Tuesday, August 25, 2009
This gorgeous green field is loaded with soybeans, which are very plentiful in and around Mathews, Gloucester and Middlesex from summer through early fall.
According to that handy dandy publication which is found on everyone's coffee table, The 1962 Mathews County Soil Survey, soybeans "are replacing a substantial part of the acreage formerly used for corn, and in 1954 a total of 3,115 acres was used in soybeans."
According to the visitmathews.com site, "Agriculture...remains an important part of our economy. There are 61 farms in the county of an average size of 101 acres. The principal crops are corn, wheat and soybeans."
This doesn't tell us how many acres of soybeans are currently grown, but a completely inaccurate, non-factually-based, unscientific, and mathematically-averse Chesapeake Bay Woman Guesstimate is as follows and I quote: "There appear to be many acres of soybeans around here, and they are very pretty."
No, Chesapeake Bay Woman is not a second grader, she just plays one on the internet.
Continuing on with the fact-based portion of this post...
The Mathews Soil Survey goes on to say that, "In general, farmers in the county are not using high rates of fertilization. It is thought, however, that crop yields can be economically increased if farmers use improved practices, as follows:
A 3-year cropping system is used: First year, corn (a small grain is seeded in the fall); second year, small grain and tall fescue; third year, soybeans followed by a winter cover crop. "
My grandfather, the commercial daffodil grower, leased some of his land to farmers who grew corn and soybeans on a rotating cycle. Growing up I never paid any attention whatsoever to these crops; in fact they were rather boring to me and I couldn't figure out what in the heck a soybean was. Nobody ate soybeans. No one ever explained what they were used for, so I was rather suspicious.....until later in life when I had a Boca Burger....
Now driving by a huge soybean field like the one above makes me want to dive headfirst into that gorgeous sea of green and swim for hours. As fall approaches, however, the beans turn a crispy brown before being harvested, leaving a dusty, very dull colored field which looks nothing like the one above.
In conclusion, I love summer, soybeans and green. I hate winter, drab fields and crispy brown vegetation.
Looking Forward to Third Grade