to spend some time picking rock. It is certainly a job that you can look back, see your progress, and the impact your effort has made. If I asked my son, he would assume the best way for him to do it was with the mini-ex. He would probably be disappointed to hear that all he would need was a pair of gloves, farm boots, and a jug of cold drinking water. A good attitude wouldn’t hurt, either. Regardless of meteorites or not, there is definitely great treasure to be gained by spending day after dusty day in the field, picking rock.