"I noticed it the other day. We had some beans that had been planted recently. I almost took pictures of it because it really, to me, it is fascinating. But walking down a road, it had rained and it [the ground] had caked. The wind had blown, so it had a cake on top. And here is this little bean plant trying to come out of the ground. It has pushed a dirt clod that is about this long and about this thick up and out of the way so it can poke its head out. Crops are fascinating. You start looking at them and you think they're just growing but they try. A corn plant that is leaning this way will put down a brace root to help itself, steady itself back up so it can grow straight up toward the sun. Oh it's fascinating!
     "People don't realize how fascinating [it is].I know it sounds really stupid and if I didn't do it I would sound stupid to me, but if you realize how hard a plant actually tries. A corn plant will only, will only set as many ears as they think they can produce. If they actually set two and it gets hot and dry they'll abort one so that they can continue to feed the one. Soybeans are the same. Weeds! Weeds are fascinating. There is – the velvet leaf or button weed won't set a seed pod if it knows it can't mature. If it knows it's going to die from frost before that seed pod can be matured, it just doesn't set one. So, yeah, I think it's really interesting."

Heather Derr – Miracle of Growth


Other Excerpts from Heather Derr’s Interview:

Their "Moderate Size" Farm
Government Subsidies
Women on the Farm
Choosing to Farm
Raising Kids for Export
Drugs in Rural America
"Roughing" Weeds
Farmers are Conservationists
Using GPS Tools
Her First Tractor
Computers on the Farm