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  • Writer's pictureThe Farmer's Wife

What? Your Husband... Flies?

Updated: Feb 9

Yep. My husband Jonathan is a paramotor pilot. If you don't know what that is (I didn't!), it's basically a giant fan that he straps to his back and then has a parachute type "Wing" overhead.


He puts the "Wing" in the air, hits the gas on the "fan" and runs into the sky.


He assures me it is safe ;)


People ask me all the time how I feel about him flying. I wasn't always to excited about the idea... you can read that story here.

Sometimes people wonder what it's like up there where only the birdies get to fly... so I thought I would bring in a guest writer (my husband) today to tell you about it.


Enter - Your Flying Farmer

Jonathan writes for the Fillmore County Journal once a month to share his flying and farming life. I thought you'd all like to peek into his world just a little. :)


With that being said, here is Your Flying Farmer:



Come Fly with me!

Farm work was done, the milk hauler had recently picked up the milk and was headed to the cheese plant. We had just finished eating dinner, and my daughter was getting out the ice cream.


As my daughter was getting out the ice cream, I commented to my wife, whom I often call “Cream Elisabeth”, that it would be a perfect evening for flying. The trees were standing still and my wind ribbon was gently waving at me to come out for a flight.


That’s when my wife looked at me with big eyes and said, “Your article is due for the Fillmore County Journal!”


Now for the conundrum, do I write the article or do I go flying?


I then had a brilliant idea. What if I take off into the air and write about the things I see?!

Brilliant! Flying is always the answer.


So, here we go. I had less than 20 minutes before the sun was scheduled to set and unless God saw fit to hold back time, the daylight was fleeting.


Running to get my helmet and wing, I glanced back at the ice cream and said, “I’ll be back!” I laid out my wing, strapped on my already preflighted motor, went through my takeoff routine, and ran into the air as smooth as butter.


There’s nothing quite like the feeling of soaring into the sky.
One second my feet are on the ground and the next I lift them up and I’m airborne with a “whoo hoo!’ at the top of my lungs!

The first thing I see is the brilliance of the sunset from a higher perspective. I’m going up late enough that the deep oranges of the sun peering through the atmosphere are already waning and its final declaration to God’s glory is slipping below the horizon with one last call.


I keep gaining altitude and go into my first turn. Looking down I see a playful red fox. It looks up at me, jumps into the ditch and disappears into the field. It’s such a different perspective to be able to see deer running along rows of corn and fawns bouncing around their momma's legs through the alfalfa.


Up over a thousand feet there’s another new perspective in this beautiful driftless, bluff country!


From that altitude, I love the patterns of the fields in strips back and forth along the contour of the land. The contrast of the bluffs and the valleys are in perfect showing. At 1000 feet, I’m high enough to see the dips into the valleys between the high bluff tops. The far off Winnebago valley tunnels its way through the landscape while the much nearer Beaver Creek Valley trails a light stream of smoke from the many campers enjoying the beauty of our county. I love to follow the roads with my eyes as they snake down through the valleys and back out on top.


When I fly past my pastures, I love to see the cows looking up at me and running along below, wondering what I’m doing so high above them.


When I shiver up into three and four thousand feet I can clearly see the Mississippi River making its way south. From this height and the disappearing sun, it’s surprising to see all the lights dotting the countryside with my favorite being the airport light spinning its nightly rhythm. The brightness of my strobes shining on my hands and the chilliness of this high altitude make me think it’s time to head back down to warmer air.


As I head down, I think there are many places I’ve stopped for ice cream through the years, some of the best memories are ‘drive through’ twist cones as a kid in the back seat, Main St Decorah, an Albanian Mountain top fort-turned restaurant, Thailand ice cream “sandwiches” (in an actual hotdog bun), sidewalk cafes in Prague, but the very best and my most favorite of all is right here on Beaver Ridge, as I drop down right in the middle of the most beautiful driftless countryside in the world where Cream Elisabeth was waiting with a triple decker peach, ice cream, desert!

Take your family to your favorite ice cream parlor and enjoy a triple scoop!

__________________________________________________________________________


Meet your farmer - Jonathan Gerdes. He and his wife run a farm-to-table Raw Milk dairy in Caledonia, MN. If he isn’t in the barn, you can find him dating his wife, playing with his kids, leading youth group, or flying in the sky. Visit gerdesfreshfarm.com for more info.


 

Hey friend!

Thanks so much for reading.

If you don't know me, I'm Liz Gerdes, and I'm the Flying Farmer's wife... I'm usually the writer around here, but I thought you'd like to hear from the Farmer himself :)


With everything we do on our farm, we love helping families solve problems using raw milk. Whether you're struggling with eczema, digestive issues, acne, or just want to have the incredible nutrition of raw milk, we are here to help!


Visit gerdesfreshfarm.com for more info or to reserve your milk TODAY!


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Jan Ellingson
Jan Ellingson
05 gru 2023

Does Jonathan ever wear a helmet camera?? I'd love to see what he sees up there!! Thanks for sharing! Jan

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