Back Issue Vol: 47-2
While the Swiss system of government might already be familiar to some, what is less well know is that Switzerland has a longstanding tradition of valuing and protecting small farmers and their farmland and insisting on its use solely for agricultural purposes. In doing this it takes stringent measures to prevent farmland becoming an investment tool or falling to industrial or suburban development. The country recognizes the importance of preserving its agricultural heritage, ensuring food security, and maintaining a sustainable environment. Swiss law protects the nation’s farmland, and actively promotes local family farms and is enshrined in the Swiss Confederation Constitution which explicitly states that the Confederation and the Cantons shall ensure the preservation of agricultural land.
First you must decide what size of building you want, 28 – 48 feet wide and a length that is in 6 foot increments. The rafters are placed on 6 foot centers, with 2” x 4” purlins and steel siding/roofing. Let’s work with a forty foot wide foundation, easy to figure. The rafters are built out of 8 foot 1” x 8” boards. The number of 1x8s can be figured out by using the circumference. For a 40 foot wide building, figure a 40 foot diameter circle, which is 125.6 feet in circumference. Half of this circle would give you one layer of a rafter. So about 63 feet of 1×8 multiplied by 4 (because each rafter is composed of 4 layers). Each rafter then would use thirty-two 8 foot 1x8s. The end rafters really only need three layers.
One day, a couple winters ago, Khoke was in a hurry at feeding time and tried his hand at the hay knife again. Soon reminded of his previous dissatisfaction, he reached for his limbing ax that he happened to have with him. Still shiny from a sharpening, this ax benefited from the density of the round bale and worked well to open it up. It has become Khoke’s standard bale opening method.
For nigh on 20 years Rob Collins has been an ox teamster. He has also been a high school social studies teacher and a farming instructor at Tillers International. In his capacities with the Midwest Ox Drovers Association he began recording conversations with Ox Teamsters. He then bravely and intelligently compiled these, verbatim, into an album of tremendous effectiveness and value. I say album because, though in printed book form, it has not been ‘academized nor homogenized’ for market. It’s kind of like grandma’s scrapbook of recipes. It is a string of transcriptions which makes it all the more valuable – as it offers a superbly authentic and useful ‘jump start’ to any who might be inclined.
Chicken feet. Sure, I know it is done, either in other parts of the world, or in commercial production where in the pursuit of monetary profit, nothing is wasted but the squawk. But, Deanna? I didn’t know that I might have preconceived ideas of what a person who cooks chicken feet looked like. Maybe a person who comes in from the yard with dirt under her fingernails and a pencil stuck through her hair for a hairpin, like me. I somehow didn’t picture someone as put-together and beautiful as Deanna canning chicken foot broth. Yet, there she was and there I wasn’t.
The book’s story concerns a pair of young unsung hero farmers, Enno and Ahnah Duden, and a secret society that gathers itself around them, to protect these innocents and deflect the dark forces that would bring them down. The hollowing out and erasure of the nation’s rural lifestyle and substance since the early 1970s has resulted in several generations of what Lynn Miller sometimes calls “farmer pirates,” who must assume a low profile to conduct their farming, and are treated to the skepticism and scorn of the few big Agribiz players left, who rarely admit how often they too are driven to the brink of insolvency and despair.
I’m attaching some photos of a salesman’s sample of a mower that was owned by my grandfather, David Thompson Clarke. His sales territory was eastern Washington state. No one ever mentioned what company he worked for and the mower has no identification on it except for the numbers “206” cast on the frame. I was born in 1939 and the mower was just a toy when I was a kid. It’s a magnificent model and I am hoping that you can look at some of the details and figure out who made it and when that model would have been for sale.
This summer Eric Grutzmacher and Kema Clark from the Journal office, went to Brooks Antique Powerland for the annual Great Oregon Steam-Up. They visited the many displays and Eric took lots of pictures. On these three pages are views of three of the operating steamers. The Case, the Altman Taylor, and the Russell were models prevalent in the PNW.
Last issue Ida Livingston talked about her discovery that sweet potatoes were exceptional feed for laying hens, year round. That led me to wondering how we might have the tubers for 12 months, so I looked up this building plan in our archives. With what chicken feed costs and what eggs WILL be worth in the coming years, a building such as this might be better than the cat’s meow.
Before attending the full blown event in the afternoon I did slip out in the morning to get a few photographs of the scotch cart and the spring van I knew would be there. Truly I marvelled at the work involved in turning out such pristine outfits and more than that the achievement of presenting a horse and cart in the razzmatazz of such a day.
Mr. Schadel rumbled up with the grain wagon, sacks flung over the box edge and flapping. His two boys balanced their pitchforks against the sway of the wagon. After that Mr. Dunkel came, slow with his oxen; with him Mr. Marchen with Snoose and the two older brothers, Jack and Bill, in a wide-tired wagon. Behind them drove Mr. Nussbaum and his boys, proud of their sorrels, and sometimes a hired hand – a small circle of neighbors then who gathered to set the machine and stake down the power. Uncle Herm giddapped the team and pulled the separator between the stacks.
Old barb wire fences usually enjoy long stretches of loneliness. An occasional break requiring attention, otherwise the barb wire just hangs around the fields from post to post. That’s not the case on our current operation. As mentioned, elk for twenty years were jumping through at night to get at our crops and pastures, but for most of that time they did it walking and grazing. These days they do it running often forgetting to jump, and they do it for the entire growing season. So the fence wires, strands which ought to be occasionally tightened like you would tune a guitar, now have to be tied back together – repaired over and over again, at or near the spots where wires were tied originally. The result is something akin to scar tissue. Our fences look angry, all tied in knots.
We learn to notice how calm this gelding is standing for a new hitching procedure, just as we notice that the filly is nervously watching everything around her, jumpy with each new experience. How do we value those two different circumstances? Most of us dedicate time and concern to the skittish filly and allow that the calm gelding is nothing to worry about, nothing to concern ourselves with. Perhaps we would do well to even that out, to see if we can pick up on why the calm horse is that way. After all, he is the best example we have, in that moment, of where we would like the filly to end up, yes? And perhaps, just perhaps, that solid quiet gelding has it in his nature and makeup to assist you in bringing the filly to calm? Such aid is available IF we are aware and open to it.
Wild peaches and other wild tree fruit used to be much easier to locate. They were sought out and sometimes deliberately replanted in more convenient locations. A number of factors have come together to contribute to the scarcity of some of these unique wild fruits. One factor is that most people are out of touch with the seasonal availability of foragable food. Another factor is the aggressive mowing and spraying of the roadsides. Fruit that once advertised itself on the roadsides, and invited foragers to find them, are now oft mowed or sprayed away and one must seek them out without the cheerful roadside reminder.