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!
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.
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!
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! 🙂
Would it be okay if I shared a little about our visit to Ohio for our anniversary a few weeks ago? We spent a night at THE ORCHARD HOUSE in Granville, Ohio, a Bed & Breakfast about a half hour from The Longaberger Homestead.
There was great significance in choosing this room for me. One of my favorite authors is Henry David Thoreau! Obviously, my husband put a great deal of thought into this trip. It was perfect!
I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear; nor did I wish to practise resignation, unless it was quite necessary. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartan-like as to put to rout all that was not life, to cut a broad swath and shave close, to drive life into a corner, and reduce it to its lowest terms, and, if it proved to be mean, why then to get the whole and genuine meanness of it, and publish its meanness to the world; or if it were sublime, to know it by experience, and be able to give a true account of it in my next excursion. —Henry David Thoreau, Walden, “Where I Lived, and What I Lived For”
He was not only a philosopher and poet, but he also embraced a sort of civil disobedience and there’s something about that… well, it appeals to me.
Driving from Kansas to Ohio was in itself an accomplishment. We were weary from travel and ready to move around. Sitting in one spot except for the occasional potty break at the truck stop makes my old bones stiff and sore.
As we drove up to The Orchard House, I could not help but notice the long, narrow drive leading up to the house. I think the last time I saw a driveway like that was in the movie “The Bridges of Madison County”. I knew this would be a very romantic evening from that moment.
There are twelve acres, most of it wide open spaces, perfect for walking and talking – and holding hands. On the back of the property are farm animals to see. We found goats, chickens and one sheep with a ton of wool and very long horns. There was also an alpaca with the funniest little smile.
We meandered toward the front yard and discovered an apple tree. I guess that’s why it’s called The Orchard House. The apples were green and not fit to eat, but I did find a horse in a field across the driveway who seemed interested in eating it. Somehow I get the impression I’m not the first person who has fed him an apple. It’s as though he was just standing there waiting for the notion to occur to me.
As the sun was setting in Ohio, we sat in comfy wooden chairs in the front yard. It’s strange, the house was full, yet it was as though we were the only people there! It was so quiet – all I could hear was the sound of locusts. That’s not something I’ve had memory of hearing since I was a kid.
I felt as though we were being a bit Thoreau-like in our journey. Our hearts and minds were open to every new sighting. Maybe we were just so grateful to finally be outside instead of stuck in the truck – traveling.
This world is but a canvas to our imagination. – Henry David Thoreau
Inside the house there were all sorts of good things waiting for us. In the dining room there was a glass footed cake plate with a lid, filled with slices of homemade banana bread! There were little conversation spots throughout the house where we could sit and watch TV or just talk.
The atmosphere invited us to relax and breathe. To be honest, shortly after the sun set, it invited us to crash and sleep! But isn’t that what we need to do after driving so far?
I enjoyed looking at the lovely antiques and soaking in the sense of calm around me. I packed my laptop and took it to the room, but to be honest, if I would have taken it out it would have ruined the vibe – so it stayed packed up!
Breakfast was amazing! Every Bed & Breakfast has their own specialty, and the special recipe at The Orchard House is Sweet Potato Hash. It is sautéed onion, red bell pepper and diced sweet potato (skin on), with African spice. It is so addictive and very healthy! We have made this recipe for breakfast, lunch and sometimes supper so many times since we’ve been back home. Along with the hash we were given a farm-fresh fried egg and thick-sliced bacon. Ah… it was so good!
I’m reading Walden again… it’s better than ever now that I’ve been to The Orchard House. 🙂