I talked it over with some of the more experienced farmers on the Strip who understood the processes required. They figured they could plant part of the ground while the other lay fallowing. If it happened to be a wet year, that would give them something to go on. "But, mein Gott, how we goin' to pull t'rough next winter?" old man Husmann raved. Even Chris had no answer.
Seeing the stacks of grain that stood ready for threshing or for feeding in the straw, old man Husmann pointed to the field. "Mein Gott in Himmel! Vat I tell you? Das oats made t'irty bushels an acre. And flax. Mein Gott! She grow on raw land like hair on a hog's back. Back in Ioway we know notings about flax for sod crop." Dakota taught the United States that flax was the ideal sod crop.
Everyone passing through the Strip stopped to look at the many small fields and a few large ones dotting the prairie. People came from other parts of the frontier to see the rapid development which the Brulé had made. "Mein Gott in Himmel!" shouted old Mr. Husmann, pointing to a field of oats. "Look at them oats. We get one hell of a crop for raw land."
On the other side of us, Chris Christopherson's big field of flax was in full bloom, like a blue flower garden. "I come by Ioway," Mr. Husmann went on, "when she was a raw country, and I say, 'Mein Gott, what grass! But I see no grass so high and rich like this." The gardens matured late, as all growth on the western prairie does.