Our Turn at this Earth: The Great Plains Are Not the Midwest

“Our Turn at this Earth” airs weekly on HIgh Plains Public Radio.

 

“He thought he knew what he was going to see, but now that his horse stood on the summit, he couldn’t believe. He couldn’t believe that flat could be so flat or that distance ran so far or that the sky lifted so dizzy-deep or that the world stood so empty. … He thought he never had seen the world before.

Continue Reading »

Our Turn at this Earth: The Soil Detective – Regenerative Ag on the High Plains

“Our Turn at this Earth” airs weekly on HIgh Plains Public Radio.

 

Over the past few weeks I’ve been talking a lot about regenerative farming techniques. “But could they work where I’m from?” I kept wondering. In order to find out, I spoke with Michael Thompson, a sixth generation farmer from Norton County, Kansas, who grew up thinking, like I did, that wheat ground had to be fallowed every other year and kept bare to accumulate moisture for the next crop.

Continue Reading »

Our Turn at this Earth: The Farm Forest that Never Was

“Our Turn at this Earth” airs weekly on HIgh Plains Public Radio

 

When it came time to plant a new windbreak on my family’s farm back in the 1980s, my father wanted just junipers or elms, while I wanted both of those, plus lilacs, Russian olives and plums, not in rows, but all mixed together randomly, like in a real forest. We fought over those trees the way close family members will do,

Continue Reading »

Our Turn at this Earth: Old Fools in the Wilderness

“Our Turn at this Earth” airs weekly on HIgh Plains Public Radio

 

Last month, my partner and I, having become mutually deluded, decided to go backpacking in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Al had done this many times as a younger man. Now 67, he likes to remind me that he is two whole years my junior. I had only backpacked a few times in that long life of mine,

Continue Reading »

Our Turn at this Earth: John Norman – A Soil Scientist Speaks His Soul

“Our Turn at this Earth” airs weekly on HIgh Plains Public Radio.

 

This May, when I paid a visit to the North Dakota farm of the well-known Soil Health advocate, Gabe Brown, I felt particularly blessed to take part in a conversation with the insightful soil scientist, John Norman. Although he retired some time ago from university teaching and research, John had agreed to oversee a study of the soils on Gabe’s farm.

Continue Reading »