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Farming Mud Lake

November 17, 2012

Arvin and Leona Dierks shared photos of corn being harvested from Mudd Lake in 1959.
 
 Fulda Free Press Norma Dittman
Fulda Free Press Norma Dittman
Arvin and Leona Dierks shared photos of corn being harvested from Mudd Lake in 1959.
   Arvin Dierks is pictured above about three weeks ago as he and his wife, Leona, took a walk on the lake bottom of Mud Lake.  
 Submitted Photo
Submitted Photo
Arvin Dierks is pictured above about three weeks ago as he and his wife, Leona, took a walk on the lake bottom of Mud Lake.
   This picture was taken by Arvin and Leona Dierks just a few days ago. It shows the large cracks that are in the lake bottom at Mud Lake.

 
 Fulda Free Press Norma Dittman
Fulda Free Press Norma Dittman
This picture was taken by Arvin and Leona Dierks just a few days ago. It shows the large cracks that are in the lake bottom at Mud Lake.
   Arvin and Leona Dierks are pictured above standing on the lake bottom of Mud Lake in 1991.  
 Submitted Photo
Submitted Photo
Arvin and Leona Dierks are pictured above standing on the lake bottom of Mud Lake in 1991.
By Norma Dittman
Pictures prove it to be fact that in 1959, Arvin Dierks planted and harvested a crop in Mud Lake. He planted both corn and soybeans in the lake bottom and was pleasantly surprised at the yield that presented itself at harvest time. Mud Lake lies just to the south and west of Fulda and is now part of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and Ducks Unlimited Mud Lake Fulda Wildlife Management Area.

“In the summer of 1958, we plowed the lake bottom. 1959 was a year like this year, and Curly (Norbert Sieverding) told me that if the lake bottom was dry, I should plant it,” Dierks explained. “The land, at that time, belonged to Curly, who had previously attempted to farm the lake bottom a couple of years when it was very dry.” Dierks said that Sieverding had planted soybeans in the lake bottom during those years.

He explained that when he first began farming, , he farmed with his dad and brother. “I didn’t own any machinery, so I used dad’s machinery. Because fueld and seed was cheap and farmers didn’t use much chemical then, my risk of farming the lake bottom wasn’t that great,” Dierks remarked.

With the crop growing in Mud Lake, Dierks left on October 25th, 1959, for Army Reserve Active Duty. “We had one crib of corn picked for dad. It started snowing then and the lake bottom became wet, and the corn couldn’t be picked,” Dierks commented.

Although Dierks and his wife, Leona, were not married yet in 1959, Leona recalled that the fall boasted extremely cold temperatures. “It was a terrible cold fall. The farmers just couldn’t work out in it,” she said. “She is right about that. There were some days that the farmers didn’t pick because it was just too cold,” Arvin confirmed.

With the patience and faith that seems to be inherent in most farmers, Arvin’s dad and brother, Lloyd, waited until the ground was completely frozen to attempt picking the corn out of Mud Lake.

Arvin was home on a leave for Christmas and spent a large share of his leave days picking corn with an Allis-Chalmers pull-type corn picker.

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