29 August 2012

Some Big Events!

On September 6-9, the White River Valley Antique Association will host its 28th Annual Show in Elnora, Indiana.  If you have any interest at all in historical and old-timey agriculture and machinery, then this show is one you should attend.  I've been going for many years, and rarely miss it.  There is lots of steam power, wood power, and horse power demonstrations.  You'll see threshing, sorghum pressing and molasses making, a steam powered machine shop, a country school, and too much more to list.  Below is an aerial view of a recent show.  It gives you an idea of the size of this event.

Here is a snippet from their website:  "The White River Valley Antique Association (WRVAA) Show takes a step back in time for both farmers and city folk and draws over 17,000 guests each year. This year’s show will have trucks, steam engines, horse demonstrations, field demonstrations, hay press, machine shop, threshing, hand dipped candles, sawmill, flea market items and much more. There are many activities planned and this is an event that you will not want to miss."

I will add that the Kettle Corn and Elephant Ears only add to the attraction of the event!  The flea market is huge.  If you come, be sure to wear your walking shoes!

Here is a link to the show flyer: http://www.wrvaa.org/show-flyer

In addition to the Antique Tractor Show, this weekend is also the time for the Montgomery Turkey Trot.  This festival is celebrated each year and is put on by the Montgomery Ruritan Club.  There are horse pulls, tractor pulls, mud volleyball, a cornhole tourney, pig wrestling, a demolition derby and concerts.  Of course, it also has a genuine turkey trot, where contestants race their birds for the grand prize!  It is another well-attended event in the area.

Here is a link:  http://montgomeryruritanclub.com/TurkeyTrot.htm

Finally, is one of my favorite events: the Fall Antique and Horse Sale, held every September at Dinky's, north of Cannelburg, IN.  Dinky's is the local sale barn and has big weekly sales.  Twice yearly, they host a four day sale for old farm machinery, antiques, wagons, harness, horses, etc.  This year's event is 25-28 September.  It draws folks from 30 states and half a dozen Canadian provinces!  If you can't find something here you 'need', then you just need to look closer!  It is a great time.

This year, the machinery, carriages, and antiques will sell on 25 and 26 September.  the Standardbred horse auction begins at 5:00pm on 26 September.  The big horse and colt auction is on 27 September, and Knepp's horse and colt sale is on 28 September.

Need some copper 'utensils'?
Everyone needs a church bell, right?
Cider presses, crocks, lard presses and other homestead items.
There is lots of old farm machinery available at the sale.
Tools and machinery
This is a view of one of the several auction rings going at the same time at the event!

20 August 2012

Cleaning Up the Garden

Yesterday afternoon, I dug in and did some 'maintenance' in the garden.

First, I picked all the tomatoes that were close to ripe.  I also removed a lot of the bad fruits and tossed them into the compost heap.  The good ones were put on a table on the back porch.  We'll be 'saucing' them.

The green beans were basically a failure this year.  We were able to get  a couple of good messes to eat, but weren't able to grow enough to can.  The drought was just too much for them.  So, I took down the short poultry netting fence I had erected around the beans to keep the rabbits out.  I rolled it up and put it away, along with the electric fence posts I had hung the wire on.  I then pulled all the drying plants, stripped the vines off the bean poles and piled all the vegetation in a heap.  Then I pulled up all the beanpoles and stacked them up off the ground next to the shed for use next year.
Next, I pulled back the straw mulch all along the rows and also down along where I'd pulled all the onions a few weeks ago.  I hoed up a nice long row and sowed turnip seed.  If they germinate well, there should be plenty to store and use.  We don't use a whole lot of turnips, but they are good once in a while, cooked along with mashed potatoes.  Of course, they're good raw too!

I pulled a few turnips from an earlier planting and picked a few bell peppers.  So now, the garden is caught up and we're just waiting to see the turnip seed sprout.

18 August 2012

Another BHM Radio Appearance!

I had the pleasure of speaking again with Colorado Ron and "Bubba" DaVinci on BHM Radio this morning.  I really enjoyed the time and the conversation we had.  You can find the program by clicking on the link below.


If you care to listen, I appreciate it.

13 August 2012

Sippin' Cider

This evening, I went over to a friend's house and helped to make some fresh apple cider.  We began by cutting up the hundreds of pounds of fresh apples.  (All the while, we were looking for the occasional worm.)  The old cider press itself is nearly 150 years old, and was made by a company called Ferrell, Ludlow, & Rodgers between about 1865 and 1872, according to my searching.  It still does a great job!  The photos below depict the press and some of the process.  My friends do not like having their photos taken, so I have not included them here.

After cutting up the apples, they were dumped into the wooden hopper atop the grinder.  There, a gasoline motor provided the power to grind the apples for pressing.  While one batch (seen in the oaken cylinder on the left in the photo below) was being pressed, the other was being filled with ground apples.

When one cylinder is pressed, it is slid out for emptying, and the cylinder full of ground fruit is slid into place under the press.  The heavy turnscrew has four lugs that a stout pole is laid into to provide leverage for manually turning and pressing the juice from the fruit.

In the photo below, you can see the ground up apples in the oaken cylinder.  As soon as all the juice is pressed from the apples in the cylinder beneath the turnscrew, the left over material, or 'pummies' were emptied into a wheel barrow, then wheeled over and dumped into the goat pen.

Below, you can see fresh 'squoze' apple cider running into the collecting pan.  From there, it was poured through a jelly bag, then into waiting jugs.  In all, we made around twenty-five gallons of sweet, unpasteurized, raw cider.  The bulk of it was taken to be frozen for later use.  My friends have some storage space in a small freezer facility that they use for a lot of their deep freeze needs since they don't have electricity in their homes.

I came away with a half gallon of cider and had a really good time working and visiting with friends.  It was a good evening.

07 August 2012

A Rope Swing

Patti and I drove over to the old home place and put up a couple of rope swings for the grandkids to try when they come down.  Of course, we had to try them out to make sure they were safe for the young'uns!

A simple rope swing under a shady tree...

Pizza! Pizza!

It may seem like tomatoes and tomato products have dominated the blog so far as garden crops go.  Well, I guess that's a fact.  Our tomatoes are just about the only crop that has done well in the parched garden this year.  So, since we have gallons of salsa already put back, Patti has turned her hand towards making pizza sauce.  Below is part of a slow cooker full of the sauce.  The main ingredients--the tomatoes, onions, and peppers all came from the garden.  The seasonings, we buy in bulk from the nearby Amish grocery store.
Homemade pizza sauce.
 Since the sauce was homemade, Patti also wanted to make the dough.  So, below are some pictures of the 'trial run'.  We sampled two or three different kinds of pizzas and discussed whether the sauce needed to be 'tweaked' a bit.  I really enjoy being the Guinea pig for these culinary experiments!  It's hard for me to be too critical with pizza sauce dripping off my chin!

A pepperoni pizza and a veggie version.

Pepperonis, jalapenos, onions, and cheese top this pie.
 Once the formula is perfected, we'll make more and can it up into pint jars.  A pint will make a couple of pizzas.  The dough recipe is also a success as evidenced by the crust in the picture above.

02 August 2012

A Neat Book

Some time ago, I made mention here of a really good blog I'd found--Rural Revolution (www.rural-revolution.com).  The blog author, Patrice Lewis, has also written a book titled "The Simplicity Primer--365 ideas for making life more livable"

I bought a copy of the book and have been reading it over the past couple of months.  In "The Simplicity Primer", Ms. Lewis has written short essays that do, indeed, give us some great ideas for simplifying our increasingly hectic lives.  Her insightful writing deals with commonly hectic areas you might expect, like home life, children, work, and leisure.  It also touches on other areas that may be well in need of simplification like relationships and spirituality.  She even writes about 'being green' and does so in her practical, down-to-earth writing style. I especially enjoyed the sections on "Radical Simplicity" and "Amazing Grace" and re-read them as I went along.

I highly recommend the book.  I think you'll enjoy the solid, simple, and grounded words of advice and encouragement it contains.  Once you read it, I think you will be drawn into implementing many of the suggestions to help you to simplify your own life.  Feel free to let me (and Ms. Lewis) know how you like it.