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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.

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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)!

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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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Projects

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.

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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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Planted, partially

It is about two weeks later than normal, but we finally could get in to some of our fields to plant our patches. After three years of significant drought, I cannot complain about the rain that put us behind in planting. The miniatures, giants, and some gourds are in the ground, weed blocked, and watered.

It was a fairly quick job with some great help and most appreciated cloud cover. We definitely could have done without the swarms of mosquitoes. Unfortunately, I am afraid they are around for awhile.

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Here's what Ben thinks of the mosquitoes.

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Charis is putting 3 seeds every 2 ft.

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Transplanting is tricky with cucurbits.

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

 
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Posted by on June 19, 2014 in Grammy's Pumpkin Patch

 

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Planting…my favorite method

So here is a picture of my personal favorite pumpkin planting method. We call this the “Pumpkin Jack” method. If you have ever read the children’s book, Pumpkin Jack by Will Hubbell, you understand. This is the pumpkin left under the snow that illustrates the life cycle so well.

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Of course after 5 years of growing pumpkins at Johnstown, our cattle, who are more than pleased to take care of our surplus crop at the end of the season, have planted their own scattered crop of pumpkins with their own method. We call these “Previously Pooped Pumpkins”. They are sprouting strong all over the pasture.

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

 
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Posted by on April 29, 2014 in Grass Finished Beef

 

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Wait…where did Spring go?

So Spring came…and went…and is slated to reappear tomorrow. Central Kansas went from 90 degree weather to 28 degree weather in 24 hours. Braving the SNOW, we gathered sheets, blankets, and tarps to cover young plants. Unfortunately, we missed a few…

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Extra heat lamps were set up for the chicks. They made it through the freeze and are growing rapidly…

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And as for the kittens, well, at least one litter arrived the night before the temperatures plummeted. So of course, they needed some old rugs and rags to keep warm too. Aren’t they a cute patchwork of fur?

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I am putting my request in- true Spring from now on. We’ll see.

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

 
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Posted by on April 16, 2014 in Farm Fresh Eggs

 

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Spring has Sprung at Johnstown

I love Spring! Everything is fresh and new with the promise of growth. What does springtime look like here at Johnstown?

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Looks like we will have kitties, and lots of them, soon. Several of our favorite farm cats will be having cuddly babies. Maybe we’ll be looking for good homes…

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The fields are carpeted with crops ready to soak in the Kansas sun and (hopefully) some April showers. This field is no-till triticale. Our cows will love it!

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Flowers peeking out to welcome Spring make me want to get my hands into the garden boxes. There is such satisfaction in hiding those seeds in the soil. I am trying to listen to the experts and wait until the freeze threat is gone.

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Our newest arrivals are 50 Cornish Cross broiler chicks. They are peeping their Spring song.

That’s just a taste of this beautiful season here in central Kansas.

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

 

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