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Tuesday, March 25, 2014

The Old Farmall 560

My guest post to The Farmer's Wifee 

2010 Tractor Parade

The other day I was looking through various pictures and reminiscing of fun summer times. (I think I'm trying to help get through these colder temps). One event that takes place for us in several of the past summers is the Antique Tractor Parade at our county fair and is evident in my pictures that it is a big event for us each summer.
Great Grandpa planting w the Farmall 560

The old Farmall 560 is special and we like to show it off. About 10 years ago, the tractor was restored and got a new paint job. My husband is part of the Retired Iron Club here in our county and each year the boys and Scott wash it up and get it ready to display at the fair. Two evenings during fair week, the Retired Iron tractor parade takes place. In our county, there are roughly 25 tractors that go through the parade. Some are show tractors and most are old tractors the members have.  These nights are very exciting for our boys, who have been participating in the parade with Scott for several years now. Each one gets to drive one night of the parade. Not sure what we will do now that we have three children. :)

Washing up the 560
Bought brand new in 1961, primarily for planting purposes by Scott's great grandpa, the Farmall 560 is still going. It has been passed down now through 4 generations and now belongs to our oldest son. Scott has several old family ledgers and paper work from purchases of equipment and other farm items that have been saved for several years. When looking for some old pictures of his great grandpa with the 560, it was neat to look back through some other older items.
Ledgers - the top one dates at 1939 and was Scott's Great Great Grandpa's

We still use this tractor for our produce planting. We hook up our plastic layer and transplanter to it and get our summer crops and pumpkins planted. Family history is important to us and to pass down the information. It is wonderful to share the stories with our kids. Point - Pass down those family farm stories, share the history so it doesn't get lost.
2013 Tractor Parade

National Ag Day 3.25.14

Today is National Ag Day and this week agriculture is being celebrated on a national level as National Ag Week. How can you celebrate??

For those in the Ag industry:
Tell Your Stories - tell people how you started in agriculture, share about your production,
Share Your Ag Photos - share how agriculture has changed, show how you do things on your farm.
AGvocate and Raise Awareness  - there is high interest about how things are grown, answer questions
The public want to hear and they are listening.
For consumers:
Thank a Farmer

Add caption
2% of the American population provide food for the rest of the population. Even if consumers are not directly tied to agriculture, they still use/eat some form every day. Few people truly understand this and don't know the source of items in their everyday lives.
It is extremely important to educate the younger generation as they don't hear as much about agriculture. They need to understand that their food is produced way beyond the grocery store. They need to know that agriculture produces the houses people live in, the food they eat, and provides a large amount of employment for the public.
Lets recognize and celebrate the importance of agriculture! Not only today, or this week, but everyday! It truly provides us with great things in life!

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Do You Wonder Where Your Food Comes From??

Even when there is snow falling, vegetable growth is taking place inside greenhouses and coldframes. Mother Nature seems to be taking full advantage of the Winter season this year as we received another 6 inches of snow this past week. With any luck the Spring will hopefully atleast start on the first day of Spring.

But vegetable production still must go on. We are a little late getting started this year with the propane prices and harsh winter we had, but we do have things growing.

Are you one that often wonders where your food comes from and how it is grown? It seems as that is a growing trend amongst the population today. Consumers are interested in hearing about the growing process and where their food comes from. There are those that want strictly organic or those who want only local. Some only go to a certain grocery store as they have only had luck with the produce or meat there. Then there are those who don't care and buy from anywhere. Whatever the case, there is a lot of interest how food is grown or raised.

Being a small farm produce grower, I have seen this at the farmers markets and talk about how our produce is grown. Our produce is grown naturally and we use organic practices. We are not certified organic. I don't choose an opinion either way as I can understand different sides, but it is important to be well educated on the matter. 

The rising technology to create better crops to help feed the very much growing world is important. From guest speaker Fred Whitford at a Farm Bureau meeting I attended this week "98 % of the population relies on 2% of the population for food." Using GMO seed is beneficial in getting better yield for your crops to provide for the ever rising population numbers. From Farmer Feeds Us, today the American farmer feeds 155 people worldwide. In 1960, one farmer fed 25.8 people.  But on another outlook, I want to provide produce that the consumers are looking for and feed my family as well with growing our produce naturally. 

With today's computer technology, it is easy to learn about different growing practices farms use. Most share their growing practices on their farm websites. The same goes for how beef and pork are raised. If you like to purchase produce from farmers markets, don't be afraid to ask the farmers how they grow. Farmers are proud of their product and don't mind talking about it. With the rise of consumers being more concerned and interested in how their food is grown, it is also important for farmers and producers to be knowledgeable in their farm practices and willing to share them.

Whatever your choice is for what you bring to your dining table, we all have one thing in common. We all need to eat, and there are farmers that produce what will fit best for you.

This is part one of a three part series. Part 2 is here

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Banana Chocolate Chip Mini Muffins

I noticed I had overly ripe bananas on the countertop and I needed to do something with them. Bananas do not last long in our house...usually, but for some reason we didn't eat them as fast this time. I had been planning to make banana bread for a few days but just never got to it yet.
I made a trip to Walmart this week for a quick trip and picked up some breakfast things also, including single serving, prepackaged mini muffins. During the week, the kids usually grab a "on the go" or "packaged item" for breakfast. It just works.
The boys help their self to what they want for breakfast and have no problem getting their own. Then I grab something for the baby. With only 6 packages in the box, they easily disappear fast!
I decided to use the bananas and make some mini muffins adding chocolate chips.

The Recipe:
Banana Chocolate Chip Mini Muffins
1/2 cup shortening
1 1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 cup milk
3 mashed bananas
3 cup flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
1 cup chocolate chips
Mix together shortening and sugar. Add eggs, milk, and mashed bananas. Add flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder. Mix well. Add chocolate chips. Fill spots in a mini muffin pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 14 minutes. Yields 4 dozen.
The best kind of baking bananas :)

This recipes yields around 4 dozen mini muffins. I put 2 dozen in the freezer and left out the other 2. The kids love them and I'm not spending more money on the prepackaged ones. My middle son said "They are gooder than the store ones!" :) Works for me!! :)

Enjoy and thanks for reading!

Monday, March 3, 2014

My Monday Weekly Happenings 3.3.14

I seriously can't believe it is March already. But I am happy it is. So long February! Even though we still have snow, we got another dusting this weekend, it is closer to Spring! Closer to seeing green, flowers, and warmer temps. I can't wait to not have to bundle the kids up so much!

We had a very busy weekend. We usually go grocery shopping every 2 weeks or thereabouts. It was well over that so that was number one priority this weekend. I'm looking forward to getting back to making my smoothies for breakfast too.  We were busy working in the greenhouse and I also worked a lot in my craft room. Today, I have two sick little ones with the stomach bug though so looks like today will be mostly cleaning. Cuddling and relaxing as well, and I don't mind that at all.

On The Menu For This Week: I read about some of the recipes my friend uses for her weekly meal planning over at Addy Lou Creates from the Skinny Mom website. So I joined the Supper Club also to try out some new recipes. I love trying different recipes and it doesn't hurt to eat healthier too! I'm definitely not opposed to quick meals either. So we are going to have some a few times a week.

Monday - World's Best Skinny Lasagna and something light for the kids depending how they feel.
Tuesday -  Cheeseburgers and Tater Tots
Wednesday - Baked Potato Soup and Salad
Thursday -Leftovers
Friday - Homemade Pizza
Saturday - Slow Cooker Pulled Pork
Sunday - Breakfast for Dinner

On The TV: The boys are watching Jake and The Neverland Pirates.

To Do List For This Week:
 Pricing garage sale items for the sale in a few weeks, purging some stuff to garage sale, general cleaning and laundry,

Sew.Stitch.Create. Projects for the Week: I got a ton of things done this weekend for my shop. Several orders done also. I didn't get many pictures though of what I've finished this weekend, so maybe I'll get a chance to do that today. I crochet mainly at night, so I have one order I'm finishing. Working on items to have and upcycled prop sale on my page. I have been working with some awesome photographers also, they have shared wonderful pictures of my products in use!! It seriously is so rewarding seeing my products in action. I also joined the Google+ world with my shop and am looking forward to learning about that more.
Here is one of the photos a photographer friend shared with me this weekend of my pearl tieback in action. Love it!! Photo By: Amanda Trebley Photography

Walker Farms Projects for the Week: Getting more seed started this week and transplanting plugs up. Getting more baby chicks.

The Weather:
Looking forward to warmer temps later in the week. I've seen the extended forecast has warmer temps too. Maybe this is the end of winter...or getting closer....fingers crossed!!

Pictures From The Phone:
We took the kids to the Family Fun Night at Ty's school on Friday.

Thanks for reading!

Sunday, March 2, 2014

-Fun In Wisconsin-

Last weekend we enjoyed a trip to Wisconsin with District 1 and 3 Farm Bureau Young Farmers. We had a great time! Scott and I have been a part of Jasper County Young Farmers since 2005 and the last District trip we went on was in 2006 to Ohio, so it was nice to go this year. There are 13 counties in these two districts together. I believe there were 51 of us on the charter bus to Wisconsin. These District trips are 3 day weekends and are nice to get away before everyone gets busy in the fields.

Our first stop was Harley Davidson. On this tour there was a lot of background information how this company got established. I'm not really into motorcycles, but the tour was neat to see all the different bikes starting back to 1903, and how they have changed. This company initially started in a shed!

Motorcycles from 1903-1947, a bike from each year. They all still run also. 
This motorcycle is #1.
300 and some motorcycles 

We then went to Miller Brewing Company.

Touring the bottling and packaging 
500,000 cases of beer at one time are
stored in the 200,00 sq. ft. warehouse. . They produce that much in one day. 

Chicago drinks 5 states worth of beer in one day- they get 40% of what is in the warehouse daily

The old caves where they stored the beer in barrels before they had refrigeration. 

That evening we ate at Branded Steer. It was excellent. I had a half rack of BBQ ribs, sweet potatoes, and a salad.

Saturday morning we started with breakfast at IHOP

We went to Reiman Publications were we watched a baking demonstration in the test kitchen. This test kitchen is one of the ones where they test recipes for the Taste of Home magazines!

We ate lunch at Sobelman's Pub and Grill. The food here was delicious as well!!

We then went to Sprecher Brewery I 'm a big root beer fan and this is now one of my favorites!! We bought some to bring back for the boys also.

Our sampling glasses we got to keep. 
Bottling and packaging 

The remainder of the afternoon we shopped downtown Cedarburg. This is a historic town with and old mill turned feed store, a winery, and several shops. I tried a Cookies and Cream mocha at one of the coffee shops, it was amazing! 

That evening we enjoyed dinner at Buca Di Beppo.

Sunday on our way back to Indiana we stopped at Mars Cheese Castle. They had fabulous fresh cheese bread. We purchased a loaf, some cheese curds, and cow cookies for the kids.

The Jelly Belly warehouse was next. Here, we rode in a train around the warehouse and learned about the production of jelly beans. They then had a Jelly Belly store where we can purchase the jelly beans and some other candies they make. We also could sample their different flavors.

We had lunch at the Brat Stop and finished our trip at Gurnee Mills with some shopping around the mall and Bass Pro.

It definitely was an enjoyable trip and we hope to go on the trips in the years to come. We were excited to get home and see the kids. We picked up Pizza King and had our cheese bread, Sprecher root beer, and pizza for dinner. The boys were excited for their Jelly Belly hats, jelly beans, and cow cookies we brought home to them. :)

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