We cover-cropped it

South of Worthington, Minnesota, there were some super-green fields this morning.  Now, they are covered in 8 inches of snow.  Remind me again why people live in Minnesota?


Quite a few people have asked me just what we were growing.  After corn silage, my father-in-law seeded radishes (like the long icicle type), turnips, and rapeseed.  

The idea is this: 

These plants grow roots deep down, even deeper than meets the eye when ones considers the teeny tiny root hairs too.  No conventional tillage needs to be done as all those roots break up soil compaction.  Also, the topsoil is protected by the greens on top.  Thus, we call it a cover crop. 



We tried it last year, too, but it only rained maybe one-tenth of an inch after corn silage was harvested, so last year was not a good trial run.  However, this year we had moisture and a very delayed killing frost. The photos above were taken 11 days ago, on November 11. The crops were about 60 days in at that point. 

At this point, they will all freeze and eventually  rot in the ground.  There is no shortage of deer around here — perhaps they will eat them.  We donated a small amount to the food shelf and because I would hate to have Joe think I am becoming like a normal person, I fermented some.  Why bring a pie to Thanksgiving when you could be bringing radishes and turnips, right?  All of Joe’s family reading this is now cringing. 

My parents are making the 4-hour trip to visit us next week and the excitement level among my kids is pretty high already.  My hope for my family this Thanksgiving is that we can all truly reflect on God’s blessings and praise Him even though this past year has brought some valleys.  Have a blessed Thanksgiving next week. 

Please pass the radishes.