Archive for August, 2012

2012 began well enough except for my mother’s illness.  In October 2011 my Mother was diagnosed with MDS (Myelodysplastic Syndrome).  In January she underwent her first bone marrow transplant.  By the time she checked into the hospital her abnormal cell count was high enough to classify her illness as AML (Acute Myeloid Leukemia).  This began a long journey for myself and my family.  Two bone marrow transplants and a round of remission chemotherapy later my Mother passed June 10, 2012 from complications due to MRSA resulting in septic shock and a four week ordeal in the Medical ICU.


Needless to say, May and June were months that had me preoccupied and while I managed to plant everything I failed to be able to dedicate the time to tend to it.  In the midst of my Mother’s battle with cancer I suddenly found myself unemployed and I was also busy organizing for the auction. Just shy of 300 hours of labor went into organizing the auction and it went off without much fanfare on June 16, 2012.  We buried my Mother 2 days later on June 18th.  The worst week of my life.


Drought conditions across the Midwest and particularly Southern Michigan have been hard on agriculture unless you have a way to put some water down.  Commodity crops as well as produce are feeling Mother Nature’s wrath.  We are lucky enough to have neighbors that irrigate their silage corn and in turn our sweet corn receives adequate water.  Raccoons are a separate issue altogether.  As of writing this we have taken 57 raccoons out of the sweet corn and they still managed to destroy the majority of the first acre of corn.  Plastic and drip tape have been a Godsend for everything else and the tomatoes, peppers and melons are thriving and we have begun harvesting some.  I spent a couple of weeks moving the sprinklers around to get water on some pumpkins, gourds and popcorn though.  June 2012 we received less than .25 inches of rain and July only provided another 3 inches.  The last week we have received a decent amount of moisture, hopefully it isn’t too little too late.


Being unemployed I have not found myself with a lack of work.  I have had some equipment through the shop and JPR Design Service LLC has acquired a couple of customers and hopefully will be able to realize some income soon.  In the meantime we have decided to move.  That is right, no more J.A.Root Farms produce for Hillsdale County.  With family obligations we are working toward the goal of relocating back to the Monroe area.  I will be concentrating on vintage IHC restoration and repair after this year’s harvest is complete.  I enjoy it more and it pays much better than sweet corn and tomatoes on a small scale.


We are also looking forward to September and the 5th annual Mackinac Bridge Tractor Ride.  I will be taking the 2-71 powered M on the ride this year.  This is the only tractor I kept from the farm.  It meant a great deal to my Father and thus to me. Earlier this year I rebuilt the engine but I’ve had some issues keeping a head gasket intact.  I think I have corrected that.  While going through the laundry list of items to repair before paint I have ended up neck deep in a rear end and transmission rebuild.  That is another post though.


Until then, stop by for fresh sweet corn, some of the best you’ll ever eat.  If it isn’t on the stand we’ll get you fresh from the field.