In this area the usual crops are corn and soybeans. There’s the occasional field of sunflowers or sorghum, but for the most part fields look something like this:
Once upon a time though, my grandpa grew something a little different.
During WWII a hemp processing mill was built in town and local farmers were encouraged to grow marijuana to support the war efforts. Well, they were encouraged to grow marijuana with the idea the hemp would eventually be turned into rope for the armed services. I imagine growing marijuana simply to aid war efforts would have attracted an entirely different group of supporters.
The program was so successful that it ended early when production far exceeded expectations. Although a local business group tried to keep it open, they were forced to concede defeat when the mill and part of its inventory accidentally burned. The ensuing jokes, however, lasted for years.
You don’t often see a field like this anymore:
After the crop was cut, it was laid in the field for a couple of weeks to break down the plants. This made them easier to process.
In high school I spent my summers walking beans for my dad. This involved walking row by row through the field to clean out weeds. Forty odd years later, I’d occasionally find rogue pot plants growing.