Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

Missing the farm during a Minnesota harvest September 30, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — Audrey Kletscher Helbling @ 11:09 AM
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An elevator just outside of Vermillion, MN., near Hastings on Saturday morning.

DECADES HAVE PASSED since I’ve been home on the farm for harvest. My middle brother quit farming years ago and the home place is now rented out.

A harvested cornfield between Hastings and Cannon Falls.

I miss being on the farm, anticipating the bringing in of the crop, then watching the combines chomp through rows of brittle cornstalks and brown fields of ripened soybeans.

Between Hastings and Cannon Falls.

I miss the undeniable scent of earth and plant residue.

Harvesting corn just south of Hastings on Saturday afternoon.

I miss the grain wagons brimming with golden kernels.

The Vermillion Elevator, in the small town of Vermillion.

I miss living in a rural community where tractors and aged grain trucks line up at the local co-op elevator.

I miss the hum of grain dryers drying corn.

A grain truck waits on a gravel road near Cannon City, east of Faribault.

Now I view the harvest from a distance, as an observer passing by.

© Copyright 2012 Audrey Kletscher Helbling


14 Responses to “Missing the farm during a Minnesota harvest”

  1. Beth Ann Says:

    You can take the girl off the farm but you can’t take the farm out of the girl or something like that. Great shots. I love to watch the fields this time of year also. Even though the fields this year looked a little less than enthusiastic in their yield…

    • Audrey Kletscher Helbling Says:

      That’s right, you can’t take the girl off the farm. In our area of Minnesota, we had timely rains so the crops actually have done quite well. Not so in Iowa, others part of Minnesota and the country, I know.

  2. hotlyspiced Says:

    That’s a really big farm. I think if you grew up on a big property like that, that the way of life would be so ingrained in you that you would always miss it, no matter how long it’s been. It’s a shame your brother left the farm causing the property to be rented out but I can imagine it’s a very tough way to make a living xx

    • Audrey Kletscher Helbling Says:

      You are right in that growing up on a farm becomes a part of who you are, no matter how long you’ve been away from the land. My middle brother, even though no longer actively farming, remains in agriculture and works as the CEO of an ethanol plant.

  3. Jackie Says:

    We saw lots of combines in the fields coming home from Door County…. I too love all of that, the fields look extra golden against the bright colors of the changing leaves! Two years ago a farmer friend of mine let me sit with him in the combine while he was bringing in the corn, i could have done it all day…and maybe even the next day!

    • Audrey Kletscher Helbling Says:

      Even growing up on the farm, I don’t recall ever riding in the combine. I doubt I ever asked for a ride and Dad and the uncles were too busy to consider a passenger aboard.

  4. ceciliag Says:

    Still those shots of the harvest from the road are still very powerful.. c

  5. ljhlaura Says:

    Thanks for sharing these memories. When I drive by farms in the Midwest, I often wonder what it would be like to be a part of that.

  6. A lovely, if melancholy, post. I’ve noticed that the farmers around here are cutting the corn earlier than usual this year.

  7. Lori Clark Says:

    Audrey, Fall is always a hard time for me. I get so homesick for the farm. There is just something about harvest that gets in your blood. The smells, the weather, the trees, the corn stalks, sausage sandwichs, even the full moon…. brings back so many memories. I would love to have that time in my life back – it is hard to believe I have been gone from it for over 20 years.

    • Audrey Kletscher Helbling Says:

      Oh, Lori, you nailed it with your comments. Fall is the time I most miss the farm also, for all the reasons you list. And, yes, I would love to have that time back in my life also.

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