I wrote this because sosbros.com stats show 5711 views last month. That inspired me. I am half hoping nobody reads this post because I need to be inspired to do other things, not this. But what the hell?
I am not an expert on nuts, but with hazelnut, chestnut, hickory, walnut and oaks planted on our farm, I may be someday. What I do know is that the football season is nuts, starting with this: For the first time since the 1900’s I have not attended a single Badgers football game in Camp Randall. Same for Kelly. That’s nuts. We used to live and breathe this stuff. It’s not that we don’t care and it’s not that we don’t still live and breathe and we do keep tabs on the season by radio and DVR, but we really want to get this farm going and that leaves little time to attend sporting events, not to mention the writing of long compound sentences.
Did I mention we harvested several pounds (more than 10, probably not more than 20) of mushrooms--not really a sport--this fall? I did not think we would have any this year and possibly ever, but surprise. Ten pounds is far from commercial-caliber mushroom growing, but it suggests we can ramp up the operation without fearing an inability to grow them. Two varieties fruited: wine cap and oyster. I am no connoisseur of fungus or of speaking French, but both mushroom varieties had great flavor. They were also simple to identify, so, like I said, we still live and breathe.
Nuts doesn’t stop there. The mighty Green Bay Packers are on a seemingly intractable trajectory to finish with a losing season. The last time that happened was so long ago that paleontologists are studying the era. Usually I am optimistic about the Packers, but I don’t have time to R-E-L-A-X. I am thankful I sold our season's tickets before the season started. I got top dollar for them. Had I waited to sell they would have been next to worthless. Today we got our playoff tickets application. I suppose I will send it in, but it sure seems like a waste of time.
Did I mention that we are planting areas of native perennials (commonly known as prairie) to draw pollinators and beneficial insects to our trees and plants? As an experiment, we first burn piles of brush, mostly because Kelly likes burning stuff. Natives, according to Scott Weber of Bluestem Farm, grow well in burned areas. We burn where we want natives, then plant seeds in these areas. After the ground cools, of course. Don’t throw the seeds on hot coals because they probably won’t germinate due to being burned to a crisp.
Donald Trump won the election. I don’t need a long paragraph to say why that’s nuts. It’s not all bad though. My Deport Melania First bumper stickers are flying off the shelves.
Most nuts of all? The East Division of the Big Ten showcases the conference game of the year: No. 2 Michigan vs. No. 3 OSU. I might have the rankings vice versa'd, but by Saturday, it won’t matter. What is nuts about this heeeeeeuge matchup? The big winner of that game may be Penn State! After the Joe Pa scandal, I thought the Nifty Lions would be dead for at least a decade. Gotta hand it to that staff for turning things around so fast. If OSU wins its home game against Michigan, the playoff selection gets flat-out bizarre. The Buckeyes will almost certainly be the national playoff representative no matter what happens in the Big Ten title game, which will not feature OSU. If Michigan wins, then loses to Wisconsin December 3--assuming the Badgers get past a legitimate Minnesota team Saturday--Michigan might still go to the playoffs. But probably not. If there is a Wisconsin-Michigan rematch, I think the winner of that game goes, especially after the committee factors in Wisconsin's strength of schedule. Do I want Wisconsin to play Alabama in the national spotlight? Naw, not really. The defense is worthy, but the UW offense is not playoff caliber.
What is most nuts is that we don’t have an EIGHT-TEAM PLAYOFF. I think Trump said he was going to fix that because he pretty much said he was going to fix everything. I hope he remembers.
Speaking of ramping up, I planted ramps today. What are ramps? $12 a pound, that’s what. Also known as wild leeks, and native to the midwest, they are said to favor a hickory understory. In theory, we should have the perfect environment. Seeds are $40 an ounce so maybe we will sell those too. There will not be any harvestable ramps for several years. We can work on the mushrooms in the meantime.
Chickens next year. At least we keep saying that.