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Tag Archives: Kansas

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.

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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 they 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

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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.

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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!

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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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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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Oh Give Me A Home…

We took the scenic route home yesterday. It took us through Maxwell Wildlife Refuge-and a herd of buffalo. Kansas is a special place to live!

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Grammy’s Pumpkin Patch McPherson, KS 2013

 
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Posted by on September 9, 2013 in Grammy's Pumpkin Patch

 

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When Pigs Fly

This was my first time to attend the annual When Pigs Fly event at the McPherson Airport. It was fantastic! The day was packed with activities for every age. Of course, the BBQ contest caught my attention right off. Even at 8 am, the place smelled amazing, making it difficult to wait for lunchtime. Rides from horses to helicopters were available too.

When we were approached by the committee to bring the Grammy’s Barrel Train and Build-N-Blast, we excited. The event is a fundraiser for scholarships in the field of agriculture, so being the agriculture education nerds that we all are, we loved the idea. Thanks to all the other volunteers and patrons, the day a success!

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Grammy’s Pumpkin Patch McPherson Kansas 2013

 

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Agriculture Education

“Agriculture is the process of preparing the soil to raise crops and livestock!” Just ask any 2nd grader from Washington Elementary, St. Joseph, or Elyria, and they will tell you.  These were the three schools whose 2nd graders participated in our “In the Class and On the Farm (ICOF)” program for 2012. The program was made possible largely through grants and donations from Kansas Farm Bureau.  Several local businesses also partnered with Grammy’s Pumpkin Patch to sponsor the agriculture education program – Krehbiel’s Specialty Meats, Kiwanis Club of McPherson, Artshirt, and Tractor Supply Co. Due to the increasing tightening of school budgets, we are so thankful that these businesses and community groups value ag education!

My family has been greatly blessed to grow up with personal access to a farm. We realize that this is not true for a growing number of students, even within McPherson county. Statistics show that, on average, the elementary student is two generations removed from the farm. Along with this gap, comes a growing disconnect between the field and the table for most students.We believe that everyone deserves to be informed consumers of all products (food, textile, etc). We also believe that to be an informed consumer, one must be made aware of true agriculture. What better way to teach than on the farm?

The curriculum is two-fold. Angie and myself, both Kansas certified teachers, go into the classroom to teach the basic “what, why, and so what?” about Kansas agriculture. We begin by posing the question, “Who in here has been affected by agriculture today?” We are usually met with 3 or 4 hands per class. Most responses include petting or feeding the family pet, seeing a cow on the way to school, or dreaming of barnyard animals. The next couple of hours are spent defining agriculture, learning how each and every person is affected by agriculture every day, and learning specifically about Kansas’s Top Crops. All of these lessons are hands-on and align with state teaching standards.

   

The second part of the ICOF program is a day of common core lessons taught through the lens of agriculture that takes place on Johnstown Farm during the pumpkin harvest season.

                                     

These were some packed full days – certainly some of my favorites from the season. We hope to see all three schools back next year, and also be able to extend the program to other 2nd grade classrooms. Thanks again to Kansas Farm Bureau, Krehbiel’s Specialty Meats, Kiwanis Club of McPherson, TSC, and Artshirt!

Grammy’s Pumpkin Patch 2012 – McPherson, KS
 

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