Thursday, March 26, 2015

Quarterly Update: 2015 Resolutions

March is pretty much over.  I am 1/4 through 2015 and haven’t gained a whole lot on my NewYearsResolutionsresolutions!  Surprised?  I’m not.  I was pretty busy January, February, and March.  

1.    15 pounds in 2015.  Well – I’m actually tracking calories and looking at what I’m eating.  I’m using the “My Fitness Pal” app and I really like it!  It also plugs in my steps (tracked in my iPhone) and gives me some credit.  In January I actually ran/walked 13.9 miles (tracked with the “Nike +” app) and worked out on average of 3x a week (using another app “BodySpace”).  February and March I failed to work out.  At all.  As far as actual weight loss…I still have 15 lbs to go!  Is it just me, or are there a crap-ton of apps?  Each are pretty neat, though.

2.  15 books in 2015.  I am almost done with Chronicles of Narnia (does this count as 1 book or 7?!).  I’ve read this book before, but every time I read it I pick up on some cool quotes that relate to faith.  They make me smile.  I’ve started “The Antelope in the Living Room.”  I literally laugh out loud while reading this so far.  I would suggest it!  Another big deal with this book is that it is the first that I am reading on my iPad. 

3.  15 good deeds in 2015.  I’m somewhat keeping track…but need to do more!  I also need to include the kids – they can benefit from this ‘lesson’ too!   

4.  15 new friends/acquaintances in 2015.  I have made some great friends so far this year!  I am lucky. :)

5.  15 minutes for prayer every day in 2015.  I need to do better.  I have been praying, but I need to formalize it a little more.  Again, making the time is harder than it should be. I am making excuses. 

Thanks for holding me accountable for these.  I’d appreciate suggestions, love, critiques, motivation, and any other ideas if you have them! 

Spring is coming and we are preparing on the farm.  I can hear the birds chirping in the morning to help wake me up!  Enjoy the nice weather when it is here – we are!

Walking in the Wetland

Friday, March 13, 2015

The Trouble with Water Quality

I apologize for not writing for awhile.  Apparently, it is super cool to have meeting after meeting after meeting in January, February, and March.  And, apparently, I want to go to EVERY SINGLE ONE. 

I received an update Tuesday afternoon about a lawsuit that is going forward in the state of Iowa.  This lawsuit isn’t in our county or our watershed, but it could have an impact on the way we farm in the future.  Water quality is important to me and my family.  We drink the water, too. 

I’ve written before of some of the things we do on our farm for water quality (confluence tour, ISA tour, cover crops, and Kossuth county tour) .  These are things we will continue to do, regardless of the lawsuit.  I know others will, too. 

However, this lawsuit frustrates me because it will not help water quality.  The lawsuit wants farmers to file permits to discharge nutrients, just like the company does itself.  So, instead of working on ways to reduce nutrients, we pay to release them.  For the goals in my farming and professional life, this doesn’t make sense.   

Data (that is useful and trustworthy) has actually shown that water quality has been improving in the larger watershed that the lawsuit is directed towards. The decline in nitrates may be small, but it is certainly encouraging.  See page 7-8 of this progress report

Water quality can only be improved with a team approach.  Water quality is a complex process in which there is no “one size fits all” practice (i.e. regulation) that will ‘fix’ it.  I am working with farmers in my watershed and others to achieve the goal of improving water quality.  Continual improvement is key. 

With that (and off my soap box) what #1NewThingforWater will YOU do? 

Below is a photo of our wetland this spring.  Water sits in this and helps to reduce nitrates in the groundwater.