Summer Heats Up

We’ve been a bit spoiled with some fairly mild temperatures this summer. Last week and this week, however, we have felt the brunt of Kansas heat. Early this morning, the pumpkin plants looked beautiful-dark green vines, bright yellow blossoms, and busy bees. Grammy went to get her camera before noon, and this is the result.


The blossoms are already closed due to the heat. They close as the plant conserves moisture. These pumpkin plants are pretty reliable temperature gauges! Today the seem to say, “Stay inside if you can. It is too hot for man, beast, and blossom.”

Grammy’s Pumpkin Patch- McPherson, Kansas 2015

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Posted by on July 13, 2015 in Grammy's Pumpkin Patch


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Thank You Farmers


This summer we aren’t harvesting any wheat at Johnstown Farm. However, this is one of my favorite times of the year as a Kansan. I love driving through Kansas and watching all the combines and grain trucks. It makes me want to stand up and applaud all the farmers who are working hard to bring in wheat to feed the world. Here are a few fun facts for any of you agriculture nerds, like me:

Kansas produces enough wheat each year to bake 36 billion loaves of bread and enough to feed everyone in the world, over six billion people, for about 2 weeks.

An acre of Kansas wheat produces enough bread to feed nearly 9,000 people for one day.

A grain elevator in Hutchinson is 1/2 mile long and holds 46 million bushels in its 1,000 bins.  

Sumner County is known as The Wheat Capital of the World.


Grammy’s Pumpkin Patch at Johnstown Farm-McPherson, KS 2015


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Midsummer’s Festival

We were happy to be in Lindsborg, KS celebrating the annual Midsummer’s Festival today. The Midsummer festival is a worldwide Swedish tradition held to welcome the arrival of the summer solstice. I must say, that it certainly felt like summer with the temperature climbing over the one hundred degree mark! However, the temperature could not deter the Swedes from dancing, playing Kubb, lots of Swedish foods, and much more. As I watched girls run with their flower crowns amid the themed Dala horses, I was thankful to be in the heartland of Kansas where small communities offer so many opportunities for families to come together!


Grammy’s Pumpkin Patch at Johnstown Farm-McPherson, KS 2015

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Posted by on June 20, 2015 in Grammy's Pumpkin Patch


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Agriculture is…

Second graders from Eisenhower Elementary wrapped up their “In the Class and On the Farm” agriculture education program today. It was a bit muddy, but these agriculture advocates were hard workers and great learners.




Thanks to our Ag Sponsors for helping make this possible: Krehbiel’s Specialty Meats, Kansas Farm Bureau, Kiwanis, Home State Bank, John and Carol Yost, Joe and Donna Pavlovsky, ArtShirt, McPherson County Community Foundation, MidKansas Co-Op, and Tractor Supply.

Grammy’s Pumpkin Patch at Johnstown Farm-McPherson, KS 2014

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Posted by on October 1, 2014 in Grammy's Pumpkin Patch


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Hello, Pumpkin Patch…

Today certainly felt like pumpkin patch season is upon us. You know that type of day when your feet sigh with relief when you sit down at night? That was today. We started off our day (after chores, of course) at Washington Elementary School in the second grade classrooms where we kicked off our agriculture education program, “In the Class and On the Farm.” It was a privilege to guide the students in the discovery of the “what” and “why” of Kansas agriculture. Did you know that it is impossible to live a day without being affected by agriculture? Just ask those second graders, they’ll tell you! Here they are wrapping up their class time illustrating one of the many ways they were affected by agriculture today.


After class it was time to hustle back to the farm to prepare the grounds for the pumpkin patch season. We open on September 27, and there is much to do. By the time the sun went down, we had checked off a lot of items on the master “To Do” list- prepping the new school room, filling sand boxes, painting signs, moving equipment, etc. As we worked around the farm, we found at least five of these big guys. This isn’t the best picture, but I couldn’t make myself get any closer. I think his body was about two inches long, not counting his legs. I have never seen so many giant spiders in one day. I know they are great for taking care of the gardens, but they sure can take us by surprise (and sometimes yelp out loud)!


Grammy’s Pumpkin Patch at Johnstown Farm – McPherson, KS 2014


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Preparations . . .

We enjoyed a weekend of preparing the farm for the upcoming season of Grammy’s Pumpkin Patch. We all do our own parts during the year, but my favorite time is when all the family comes down to work together. The beautiful weather was just what we needed to keep us going as we worked outside. I love that coolness in the air. It makes everything feel so….autumnish! Justin was working on preparing the trail for the barrel train, Dan was busy in the shop creating contraptions for the destruction zone, Papa was wiring the converted education room, Grammy fed us all, Angie and I were working on scheduling and store preparation, and the grandkids… had the most important job this weekend. They were cuddling the two new kittens and putting together scarecrows.

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Grammy’s Pumpkin Patch at Johnstown Farm, McPherson, KS 2014


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If there is one thing that is true about a farm, it is that there are always projects for everyone. With a little supervision from Papa, the cousins undertook this project – a playhouse made of pallets.


Grammy’s Pumpkin Patch at Johnstown Farm, McPherson, KS 2014

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Posted by on August 6, 2014 in Grammy's Pumpkin Patch


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