HASTINGS, Iowa. (KMTV) — April is Earth Month, a time to reflect on preserving Mother Nature.
Daniel Miller owns Millermatic Seed a seed distribution company in Southwest Iowa. Maintaining his soil is of utmost importance.
"Sometimes Mother Nature deals us a fit with big rains and things like that and we have to mechanically till every once in a while but for the most part, we try not to," Miller said.
Miller's desire to protect the Earth stems from a young age. His father took measures to prevent erosion since he was a kid.
"Especially in Southwest Iowa with where we're at, the terrain is really flowing and we get some steep hills and things like that, for us to be able to have good farms, everything is nice and level, everything is nice and maintained, we take pride in that," Miller said.
Jon Bakehouse owns Maple Edge Farm; raising corn, soybeans and custom beef. Five years ago he started planting cover crops; plants that improve soil health and slow erosion.
"As you can see, it's green and growing, the soil is protected, there are green, living roots in the soil. The green plants are collecting solar energy and feeding the soil microbes," Bakehouse said.
Bakehouse says planting cover crops requires extra work and cost, but this dedicated farmer sees himself as a "keeper of the soil."
"How can we as consumers support practices that maybe are environmentally friendly than the traditions of tilling which is in some cases necessary but of course leaves soil exposed, blow away, wash away," Bakehouse said.
Ultimately, Bakehouse has high hopes for honoring our planet this season.
"Being observant of what's going on in the ground, above ground, below ground, what the animals are telling us, what the wind is telling us, what the weather is telling us, the rain, the soil, everything is being more observant and listening to what Mother Nature is trying to tell us," Bakehouse said.
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