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Family Farm, Deer Creek Township, Tazewell County, Illinois, Late February

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The family farm is looking good this February, and preparations are already beginning for planting this spring.

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The frost in the ground is melting, and the water is leaching up to the surface, making for some thick mud around the farm.

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The terraces my grandfather built to block erosion still continue to do their jobs. It is not flat out here!

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Interestingly, there are some smooth rocks that have been exposed high up on a ridge that were exposed by plowing. Are they remnants of glaciers? A giant rock was dumped on the farm eons ago, and still sits by the creek.

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Also,  my eyes then picked out pieces of red clay tile (made in St. Louis?).

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I quickly realized the fragments extended in a straight line; I had found one of the old tiles, as they’re called, that drained the fields. They’ve been replaced by new ones, but they still survive in places.

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The creeks need to be kept clear of trees, or they will ironically break the banks down, causing erosion.

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