My Carbon Footprint Grew To Sasquatch Size

Inside Dakota Ag

How my carbon footprint grew to sasquatch size in one night

Published on: July 1, 2009

My carbon footprint expanded big time last night.


I finally got around to mowing a three acre patch on my farmstead. I used to grow pumpkins there, but with the kids grown up and the grandkids too far away I was thinking of replanting it to trees. Only this year, the ground was too wet to do anything but watch the weeds grow.


The pennycress had gotten waist high and was as pretty and even as a carefully tended wheat field. But the waterhemp, lambsquarter and Canada thistle were invading in from the edges of the shelterbelts and low spots. They were about 6-feet tall


I mowed them all down -- after spending a $1,300 King Cutter brush mower. It took a day to get the tractor running properly. One cylinder was stuck after sitting in the shed all winter. I put about $30 worth of gas in it, too.


I don’t believe that man is causing global warming -- or even that the globe is warming. We might start down the path of a new ice age tomorrow. But as I went round and round the patch on the tractor, I wondered about all the carbon I was burning up. The environmental crowd at least has gotten me thinking in their terms.


Maybe the planet would have been better off if I had fenced off the patch and put sheep or goats in it. They could have eaten the weeds and fertilized the soil at the same time. The meat would have been tasty, too. But PETA probably wouldn't like to hear that.


Or maybe I should have harvested the pennycress. University of Illinois scientists say it could be used to produce biofuel.


I could grow more than my share.