Bartel's Christmas Trees & Treasures-Steve, Judy & Brian Bartels

Diary of Steve Bartels -Bartels Christmas Trees & Treasures

Friday April 1, 2011

I worked today in the morning for a couple of hours on my job as a crop adjuster. Yesterday, the March 31 Planting Intentions and the March Grain Inventory reports were released by the United States Department of Agriculture. The price of corn, soybeans, and wheat traded on the Chicago Board of Trade are affected by these reports for the nearby future. The price in Chicago determines our local price. I had not put together a marketing plan for the wheat that we planted last October or for the field corn and soybeans we will plant this spring. The first thing I needed to do was figure out what my cost will be for a bushel of each crop. I don’t want to sell anything for less then that price. This year that should not be a problem; prices now are very good. I have decided to sell several times between now and July 31st. This will spread my risks, as I shoot for my target price, which will be well above my cost of production.

We need herbicides to control the grass and broadleaf plants in the rows of the trees. When the trees are small they cannot compete with other plants for sunlight, nutrient and moisture. We can not till the soil because it would cause too much erosion of the soil. I looked at the amount and kinds of herbicides we had left over from last year. We need to purchase only one for this spring so I went to town to purchase it and did some grocery shopping while I was there.

In the evening, after Judy completed her visits of her students in four clinical sites, we went to Trenton to Holy Name for their fish dinner and then on to a movie, The King’s Speech, a great show.

Saturday April 2, 2011   

Again this morning I worked for the crop insurance company for three hours. While I was doing that, Brian drove to Granville, Ohio to pick up our new seedlings; it is a 315-mile round trip. He had completed his 24-hour shift and went on from Fairborn to get the trees. The soil in our field is too wet from recent rains to plant. If we let them sit in their shipping packages, the roots dry out and the plants will die. We have a cement floor we cover with potting soil and we “heal in” the trees until the soils are dry enough to plant. Throwing potting soil over the roots and covering the plants with shade cloth protects them from harsh winds and drying roots. The winds were certainly harsh today, 30 mile per hour gust. We secured the shade cloth as best we could but are concerned it may be blown away before morning. Some shingles were lifted from the roof of the barn so we decided to tack them down before we went home for the evening to watch the final four.

Sunday April 3, 2011  

We go to Jacksonburg United Methodist Church. Did you know Jacksonburg is the smallest incorporated village in the State of Ohio? It is in Wayne Township about six miles west of Middletown. Former Governor Cox is from just outside the village and donated the funds to build the original stone structure in the 1920’s, provided its architecture was like a church he had seen in England, and so it is! It’s a great little church with two services every Sunday morning.

Judy is in a share group, so we need to be there at 8:00 AM. I teach a class every other Sunday that begins at 9:00. The contemporary service begins at 9:00. We have 30 minutes for refreshments at 10:00 and at 10:30  the traditional service begins. On the first Sunday of each month we have a carry in dinner. Judy and I usually leave for Eaton, Ohio somewhere around 1:00 PM. My mother has been in Eaton at a Nursing Facility for four years now.

Since Judy has students she must visit who are with their preceptor, we visited three facilities on the way home. Later in the evening we helped Brian and Kara organize the table seating for their wedding reception.

Brian and Kara attend church in Cincinnati and after church Brian helped Mike Dietz repair fence in preparation for the beef animals grazing the pasture.





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