Though John works full time for the county road commission, he farmed side by side with his uncle for years. His fiancee, Tammy Polzin, works as a bus driver for the Saline school district during the school year, but she also helps out after work, and so do her three daughters. Still, there's too much work to go around: acres and acres of wild wheat surround the trees, standing more than three feet tall. "I don't have any money to hire anybody to tend it," John explains.
"Don't forget your four-legged mowers," his mother quips. They had to sell Bill's dairy herd after his death, but still have twenty heifers.
"Can't let them in," John shoots back. "I just sprayed the orchard."
Adding insult to injury, apple growers must keep spending money to maintain their orchards, even though they won't get any income till fall 2013. And the Lutz farm doesn't have insurance. "Bill didn't believe in getting insurance," John says, "and we would have had to buy it last fall, before he died."