Wednesday, September 28, 2011

City to Country Tour

Late Thursday, Nancy and I returned from a 15-day vacation (article to follow soon) to the Pacific Northwest states, giving us a day and a half to prepare to be at the Scott-Carver City-to-Country Tour on Saturday, September 24, where we planned to have fun meeting people, talking about farm heritage, doing a 30-minute show, and selling our books.

Three farms are included in the tour, and a ticket purchased at any one of the locations is honored at every location. There is no particular starting point.
We felt lucky to be scheduled from 10 AM to 4 PM at the Charles and Jeri Friedges farm, located west of New Market. Charles and Jeri have a really clean and efficient farmstead, with the dairy building and holding pen located next to County Road 27 and near County Road 2. We drive by the place many times a year and always enjoy viewing the fine herd of cattle and the fine crops.
Nancy took the above picture of the Friedges farmstead several years ago during a winter sunset.
I like the way the sun makes the vertical pink streaks on the blue silos.
Youngsters are kept busy coloring as food is prepared to be served to the farm visitors.
Later, children are read to while others stand in line to eat.

The big shed had displays from several vendors plus an informational display from the Jersey Association as shown below:

Patrick Fisher, staff writer from The New Prague Times covered the event.

My program was at noon and I performed a 25 minute show which included my story If I Were a Farmer:Nancy's Adventure. 
Audience members seemed to enjoy the show and stopped by later to chat. 
Around 600 people visited the Friedges Farm that day, and no one seemed in a hurry.
Many attended the 4-H display.

All morning and afternoon people stopped to visit and buy books.

I had the privilege of signing some books, 
and Nancy and I gave out free stickers.

And I got to meet my second cousin Nancy, who was a childhood friend of my wife.

But what people really came for was the milking, which began at 3:30 PM.

Visitors go to the barn as milking begins.

Charles and Jeri have a fine herd of Jerseys.
But they have a few Holsteins too.

And everybody likes the calves.

Nancy and I want to thank Laura Kieser from the Scot County and Carver County Extension offices for inviting us to the event. Also, we thank the farmers who participated and went thorough all the extra work to prepare their farm for visitors and put their regular work on hold so people could come to their farms. We especially thank Charles and Jeri Friedges for opening their farm to us.

Photographs by Nancy A. Fredrickson

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Thinning Trees

Here's a job I've been putting off for years: thinning my stand of oak trees. In the mid-1990s I ordered seedlings and planted them close together, expecting some of them to die and figuring I could always thin out the poorer ones. Also, if the trees are planted close together, they are discouraged from growing laterally and encouraged to grow straight  and tall because they are all competing for the sunlight.
Well, guess what? The years passed in a flash and they all grew straight and tall. Now, I have to make some tough decisions. I'm tying twine around the ones I think I will cut to try to visualize the grove of trees as it will appear when I remove most of them.
You might imagine that I feel pretty guilty marking them this way, especially after nurturing the little guys along for all these years. Nancy and I discuss the project in whispers.

I'll be sure to post "before" and "after" pictures when the tree-cutting project is completed.

Photographs by Nancy A. Fredrickson

Monday, September 5, 2011

deer update

I've posted a few times about the damage the deer do to my garden, my roses, and other plants in the yard, but I admit, it's hard to stay mad at the little ones.
As Nancy and I go for an evening stroll, we spot the two young ones checking out my antique machinery display. We see their momma close by and the three of them eventually scurry off into the trees.
But only a minute later they appear a few yards to our left. They aren't too frightened. They know their momma outweighs us.
Mother and twins check out the plant life on the community drain field. 
Then they move on to see what kind of plant life the neighbor's place has to offer.

Pictures by Nancy A. Fredrickson

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Seniors Share Project

Near the end of August I received a request from one of the Senior Share Project Editors, Heidi Horchler, to  repost  part of my post "Countryside 1950" which I had posted on September 10, 2010.  I approved the request in a reply email after I checked the website, which co-editors Heidi and Eileen maintain to offer an outlet for people to tell their stories. Great idea, eh?

I urge everyone to check it out. I think you'll not only enjoy reading the stories submitted by others, but also you might just be inspired to share your favorite story on their website. Remember this:  "a story not told is lost forever." Only you can tell your story!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Pioneer Power 2011

Last Saturday Nancy and I attended the 38th Annual Le Sueur County Pioneer Power Show near Le Sueur, Minnesota. The event is always a pleasure to attend because of the fine displays of tractors, machinery, and threshing activities.
From a distance we view the men pitching bundles of oats into the threshing machine, located in the center of a ring of threshing machines of all brands.
We move closer to get the feel of the activity. Within a minute or two I remember how the whole process always made me itch.

Working in the information booth is our friend and dedicated club member Betty Sticha.
We check out the mural she dedicated to the memory of her husband Frank, who had been an active club member.

We visit the rows and rows of Minneapolis Moline tractors, the featured tractors this year.
The list of featured companies for 2011 included 
Minneapolis Moline Power Imp. Co. 1929-1974,
Moline Plow Company 1870-1929,
The Great Minneapolis Line 1887-1929,
Minneapolis Steel & Machinery Company (Twin City) 1902-1929,
All of the companies merged to form the new Minneapolis Moline Power Implement Company in 1929.
But there is always a variety of brands and types of tractors and other machinery.
Cars and horses too.
A recent acquisition, the Lexington Church, awaits a foundation.
We watch a medical chopper from Mayo Clinic land for display purposes. After the landing, the crew remained nearby to answer questions.

Once you attend this show, I know you will return every year because it offers activities and displays for the entire family. If you've never been to this show, put the third week in August on your calendar for 2012. 

Photographs by Nancy A. Fredrickson