200 bushel cornPublished 9:44am Wednesday, September 4, 2013
Yeah, Baby….that’s what I’m talking about. Let the words roll around in your mouth. Allow them to nestle down into your taste buds and slide off the tip of your tongue like butter. “200 Bushel Corn.” Oh, yeah…
Can you feel that combine chugging down, barely creeping through the field? Straining like a weight lifter to bring those big ‘ole ears into the head, shoving those giant yellow kernels up the elevator into the holding bin and spitting out the cobs in the rear? Can you feel it? My, my. Seems every time you turn around, the bin is full again. Pick 8 rows, dump… Pick 8 rows, dump… Pick 8 rows, dump… Can you smell it? The sweet smell of a bumper crop. Run your hands and arms down into it. Let it sift down through your fingers. Heck, take your shoes off and jump in it! Dive in it! Splash around in it! This calls for can openers, cannon balls and belly flops! It’s an Olympic pool of corn!
Yes sir, it’s been a long time. After five years of droughts, disappointments and headaches, it started raining mid May and the spigot never cut off. For once the heavens released their grip and let it fall. For once our farm, like a magnet for thunderstorms, was in the right place. Corn took off like a Nascar race and never looked back. 2…6…8…10 feet tall! Black green and screaming upward. Ears stretching like a missile through the shuck, as if to tease us with what’s underneath.
It’s scaling Mt. Everest, running a four-minute mile, pole vaulting 20 feet. It’s a half court basket, a grand slam home run, a hail Mary pass, this seldom achieved, rarely attainable, always elusive destination called “200 bushel corn.”
It might be 10 years before we see this again. Enjoy it. Savor it. Remember it. Start assembling, right now, the chronicle for your future grandchildren.
“Why, I remember back in ’13, the corn crop was so big that….”
I say we have us a pool party.
REX ALPHIN of Walters is a farmer, businessman, author, county supervisor and contributing columnist for The Tidewater News. His email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.