Spring Catalogs

Jan-1-1024x768It’s been pretty quiet on the farm this January.  The land is covered in a blanket of snow and temperatures occasionally dip to -40 below zero with the wind chill. Our farmers keep pretty busy checking hog waters and ensuring they aren’t frozen, cleaning out farm buildings and adding bedding for farm animals to keep them warm and cozy.  Evenings are filled with after school activities like basketball, band and choir concerts, wrestling meets and the like. Playing Scrabble or card games is also popular this time of year. Anything you can do indoors to keep warm!

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Holidays Growing Up on the Willis Family Farm

stamping-paper-Dec-1024x768 Growing up, we wrapped all of our Christmas presents in newspaper. My mother insisted for several reasons:

  1. It was cheaper than buying wrapping paper
  2. It was an easy way to recycle the newspaper cutting down on waste
  3. It was fun

You might think it wouldn’t be as beautiful, but we take pride in decorating our newspaper. We make it really special by stamping our own Christmas designs all over. We created our own stamper by carving potatoes. I usually carved a Christmas tree or snowman. This is still a good idea – Sophia loves doing crafts like this.

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Harvest, Nostalgia & Thanksgiving

Me, Dad and my sister, Anne, on top of our rock pile, 1986.
Me, Dad and my sister, Anne, on top of our rock pile, 1986.

Farmers are real rock stars this time of year, working long hours in the fields to harvest crops.  For me, autumn brings feelings of nostalgia about past harvest seasons.   I’m reminded that the wonderful abundance that surrounds me is the result of strenuous fieldwork done through the summer months. I remember those hot, sweaty days when my dad had us pick up rocks from the fields so we could avoid any damage they might cause our combine during harvest.  My sister and I used to spend days’ riding the “rock-picker,” which was hitched to the back of the tractor. We jumped off each time we found a rock and hurled it back into the picker’s bucket.  Soil stuck to our sweaty faces as we scoped the landscape for more.  It’s the kind of work you don’t hear much about. But it’s this kind of difficult task that brings another harvest we can all be thankful for.

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