NOVEMBER 18-24 IS NATIONAL FARM-CITY WEEK

TL 11-18 THRU 24 IS NATIONAL FARM-CITY WEEK

Kansas is rich in agricultural traditions.  As you drive along our state’s highways you can’t help but notice the lovely quilt of farmland with the occasional horse, herds of cattle or sheep, and of course the state flower, the sunflower.

The farmers of Kansas provide food and other resources for the rest of the country.  It’s a proud heritage to be a farmer, but it certainly won’t make you rich.  Maybe it does make you rich, it’s just not from monetary gain.  There is a rich satisfaction in farming… knowing that you’ve done a good day’s work for your fellow-man is worth more than money.

You know when I think of a Kansas farm, I think of the Peterson Farm.  Those guys are crazy…  yep – they’re Kansans alright!

https://youtu.be/hSp9mGcaESc

When I think of Thanksgiving, it’s natural to think of harvest.  I can’t imagine living in a big city where harvest is just a concept and not a reality.  Something about having harvest as a way of life just makes me more thankful than I would be otherwise.

A WORKING FARM

It’s a silly memory, I know…  but I remember taking field trips to my 5th grade teacher’s farm around this time of year.  Maybe it had to do with this holiday – who knows?

It’s important for children to be exposed to farm life once in a while.  They need to know that they’re milk comes from a cow and eggs come from chickens.  Some of those city kids might decide they want to move to a farm one day and enjoy a slower, more structured, simple life.

The only downside to farming is the butchering of livestock.  I know some don’t have a problem with it, but I’m just a bit of a squeamish soul, I suppose.  I thought it would be fun to have a herd of sheep and sell wool.  There is a new kind of farm emerging on the horizon that sounds interesting – Alpaca farms!  Alpaca fleece is softer than cashmere and is in demand.  As an alpaca farmer you can raise the animals and not have to butcher them – just shear them.  I think I could handle that!

FARM COMFORT

One more video from the Peterson farm.  https://youtu.be/toyN81wZzLw

I hope sometime this week you will take a city kid to visit a working farm – maybe even the Peterson farm!   The only way we can encourage kids to appreciate the food they eat is to show them where it comes from – and all the work involved in making it happen.  Have a great week!  🙂

 

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I STILL BELIEVE AS I GRIEVE

TL I STILL BELIEVE AS I GRIEVE (2)

What was happening in America on Saturday, September 18, 1909???

The largest crowd to ever watch a baseball game, up to that time, turned out in Shibe Park as 35,409 spectators watched the Philadelphia Athletics beat the visiting Detroit Tigers, 2–0, on the pitching of future Hall of Famer Charles “Chief” Bender. The A’s were second to the Tigers in the American League pennant race.

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SEPTEMBER 18, 1909

Guess what else happened???  My Grandpa married my Granny!  I don’t have wedding photos – I’m not even sure there are any – this plate is my precious possession to remind me of my Grandpa Frank & Granny LaVella’s wedding day.  Mama told me that it was hand painted by a family friend and neighbor.  It’s not valuable – but it sure means a lot to me.  Granny kept this plate hanging in their bedroom on the farm.

People really do get married at an older age these days.  These two crazy kids were married at 16 years of age!  I think they were married at a judge’s house, if I remember the story correctly.

They had a piece of farmland willed to them, built a little house on it and started growing wheat, horses, cattle and children – by the time it was said and done – EIGHT kids!

Grandpa Frank also drove a truck to supplement their income.  Granny did some sewing and took in washing to help out.  They didn’t have to buy stainless for the kitchen or even entertain the notion of indoor plumbing…  but they were two of the happiest people ever!  They had the same beliefs and the same dreams for their family.  They embraced faith in God above all and were faithful to each other until the end.

I get to thinking about that sometimes.  In their life, they were so firmly rooted in family and values, the fancy stuff wasn’t important.  I loved everything about staying at the farmhouse when I was little because something as simple as snuggling down in one of Granny’s quilts meant more to me than anything fancy and showy.  That squeaky bed was the best, and using homemade soap every morning and eating farm fresh eggs…  well those are memories that will never fade from my memory!

You have to have a dream so you can get up in the morning.  – Billy Wilder

In our day, it seems like we place so much importance on possessing the best of things and less emphasis on growing a strong family.  In the end, what difference does it make if we have a hardwood floor or linoleum?  I wouldn’t want to have an outhouse…  let’s not get nuts!

I miss that farm in Oklahoma…  I felt so safe and secure there in that squeaky bed with Granny’s quilt tucked around me.  It gives me such comfort to know that Grandpa, Granny, mom and dad are in heaven waiting for me.

Happy Anniversary in heaven, Grandpa & Granny!!!

They are with Jesus, and one day I’ll join them.  Maybe I could have that squeaky bed and one of Granny’s quilts in my mansion.  I may not need it since there is no night there and I won’t get tired.  Hmm…  I have to re-think that, don’t I?  Wink!  😉

 

 

DAY TRIPPIN’ AROUND KANSAS

DAY TRIPPIN' AROUND KANSAS

I know to people outside of Kansas this may seem a little silly…  but we get excited about the state flower…  the SUNFLOWER!

I LOVE KANSAS

FARMER TED'S SUNFLOWERS (1st week of September)

Early September in Kansas is pretty amazing!  There is a field of sunflowers about 3 hours northeast of Wichita – and we just got word that they now have ONE MILLION sunflowers in their field – and what a sight it is!  The farmer’s wife posted on her facebook page that on September 5th the flowers were wide open.  This is how Kansans know that autumn is around the corner!  They only stay open for two weeks.  They don’t stay open long, so it’s important to go see them right away – or you’ll miss them.  We didn’t get to the field until the 10th of September, and sadly, the rain came the night before, so the sunflowers looked a little sad.  Their little heads were bowed.  😦

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Muddy field and heads bowed low…

My Scrapbook-screenshot

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Muddy field and heads bowed low…

https://www.facebook.com/GrinterFarms

Visitors call it the “sea of sunflowers”.  Farmer Ted Grinter has been growing sunflowers for almost 30 years. More than 10,000 visitors came last year.  I get a kick out of reading posts from the farmer’s wife – she is so funny!  She wants to make sure we know that there are no restrooms (apparently, she’s been asked that a few times through the years).  😉

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Muddy field and heads bowed low…

She also said that they are a row crop farm that just happens to grow a few sunflowers.  A few?  Yeah – one million!  But sunflowers are the essence of Kansas.  They are the Kansas state flower.  We wake up in September – the sunflowers brighten our wit and give us energy!

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Muddy field and heads bowed low…

And guess what?  Kris, farmer Ted’s wife – has a blog!  Check it out:

http://krisgrinter.blogspot.com/

May God bless the one who made this You Tube video!  It’s amazing.  Grab a cup of coffee and take a tour of the sunflower field for yourself.

https://youtu.be/EtoMQSrDrcI

It was an amazing trip!  Soon we will go to the State Fair eating Pronto Pups, but that’s for another blog post.  Now…  be honest, don’t you wish you lived in Kansas???  Wink!  😉

 

 

 

INTERNATIONAL MOUNTAIN DAY

TL 12-11 INTERNATIONAL MOUNTAIN DAY

 

12-11 MOUNTAIN FARMERS

http://youtu.be/LLWD2WIvRQk

To forget how to dig the earth and to tend the soil is to forget ourselves.  – Mahatma Gandhi

Today we celebrate INTERNATIONAL MOUNTAIN DAY!

This year, the theme for IMD is Mountain Farming.  Let’s talk about how mountain agriculture, which is predominantly family farming, has provided high quality food for America.  Here are two mountain farms in the United States, one in the Eastern U.S. and one in the Western U.S.  There are certainly more than two in the country – far too many to mention in this post.  Let’s begin with our choice of farms in the Eastern U.S.

It is easier to go down a hill than up, but the view is from the top.  – Unknown

Smile and say SALSA!

In 2004, Tomato Mountain Farm in Brooklyn, Wisconsin began producing its own line of homemade salsas, preserves, soups, and other jarred products such as pasta sauce and bloody Mary mix. The truly unique combination of an organic farm dedicated to producing quality, delicious produce and a kitchen that processes and grows all its own ingredients right at home has helped these products quickly come to represent the bulk of Tomato Mountain Farm’s business.

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Why do we need a day to focus on mountains?

Well, now that we know why we need to focus on mountains, let’s check out the family mountain farm in the Western United States.

Superior in flavor…

Since 2001, David & Cindy Krepky have owned and operated Dog Mountain Farm which has served the Snoqualmie Valley community and Seattle area by providing farm-fresh vegetables, fruit, herbs, flowers, eggs, poultry meat, and pork. Located in Carnation, Washington, they use sustainable growing methods without the use of pesticides, herbicides, or commercial fertilizers. They strive to produce nutrient dense food that is superior in flavor and shelf life and provides a broad range of health benefits. Their livestock is humanely raised on pasture without antibiotics or hormones. Building a strong biological system in the soil is the focus of their agricultural management.

Eating is an agricultural act. . . . How we eat determines, to a considerable extent, how the world is used.  – Wendell Berry,  The Pleasure of Eating

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I find mountain farming fascinating because I’m only familiar with farming on the plains!  We have to travel several hundred miles to get to mountains!  There are so many family farms in Kansas and Oklahoma – but today we focus on mountain farms and the families who have committed their lives to providing the best quality products for us to eat!

Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop off like autumn leaves. As age comes on, one source of enjoyment after another is closed, but Nature’s sources never fail.  – John Muir, Our National Parks

If you know of a mountain farmer in your area, find out if they have a product that may be suitable for a Christmas gift and buy it from them!  You know I’m all about buying American – but to put your money back into your own community would be better yet!  Buy locally grown food!

As we’ve seen, there are mountain farmers in the Eastern United States and in the Western United States.  Surely there’s a mountain farm in your neck of the woods – unless you happen to live in Kansas like me!  LOL!!!   😀

If you are looking for a perfect Christmas gift, may I suggest a new devotional book by Lucinda Berry Hill?  Everyone needs a new devotional book to begin the new year!

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Click on the link below to order your copy!

http://bookstore.westbowpress.com/Products/SKU-000952694/A-Second-Cup-with-Jesus.aspx 

PRAIRIE DAY

TL 9-13 PRAIRIE DAY

9-13 STATE FAIR

It’s PRAIRIE DAY and we celebrated big this year!

Our Kansas State Fair in Hutchinson, KS is in full swing and the party on the prairie is a great place to go for a fun learning experience.

Today was Heritage Farming Day at the fair. Beginning at 8am there was a 4-H/FFA dairy goat judging at the Sheep, Swine and Goat Building. That’s not really our thing, so we went over to the Expo Center to watch the 4-H Horse Show. Horses are such large creatures, yet they were so graceful and amazing. We don’t spend much time in the Sheep, Swine and Goat Building. If I have to explain why, you are obviously not familiar with the downside of farming.

We watched the 4-H demonstrations over at the 4-H Centennial Hall for a while, then took a walk over to Dr. Goddard’s Lab at the Do Art Building. I enjoy the Exotic Animal Petting Zoo, so we spent a little time there. I left with all my digits intact, so I feel very blessed.

I’m convinced that a person has not lived until they have at least watched one pig race. Yep – that was a hoot, like it is every year!

It’s fun to see the Antique Farm Machinery Show. Technology has brought farming a long way. Oh, and we had to watch the “Give a Chicken a Bath” demonstration in the Poultry Building. I thought it was fun giving my dog a bath. Oh… pleeeeze!

We caught just a few moments of Glenda & Mike’s Magic Show at the Nex-Tech Wireless Stage. Have you ever seen a guy carve wood with a chainsaw? It’s quite a sight! It’s like whittling on steroids! Of course, no trip to the fair is complete without junk food for lunch. We always get a Pronto Pup and it’s one of the few times I give myself permission to have a soda.

While we sat at the nearly clean picnic table, I did some people watching. You see everything on the fair grounds – and at the local Wal-Mart. Jus’ sayin’…

We just walked around a little, then watched the Simental Beef Cattle Judging at the Prairie Pavilion. We didn’t stay there long – it got boring. We watched the Milking Demonstration at the Milking Parlor for a while.

My Pronto Pup was making me sleepy and my feet were getting tired. We sat down to listen to an outdoor concert for a while. I can’t remember who was singing, but he was sure good. I’ll be honest, that bench sure felt good.

We wandered around aimlessly for a while, looking at the goods for sale along the midway. We went into the Young Injury Lawyers Arena for a Quilt Auction for the quilt made from 2013 Quilt Block contest entries. I wish I could have bid on it because it was so pretty.

I admire people who can quilt, or can, or grow things. I have absolutely no inclination in that “domestic” direction whatsoever. I write and play music, neither of which will come in handy if my family is starving or cold.

We debated about staying to hear the Show Choir and watch Disney’s “Frozen”, but decided we still had a drive ahead of us to get back to Wichita, so we left.

It was quite a day at our Kansas State Fair! 🙂

FARMER-CONSUMER AWARENESS DAY

TL 9-12 FARMER-CONSUMER AWARENESS DAY

9-12 THAT OL' BARN

Today the farmers in Quincy, WA are bringing farmers and consumers closer together.  Quincy’s FARMER-CONSUMER AWARENESS DAY (FCAD) started in 1981 when Dennis Higashiyama was listening to the radio. He heard a story on the Paul Harvey show that illustrated how farmers and consumers had drifted apart – leaving many people with little or no understanding about how food actually arrives on their grocery store shelves.

The farmers show off the fruits of their labor and demonstrate the tools and techniques that they use in their work.  The public has a great opportunity to learn about where groceries come from and talk to the farmers.  Through the years the even has grown successfully with tours of area processing plants and farms, displays of farm equipment, informational and commodity booths, and a farmer’s market.  There’s also a Grand Parade, a car show, cook-offs and the Farm to Market Fun Run.

I was fortunate to grow up around farmers so I appreciate the hard work involved in getting food to my table.  Sadly, all I have left of the farm is memories.  I wish I could have a piece of barn wood to hold on to, but the ol’ barn down on Granny & Grandpa’s farm is long gone now. What started out as a big, brand spankin’ new bright red barn with white trim, slowly faded into a less than attractive building with holes just large enough to let the wind howl. It held a combine and some hay for a while, then one day it blew down to the ground. By then there was no need for a barn. Grandpa Frank was gone and Granny was in a nursing home. The barn had served its purpose and collapsed from exhaustion. Poor thing.

Barn wood is very popular these days.  People just love to get ahold of something old and make it new again.

9-12 BARNWOOD

Barn wood is used for all sorts of things like picture frames and trays.

Etsy is my go-to source for what’s hot in décor. Turns out, barn wood is a money-maker. I saw a piece of subway art on barn wood for a cool $150 and a reclaimed piece of barn wood made into a church pew for almost $1,000. There were some barn wood boxes for $38 a piece and a barn wood bed for… well, you get the idea. Makes me feel sick when I think of how my family set the ol’ barn on fire and watched it burn to the ground – well, what was left of it.

I’m glad there are farmers who share with consumers in an effort to keep the lines of communication open.  We appreciate the work farmers do.

Chop your own wood, and it will warm you twice.  – Henry Ford

I like the idea of something old being given a new purpose. Barn wood gets re-born to live a new life. I was like an old piece of barn wood, just all used up by first one thing then another, until God found me and set me on a straight path. Then I was all reshaped and was given a new purpose in life. This ol’ barn is sure thankful to the Master Carpenter for all He’s done!  😉

GORGEOUS GRANDMA DAY

TL 7-23 GORGEOUS GRANDMA DAY

7-23 GRANNY LAVELLA
Today is GORGEOUS GRANDMA DAY. When I get to heaven there will be so many things to see and do, and first I want a hug from Jesus – not one of those “good to see ya” hugs that last about 2 seconds, but a really long hug! He’s been my best friend for so many years, when I finally see Him face to face, yeah, I want a hug!

The second thing I want to do is renew the relationship with my family! I didn’t know Granny LaVella very long, but I knew her well. She and Grandpa Frank lived on a farm in Northern Oklahoma. We got to visit the farm nearly every weekend and I looked forward to those visits.

I was their youngest grandchild, so I got some very special treatment. I was the miracle for my folks. They could not have children and adopted me when I was only a few days old. There are a few basic lessons I learned on the farm. Lesson number one: the chores do NOT wait. You get out there and get it done – NOW. When it’s time to milk the cow, son, you’d better get out there and do the milking. Bessie does not care if you want to sleep another half hour, and she doesn’t care if it’s cold outside – but you’d better warm those hands up or else.  Lesson number two:  don’t drink the cream off the top.  There are consequences for that action.

I miss the farm and yes, that feather bed! I’ve always said I could leave the city and go live in a small community somewhere and be fine with it. Some people think they would be bored or it would make them crazy, but not me. I would enjoy an uncomplicated life.

Grandpa Frank and Granny LaVella were the sweetest people and they were God-fearing souls who would not hurt a fly. They lived their lives and loved their God. They walked humbly but stood proud for the values they embraced. May I do the same.