• Holly Spangler

    A Storm Rolls Over the Prairie

    My Generation

     by Holly Spangler
     on June 26, 2013

    It was shortly after dinner last night when I looked out and observed a rare light falling on the corn field. A summer storm, no doubt. So I grabbed my camera and ran outside. The rain gently fell, and within minutes, a front rolled in. And within a few more minutes, it was black, save for lightning. Here, the shots I grabbed as it all went down here on the…

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  • Holly Spangler

    Lotsa Corn Planting, Little Sleeping

    My Generation

     by Holly Spangler
     on May 20, 2013

    Wait. What Day Is It? I'm sitting at our 4-H meeting, which is really the only way I know it's Monday. The past week has been a blur. As of last Monday, May 13, we hadn't planted a seed. We'd had 14 inches of rain in the preceding month. Rivers had been out. Some of them twice. We'd been stuck in a three-week pattern of three decent days, then four rainy ones. Never enough time for anything to dry out. Temperaments were, shall we say, running a little ragged…

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  • Holly Spangler

    Drought: 1988 All Over Again?

    My Generation

     by Holly Spangler
     on June 28, 2012

    I remember 1988 well. It was the summer my parents completely remodeled their house. We lived in a 22-foot camping trailer for four months. And the only time it rained all summer was the week they had the roof off. So. Anybody have a roof that needs replacing? A sacrificial lamb/roof? It's getting dire, across a lot of the state. Last week on the summer beef tour in Peoria, Marion cattleman Jeff Beasley told me it looked like a lush oasis up here, compared to his farm. He's right; I've mowed…

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  • Holly Spangler

    Corn, Beans and the Wild Kingdom

    My Generation

     by Holly Spangler
     on May 30, 2012

    I'm having two semi-unrelated thoughts today. First, I was just sorting through photos I took earlier this morning. They are of the farmer in his corn field, and I can't help but notice that even at 9:30 a.m. on a lovely 60-degree morning, the corn is curling up. This is not good. This past Sunday, following the Spangler family trip to Monicals Pizza, we took a drive through the country on our way home and man, was the corn rolled up tight in self-preservation. This was on the second day…

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  • Holly Spangler

    Ready to Roll

    My Generation

     by Holly Spangler
     on September 26, 2011

    Crazy-busy though it is, fall is, bar none, my favorite season. Love the weather, love the colors, love the harvest, love it all. Love, love, love. This past Saturday morning, I looked out the window and saw this.   I went out in my pajamas and commenced to taking pictures. My husband didn't even question this. I don't know what that means. Maybe he's used to it. Maybe after 13 years, nothing surprises him. Maybe he would've been more surprised if, after seeing such a…

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  • Holly Spangler

    Flashback: 1997 Seed Industry

    My Generation

     by Holly Spangler
     on July 7, 2011

    I'm guest blogging over at the Illinois Corn Growers today! Click here to join me at their site for a look at an old file, an old story and an industry model that's entirely…

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  • Holly Spangler

    Bring It On

    My Generation

     by Holly Spangler
     on March 31, 2011

    There is nothing in the world like the smell of freshly-turned…

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  • Holly Spangler

    Corn Scene

    My Generation

     by Holly Spangler
     on September 29, 2010

    Corn harvest on the Spangler farm has officially come to an end, and I suspect the same is true or nearly true for many of you. Illinois Ag Statistics Service put the harvest at 57% complete as of this past Monday and given this week's lovely weather, that number has likely jumped considerably. Their numbers also show this to be the earliest/fastest harvest in the past 10 years. Only 2007 came close, with 52% harvested by this date. And last year? 2%. That's about right. So with this one in…

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  • Holly Spangler

    No Christmas Cookies this Harvest

    My Generation

     by Holly Spangler
     on September 17, 2010

    Check this out…before we headed to the field this morning, I pulled out a bag to throw in a few things to take with me in the semi. It's the same one I used last year. Here's what I found in the bottom: That's right. It's my mother-in-law's December 2009 Good Housekeeping. That's what we were reading last year during harvest. Christmas cookies. Buffets. Snowflake decorations. You know, yields aren't great this year, but there's one thought that keeps running through my mind: at…

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  • Holly Spangler

    Dat's a Lotta Sweet Corn, Mom

    My Generation

     by Holly Spangler
     on July 23, 2010

    It was sweet corn day at our place last Thursday, and if you have any connection whatsoever to the farm, I'm trusting you know what that means. Because when you have a sweet corn "patch" that's measured in acres, not rows, sweet corn day is an all-day affair of picking, shucking, silking, cutting, cooking, bagging and freezing. And de-bugging. Ugh. I hate those nasty ear worms. Bleck. But I like eating sweet corn in January. And so does my family. So, we have one giant sticky, messy, sweaty…

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