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

Diary of Steve Bartels -Bartels Christmas Trees & Treasures Week 5- April 25-30

Monday April 25   

This is spring break for Judy at Butler Tech. The plans were to have all the trees planted before now and for us to take off for the Carolinas this whole week. Well the best laid plans of mice and men…. We don’t want to go that far with John in the hospital, The last batch of trees arrived, this one from Pennsylvania. With the .9 inches of rain today, we have received 4.15 inches in the last 6 days. Obviously it is to wet to plant, so we healed them in with the others. When I first began work for OSU Extension, it was in, Pickaway County, Circleville, Ohio, as the 4-H Agent. George Hamrick was the Agriculture Agent and I have not seen him in a number of years. George fell and fractured his hip a few weeks ago. He is now in a rehab center. We drove to Circleville in the afternoon to see him. I had no idea, but it happened to be his birthday, so his two daughters were also there to visit. It was great to help celebrate his birthday.

Tuesday April 26   

We went to Louisville Ky for a day trip. The Ohio River had flooded a couple of streets along the river, but the city, as a whole, was fine. When I was at the Farm Bureau meeting in Columbus last winter, I purchased a $150 gift certificate for a store called “A Taste of Kentucky”. It was a silent auction, so I got a bargain. I think most people were like me and had not really heard of the store. Of course I was thinking food! But it turned out to be more like an artsy kind of place. Judy loved it. Oh well it was fun anyway. We also spent hours in the Muhammad Ali Museum. It was quite interesting to see a different side of the boxer.

Wednesday April 27   

Today we went to Georgetown Ky. We ate lunch at an old fashion style diner, which at one time was a bank. The safe door was open but alas, some one had taken all the money out years ago. We dodged the raindrops all day to walk through almost all the stores and antique places in the older part of town. I was proud of Judy, she only spent $2.95 on a dresser scarf. That was all, the whole day!

Thursday April 28   

I cut the grass at home today and Brian cut grass at the farm. When you have grass to keep under control in this perfect weather for growing cool season grass, it seems as if you are cutting grass all the time. Today was a big day for our family. After 10 days, John came home from the hospital. Praise God!

Friday April 29   

Today we took another day trip to Ky, this time to Berea. I can’t believe we have never visited here before. My uncle attended Berea College in the late 50’s. It has a wonderful history of teaching self reliance, work, as well as scholarship. Anyone who has a financial need, who can get in academically and will work, will get a scholarship that pays for everything. We ate lunch at the Daniel Boone Tavern, an experience worth the trip. We did the walk about the campus area and the shops in Old Town. This time it was me, who couldn’t resist getting into my billfold. We had wanted to visit Bybee Pottery but were told it had closed about two months ago. I paid too much for a numbered, 10 inch, red dinner plate. If they really are closed for good, maybe in about 80 years I’ll have something.

Saturday  April 30    

We have had a record month for rain here in S W Ohio. At the International Airport, in Boone County Ky, Cincinnati, Ohio’s official site for the US Weather Service, it was only .1 inch short of tying the record for the wettest month of all time. I am now very concerned about even our established trees. With saturated soils, the new roots can’t grow and the old roots may get disease and die. Conifers “can’t stand wet feet”. The trouble is we may not see the damage this has caused for a year or even longer. I had said earlier that we thought our soils would be well enough drained except in the extreme conditions. These are extreme conditions. We hope to have our trees to sell in November of 2014 at the latest; just have to wait and see. As John Nieman said “Steve in about 80 years you’ll have something there.” That is what agriculture is all about, investing in the future, with hope for tomorrow.  Watch for our website and our Grandopening! Go Green.

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