A parent works hard to raise independent, self-reliant children. It is our goal. But as a parent you also know that when the phone rings, no matter how old that child is, your parental desire to help that child kicks in.
When my phone rang the other day and I saw the call was from our oldest, Casey, who I also knew was out crop scouting, I answered immediately. In between frustration, defeat and a few tears I made out the words "Mama I don't weigh enough to get the soil probe in the ground – can you come push it in the ground for me?"
You hope that your children are problem solvers, but when they call you are instantly complimented. They still need your vast wisdom and experience. In this case, however, it was only my body mass.
I was caught between "Yes baby I will be right there," and "Wait……are you calling me fat?"
Soil testing in July is no easy task in Indiana. The ground is rock hard. We had a total of 7 inches of rain in June, and as I write this, July will total 1.7 inches. While I am grateful for that amount, as some years July totals a whole lot of none, that amount is not enough to make getting the probe in the ground easy. That's besides fighting the standing crop and walking to the right spot while trying not to destroy too much.
I told her to take a deep breath, pick herself up from beneath the canopy of soybeans and come home to regroup. Quite frankly I knew which field she was in and there was no way I wanted to walk a half a mile back into a soybean field to "throw my weight around." It was hot and humid out!
After some tweeting for advice, coming to terms that I, in all reality, did weigh more than her, and a lot of sweat, we came to the conclusion using our head rather than our weight would be better. A block of wood and a two pound hammer, along with a sturdy, well-made soil probe were what it took to get the job done.
Soil testing in July is not fun, but sometimes necessary. And spending a few hours with my oldest walking through fields before she goes off to college was good for my soul.
The opinions of Jennifer Campbell are not necessarily those of Indiana Prairie Farmer or the Penton Farm Progress Group.