To the Editor: Turkey picture, tree planting, and fun in the North Timber

Photo provided by Ed Schott

I met Brad when I sold him an old truck in 2008, and the rest is history. Brad hunts one turkey a year and gladly comes and spends at least five days a year helping with tree planting and garlic mustard eradication as a vacation.

This is a beautiful picture (above) and was an out-of-school field trip for 10-year-old son, Trenton. We planted almost 700 trees on two days in mid-March (300 white oak, 100 each Northern red oak, swamp white oak, persimmon and pecan). Two hundred twenty trees were harvested in 2008, the first harvest since 1942. The bare root seedlings were furnished by The Turkey Foundation.

I’ll probably work with Brad on April 28-30 and with my interested offspring on May 1 and 2.

We are gradually eliminating garlic mustard in the Big North Timber. Each year, we spot spray with Monsanto-developed glyphosate (Roundup) two times and pull remainder two more times, burning if seeds are viable. We are farming with no till or minimum till for field crops, resulting in major reduction of soil erosion, moisture loss and energy expended and in improved yields. This very significant improvement over former organic methods is possible due to the modern usage of Monsanto-developed chemicals and GMO seeds.

The land is in Sec. 27, Kelly Twp., Warren County, Illinois, and was purchased by my ancestors in 1832. They would be proud! Their diary mentions the bluestem prairie grass being “over our heads when we rode in on horseback.” Part of this was “The Tall Grass Prairie.” I am gradually adding more native prairie plantings, too. When we do this work, we are “active environmentalists” improving the environment as farmers, not “environmental activists” carrying protest signs.

I am a retired engineer with three patents and one secret invention not patented and have been involved in science and farming activities all of my life. I collect and restore antique farm equipment (tractors), engines, and I experiment with alternate and renewable fuels.

Ed Schott

From the April 27-May 3, 2011 issue

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