When weeding, the best way to make sure you are removing a weed and not a valuable plant is to pull on it. If it comes out of the ground easily, it is a valuable plant. ~Author Unknown
Did you know Illinois is the nation’s second leading exporter of soybeans?
That fact becomes obvious if you visit at this time of year, when fields are lush with growing corn and bean plants.
Soy, a legume, has been grown for thousands of years in Asia; here, it’s used for animal feed, as well as products like vegetable oil, tofu, soy milk, soaps, cosmetics, and biodiesel. It’s very high in protein, too.
Now I’m not a farmer, but many of my ancestors were, so I’ve grown accustomed to looking over field crops. And the differences can be startling.
Typically, we see fields much like this beauty:
You can’t really tell from this angle, but trust me, these plants are healthy-looking and evenly-spaced. I imagine they’ll produce a fine crop.
On the other hand — less than a mile away, in fact — we see something like this:
What a nasty mess! Just look at the weeds, sticking their heads up like an army — and you can’t imagine how many shorter weeds there are growing in and among the poor beans!
When my neighbor said there were soybeans growing in this field, I laughed. No self-respecting farmer would prepare a field like this, then sow seeds, leaving the tender plants to battle the weeds for nutrients.
I was wrong.
Somebody did, and now I’m going to have to look on this mess for probably four more months!
Or maybe, like in the Gospel account (Matt. 13:24-30), this farmer planned to grow weeds and crops together for a reason??