Category Archives: Did You Know?
Purdue Ag Week Continues: Kiss a Calf, Facts on GMOs, and Hammer Down Hunger
Hello everyone! How was your Monday? Mine was fine, but definitely not as exciting as what was happening on Purdue’s campus for Purdue Ag Week!
Milk Monday was once again a success, with hundreds of students enjoying free grilled cheese and milk while learning some facts about dairy products. Check out these great Milk Monday photos from Purdue student and fellow blogger, Samuel at Life of a Future Farmer!
Boilermakers ended their Monday with the privilege of listening to Dairy Carrie and Brian of The Farmer’s Life share about life on the farm.
Today, Ag Week continues with a variety of engaging events.
Kiss A Calf: 10 a.m – 3 p.m. (Memorial Mall)
Kicking off the day is Heifer International’s new event. For a small donation ($1) which will go to Heifer’s global ag efforts, students can love on a little calf!
Getting to give these little calves a smooch is adorable, but the cause these donations will go to is the real star of this event. Heifer International’s mission is to work with communities to end world hunger and poverty and to care for the Earth.
Founder of Heifer International, Dan West, was a farmer from the American Midwest who went to the front lines of the Spanish Civil War as an aid worker. His mission was to provide relief, but he soon discovered the meager single cup of milk rationed to the weary refugees once a day was not enough. And then he had a thought: What if they had not a cup, but a cow?
That “teach a man to fish” philosophy is what drove West to found Heifer International. And now, nearly 70 years later, that philosophy still inspires their work to end world hunger and poverty throughout the world once and for all. They empower families to turn hunger and poverty into hope and prosperity – but their approach is more than just giving them a handout. Heifer links communities and helps bring sustainable agriculture and commerce to areas with a long history of poverty.
“For generations, we have provided resources and training for struggling small-scale farmers in order to give them a chance to change their circumstances.” – Heifer International
Ag Policy and GMOs: 10 a.m – 3 p.m. (Memorial Mall)
Also in Memorial Mall, will be the Agronomy Club and ASAP discussing Ag Policy and GMOs. These are both hot topics in the agricultural industry that most people don’t know much about.
GMOs (genetically modified organisms) are simply the process of intentionally making a copy of a gene for a desired trait from one plant or organism, and using it in another plant. This process is used to select valuable traits such as reduced yield loss or crop damage from weeds, diseases, and insects, as well as from extreme weather conditions, such as drought.
There are several misconceptions around GMOs that these students will strive to clear up. One is that GMOs are bad for our environment because the farmers that grow them spray huge amounts of pesticides. But in fact, GMOs actually reduce the impact of agriculture on their environment and their costs — by applying pesticides in more precise ways, for example.
Another misconception is that people think all crops are now being genetically modified. This isn’t true either. Did you know there are currently only eight crops commercially available from GMO seeds in the US? They are corn (field and sweet), soybeans, cotton, canola, alfalfa, sugar beets, papaya, and squash.
A lot of the crops that people think are GMOs are actually hybrids. (For example, a honeycrisp apple is a hybrid, not a GMO.) A hybrid produce is created when two different varieties of a fruit or vegetable, or two different types of a fruit or vegetable, are cross-bred with each other. This is not the same thing as a GMO where a selected trait has been inserted into a plant’s DNA.
To learn more about GMOs, I encourage you to visit www.GMOAnswers.com.
Hammer Down Hunger 5 p.m. – 9 p.m. (Memorial Mall)
The final event of the day will be the second annual “Hammer Down Hunger” meal packing event. Last year, students from Ag Week packed over 57,000 meals to send to underprivileged children in Haiti. This year, their goal is to pack 70,000 meals!
2014 Hammer Down Hunger event
I don’t think they’ll have a problem hitting their goal. The Ag Week Task Force told me that the shifts for this event are already filled by around 500 students (from all over campus) willing to volunteer! How awesome!
I hope everyone has fun at all of the events today! I’d love to hear if you get the chance to attend any of them! If you post any photos or updates on social media, be sure to use the hashtag #mAGnifyPurdue so I can see how the events are going.
Also, be sure to check back again tomorrow for Wednesday’s events. One important event I’m looking forward to sharing with you is the Farmer’s Breakfast from Ag Communicators of Tomorrow and Collegiate 4-H! This unique event will be providing students with a complete breakfast meal for only $0.25 – check back tomorrow to learn the meaning behind this certain price!
Happy Purdue Ag Week!
In Honor of Pi Day: Cushaw Squash Pie
I originally wrote this post for my contribution to RuralHousewives.com back in November, but never got around to posting it on this blog. Well, today is the day. It’s Pi Day! And what better excuse to honor this special “Once in a Century” Pi Day than with a special pie recipe!
In case you forgot since freshman geometry class, Pi (π) is the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter. Pi is a constant number, meaning that for all circles of any size, Pi will be the same. The diameter of a circle is the distance from edge to edge, measuring straight through the center. The circumference of a circle is the distance around. *
Today is a very special Pi Day that comes but once in a century. The date, 3-14-15 will be the only time before 2115 that the date reflects five digits of the magical, infinite number, 3.141592653… Oh and be sure to note the time 9:26:53 this morning and night, when even more digits will match pi!**
The star ingredient of this pie (which is very special to my family), cushaw squash, is grown in the fall. But you can stick this recipe in your recipe box and save it for when fall rolls back around! Hope you enjoy!
NOVEMBER 11, 2014 — During the fall, the typical star ingredient is pumpkin. And there are pages upon pages of recipes for it. But as this Thanksgiving approaches, I wanted to feature a unique ingredient that is sure to win the rookie of the year award at your Thanksgiving table…squash! But this is not just any ole’ squash recipe, it is my family’s traditional Cushaw Squash Pie!
“Squash pie?!” you might be asking. “That sounds awful!” Well let me tell you, it’s anything but awful! It could win over pumpkin pie any day in my book.
To me, squash pies are a familiar family favorite and are the star of the show every Thanksgiving. But as I’ve gotten older it seems that few people know about them!
As I started thinking about it even more, I realized that I hadn’t had much experience making them. That was always Grandma’s job! So when I was home this weekend I took the opportunity to spend some quality time with my wonderful grandparents and learn exactly how to make one of our favorite family recipes.
And since this recipe is just SO incredibly good, I am going to share it with you too!
Before we get started, I’ll give you a little more background on what cushaw squash actually is.
Cushaw squash – “wait, that’s not just a gourd?”
The green-striped cushaw is a crookneck squash that typically weighs 10 to 20 pounds and grows to be 12 to 18 inches long. The skin is whitish-green with mottled green stripes and the flesh is light-yellow. It is mild and slightly sweet in flavor; meaty in texture and fibrous.
It is sometimes called “cushaw pumpkin” and is often substituted for the standard, orange, jack-o-lantern pumpkin in pie-making.
Cushaw is mainly grown in the southern and southwestern United States. It is a hardy plant, one that tolerates heat and resists the deadly vine borer; can be grown easily in vegetable gardens, and it can be stored for an unusually long time. While the green-striped cushaw is not endangered per se, it tends to be grown in small batches for private use, and is not widely available in retail markets. Although widely known, the cushaw is a favorite ingredient in a few culinary cultures, including to some southwest Native Americans, to the southern Appalachians, and to the Louisiana Creoles and Italians.
Making cushaw butter is a family tradition in Tennessee, and all around Appalachia cooks prefer to use cushaws in their pumpkin pies.
This squash pie recipe has been passed down from my great grandma, Mary Alice Griffin (“Grannie Griffin” as we refer to her), who grew up in Blackford, Kentucky. And according to my grandma Patsy, aka “Grannie Pat”, it may have even been passed down from Grannie Griffin’s mom, Florence.
My mom and grandparents recently took a trip to Blackford to revisit some of the places grandma and great grandma grew up and it was incredibly fascinating to learn about! I wasn’t able to go, but my mom captured some wonderful pictures to keep as memories of the trip and our family’s history.
As I was writing this, I remembered that today is Veteran’s Day. I wasn’t sure at first if I was going to be able to incorporate that into my post about squash, but as I was looking back through the pictures my mom took, I was reminded that Blackford, KY also has a wonderful Veteran’s memorial!
That was the perfect sign that I couldn’t, and shouldn’t, go without recognizing its significance in my post.
Family and history have always been important to me, but I think I have come to appreciate them even more as I get older. And one thing I try to always remind myself is that our country is what it is today because of the people who have come before us and worked to build it.
So today, this post goes out to the Veterans in my family as well as all of the brave men and women who have fought, and are still fighting, to keep our country safe. From the bottom of my heart I want to say, THANK YOU.
Squash Pie with Grannie Pat
This past Saturday I invited Grannie and Gramps over to my parents’ house and got a lesson in Squash Pie making – straight from the pro. My sister was there to help document the day with pictures, allowing me to fully concentrate on learning all the tips and tricks. And my dad, well, he was just there to be the taste tester. 🙂 It was such a fun afternoon!
Alright, now let’s get down to business. The first step is to cook you squash. This can be a little bit of a process so be sure to plan in advance. I found a great tutorial on how to cook cushaw squash from The Novice Chef, but my Grannie Pat’s way of doing it seems even easier!
Step 1: Cooking Squash
Begin by washing one cushaw squash. Cut the neck of the squash off and cut into slices, (like the Novice Chef suggests). Then, cut the main part of the squash inhalf and scoop out the seeds like a pumpkin. Once that is done, cut the squash into large chunks. Here’s the difference in this technique – DON’T worry about peeling the squash before you cook it. And trust me, you’ll be glad you don’t have to worry about it because peeling a squash like this is a pain!
Cook the squash in boiling water until the pulp of squash is soft. Let cool and the peel will slide right off. Once the peel has been removed and the squash is cool, place it in a food mill, food processor, or blender and puree until smooth. This creates the pulp for the pies.
(My mom had several bags of squash pre-cooked so we didn’t do the whole cooking process during this lesson, but it seems pretty straight forward.)
We store the pulp in Ziplock bags in the freezer. This can be kept up to three months or you can also can the squash to save for the whole year! We can it in chunks, not as a puree.
Step 2: Make Crust & Prep Pie Plate
Since we were going all out for this example, we decided to make homemade crust, but if you’re in a hurry, store bought pie crust will be fine as well. Grannie said that’s all she ever uses now days!
Grannie Pat Tip #1: Before putting your pie crust in the pan, rub some butter around in the bottom of the pan and it will prevent the crust from sticking to the bottom.
Place your pie crust on your pie plate. Since we were rolling our dough out, we rolled the crust up on a rolling pin to help keep it in good form as we transferred it to the pan. Make sure to press your crust down around the entire bottom of sides and so you’re not short when you cut the excess crust off the edges.
Once you have your pie crust positioned, cut the excess crust off around the edge of the pie plate. And I always like to add a decorative little fluted edge around my pies just for presentation.
Step 3: Preheat Oven and Make the Pie Filling
Before you start with the filling, remember to preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
For the filling, start by breaking two eggs into a large mixing bowl and add 1 ½ cups of sugar. (The original recipe calls for 1 ¼, but Grannie Pat always adds extra.) Beat until smooth and then add in your squash pulp.
Grannie Pat # 2: If you want to make great big thick pies, just double the recipe for the filling.
Next add in the milk and vanilla. For this, Grannie says it doesn’t hurt if you put more than the recipe calls for so just eyeball it. In this case, I added about ¼ teaspoon more that the recipe says. Depending on your strength of vanilla extract, this can be increased or decreased.
And finally, you’re going to add a thickening agent of flour and water, (also known as a roux). To do this, get a little bowl and put 2 Tbsp of flour into a ¼ cup of cold water. Sometimes she just guesses at it without really measuring. Keep mixing it with a fork until all of the flour is dissolved in the water.
Grannie Pat Tip #3: The more of this you put in the faster it bakes and the thicker it gets. Grandma usually doubles it and decreases the baking time if she’s in a hurry.
Once dissolved, add to mixture and beat a little more until combined.
Step 4: Building Pie and Baking:
Before you pour the filling into the crust, I have one awesome little secret for you. This one comes straight from Grannie Griffin. Her trick was to sprinkle the pie crust with some sugar before you pour anything in. Her reason, not sure. But why not?
Pour the filling into two unbaked pie crusts and sprinkle the tops with cinnamon and nutmeg. (Grandma does more cinnamon and less nutmeg.)
Then place in the oven for at least 45 minutes. Grannie Pat’s original recipe says to bake for 15 minutes at 425 and then reduce to 350 until set. But depending on your oven, you may want to just watch it to see what works best. And be sure to keep checking them to see if they shake.
Grannie Pat Tip # 4: You need the right amount of shake! They’ll still shake when they’re done, but you just have to keep watching them. (This comes from years of practice so until you become a pro at identifying this shake; you can stick a knife down in the pie to test it. When the knife comes out clean, the pie is done. If filling is left on the knife, keep baking for a few minutes.)
Once the pies are done, let them completely cool on a cooling rack before serving. This allows it to fully set up and obtain the consistency of the familiar pumpkin pie.
Serve with cool whip and store leftovers in the refrigerator… if there are any. 🙂
This blog was longer than I normally write so if you’ve made it this far I want to thank you for taking the time to read about my family’s history and this recipe that is so special to us.
I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving celebration with your family and I’d love to hear if you decide to add our squash pie to the menu!
Full Printable Recipe: Cushaw Squash Recipe
Photos courtesy of Ali Nord and Becky Nord *Information courtesy of http://www.piday.org/learn-about-pi/ **Information courtesy of http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation-now/2015/03/14/pi-day-kids-videos/24753169/
Agriculture and “American Spirits” at the Indiana State Museum
Agriculture is a component of so many aspects of our lives, even if we don’t realize it. Food is the obvious one, but everything from our clothing, paper and plastic products, makeup, crayons, diapers, medicines, and even those adult beverages we sometimes enjoy are thanks in part to ingredients from agriculture.
A couple of weeks ago, I had the privilege of previewing the newest exhibit at the Indiana State Museum, “American Spirits: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition.” This era has always been fascinating to me, and I really enjoyed learning more about our country’s history and how the “spirits” of America came to be.
And as promised, I also took the opportunity to focus on how agriculture was involved in the various aspects of the exhibit, the Prohibition era, and the beverage industry in general. I’m excited to share all of the neat facts I learned!
TOURING AMERICAN SPIRITS
The day we visited was the grand opening for the exhibit so they had a little celebration in addition to giving tours through the gallery. We were told we could bring a couple family members and, if we were feeling really adventurous, we could even dress up in time-period clothing!
I brought along my cousin, Jennifer, and her daughter, Sofia. Since it was during the day and we planned to go somewhere afterward, I didn’t want to wear the full flapper get-up, but I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to wear some fun 20s-inspired accessories!
With our outfits on and camera’s on, we were ready to check everything out! One of the museum’s curators, Katherine Gould took us on a tour for the exhibit and was very knowledgeable about the time period.
The exhibit starts off by setting the scene to why Prohibition was established. One of the main reasons was because Americans drank VERY large amounts of alcohol during the early 1800s. In 1830, America hit rock bottom. During that time, the average American consumed 90 bottles of 80 proof liquor! That is about three times greater than the current levels of today.
One of the first parts of the exhibit showcased examples of the favorite drinks of the pre-prohibition time period and the current drinking habits. In the rural areas, whisky and cider were the drinks of choice. This was because farmers used the grain they grew to make rye or corn whiskey, as well as apples from the area to make hard cider.
Hard cider was much stronger than beer. As a way to keep the cider from spoiling, distilled liquor was frequently added to the cider; giving it an alcohol content of at least 10 percent. It was very common in rural areas because potable water was difficult to come by, while apples were plentiful. Farmers could easily and cheaply turn their excess crop into a never-ending supply of cider for themselves and their families.
In more of the urban areas, saloons were very popular. Saloons of that time served whiskey, which was usually made from rye, but could be made by other grains as well. It came in barrels, and brandnames were pretty much unknown. But all this changed in the 1840s and 1850s when Germans and Irish immigrated to America, turning it into a nation of beer drinkers.
As more companies started brewing beer, brand names also started to become established. Decorations and furniture in saloons would actually be supplies by breweries in exchange for them selling their beer.
From here, we learned about the Temperance Movement and the Anti-Saloon League, which started the fight for alcohol reform and brought the issue into politics, eventually leading to the passing of the 18th Amendment, Prohibition.
There was so much interesting information, and we were only to the beginning of learning about Prohibition! If you’d like to learn the whole back story, this website featuring a PBS special on the rise of Prohibition has a lot of great facts.
Wayne Wheeler, founder of the Anti-Saloon League, was considered to be the most powerful man in America at one point. The exhibit features his “Amazing Amendment Machine” which highlights the process by which he and other fighters for reform, worked to get the 18th Amendment passed.
On Jan. 17, 1920, the 18th Amendment put into place a nationwide ban prohibiting Americans from manufacturing, selling or transporting alcohol. This time period is commonly known as Prohibition.
For the next 13 years until 1933, the “Drys” worked to enforce the amendment, while the “wets” basically disregarded it; leading to the birth of the Roaring ’20s, bootlegging and speakeasies.
This part of the exhibit was very neat in my opinion! There were several interactive areas where you could test your knowledge about the era, learn if you were a “wet” or a “dry”, learn the 20s and 30s lingo, and even visit a re-created speakeasy!
My favorite part of the exhibit was the re-created speakeasy bar! One other thing that was created during the Prohibition era was mixed drinks. Because liquor was typically crudely made, they had to start mixing it with things to mask the strong tastes. The bar featured some of the mixed drinks that were born during this time and created a fun environment to act like you were a bar patron from the time.
Organized crime was also born during this time period due to people trying to get around the ban on alcohol. The exhibit took you through the rise in organized crime, and even featured an “I’m Got Booked” photo area where you could stand in a line-up with Meyer Lensky, Al Capone, and Lucky Lugiano, and then email it directly to yourself as a keepsake!
Prohibition, failing fully to enforce sobriety and costing billions, rapidly lost popular support in the early 1930s. In 1933, the 21st Amendment to the Constitution was passed and ratified, ending national Prohibition. Many Americans were on board with this reversal, farmers included.
AGRICULTURE AND AMERICAN SPIRITS
After the exhibit, I was able to meet with our tour guide, Katherine Gould, where she shared with me even more facts about agriculture as it relates to ‘American Spirits’. I have shared her interview below:
Pre-prohibition beer making was quite regional. It goes back to the early 1800s from transportation limitations – they could only get ingredients and beer so far. Throughout the 19th and early 20th centuries, beer making was regional and they also used regional ingredients from area farmers. Breweries would actually buy from local farmers.
When prohibition was passed, the farmers lost those markets. What’s interesting is, most people focused on the farming disaster that occurred during the depression, but agriculture was going through various droughts throughout the 1920s as well. Throughout the 1920s and 30s, agriculture was bit both by droughts, the depression, and food prices going up and down, as well as lost a huge business for a lot of their grains.
So when the idea of repealing the 18th amendment started picking up steam, agriculture got on board. This was interesting because your rural communities tended to be the driest communities. And that’s why they were able to carry a lot of legislatures. But they were also the farmers who needed the market. So a lot of farming groups got behind repeal because they found a new way to market their grains. So it impacted them a lot. When Prohibition went into effect, it put a lot of people out of business. Not only the breweries, but also bar and saloon owners, trucking companies, ice companies, bottle companies, (there a lot of different bottle companies here in the state) lost jobs.
Whisky and hard cider were the most popular drinks until about WWI, mid-century with the immigration of German and Irish who brought with them beer, and they made it very well. So that started to become very popular.
Indiana actually had a pretty robust distilling industry in Indiana, down by Terre Haute and around the Ohio River, with the access to water, which was very important for that. Indiana actually had the first successful commercial winery in the early 1820s down in Vevay, Indiana. They were able to grow grapes successfully there and did advertising in Switzerland to bring people to come work at their winery.
How fascinating! Katherine also told us during the tour that while the “noble experiment” (as Prohibition was eventually known) failed, there were several things that came from it that are still in place today. With the commercial production of alcohol banned, several products were created in its place. Some well-known examples are: Welches grape juice, Vino grape brick, Coca Cola, Root beer, and Koolaid, among many others.
In addition to being a prominent part of the “American Spirits” of the Prohibition era, agricultural products are how we are able to make many more of the alcoholic beverages that are enjoyed today.
Did you know all of these things are made into alcohol? An incredible diversity of grains, herbs and fruits goes into the world’s alcoholic drinks, which means that for the botanically minded, a trip to the liquor store is a little different than it is for the rest of us. Amy Stewart explains what it’s like in her new book, The Drunken Botanist.
This book looks so interesting! I think I may have to make it my next reading project – right as soon as I finish the book I started reading on our honeymoon…almost five months ago. (That’s pathetic, I know.) But seriously though, this does look like an interesting and fascinating read!
Overall, the American Spirits: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition exhibit at the Indiana State Museum was a great time! It was very interesting, very interactive, and fun to spend a day back in the Roaring 20s! Jennifer, Sofia and I all really enjoyed the whole day. We also enjoyed learning about how agriculture ties into this interesting era! So next time you pop the top on an adult beverage, don’t forget to thank a farmer!
Visit For Yourself!
The exhibit is open until February 15th, 2015 which gives you PLENTY of time to check it out for yourself! But I encourage you to stop by while it’s still at least a teensie-bit warm outside, because if you’ve never been to the Indiana State Museum before, it’s right by the canal downtown which would be a nice place for an afternoon fall walk after the exhibit.
If you’d like to purchase tickets to experience the “American Spirits” exhibit, they are $13 for adults, $12 for seniors and college students, $8.50 for children ages 12 and under. Member admission is included in membership. For more information about the exhibit, special events, online ticket sales and more, visit indianamuseum.org.
Ooh, and I almost forgot! If you’re of age, they’re having this really cool event on October 23 in honor of the history and rise of craft beer in Indiana that sounds really fun! Here’s the 411 on that:
Join Rita Kohn, author of True Brew: A Guide to Craft Beers in Indiana; Doug Wissing, author of One Pint at a Time: A Traveler’s Guide to Indiana Breweries; Anita Johnson, owner of Great Fermentations; and Bob Ostrander and Derrick Morris authors of Hoosier Beer: Tapping into Indiana Brewing History to discuss Indiana brewing history and the rise of home brewing and craft beers in Indiana. This events is 21 & over. Reservations strongly recommended. Call 317.232.1637 for reservations.
Tickets: $35 per non-member / $25 per member. Price includes admission to the talk, a snack and an admission voucher for the American Spirits: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition exhibit. This event will take place at Tow Yard Brewing Co.
While you’re there, don’t forget to post pictures and use the hashtag #ISMSpirits – I’d love to see if you all dolled up in your best 20’s fashion and accessories!
Museum Social Media Information:
Trip Advisor: www.tripadvisor.com
Hashtag for the exhibit: #ISMSpirits
Farmland: Meet America’s Next Generation of Farmers
Did you know that fewer than 1 percent of our population of 317 million are farmers? At one time, it was common for everyone to grow their own food. But with the immense amount of growth of our country has experienced, most Americans are now five generations removed from the farm. This means less people growing our food, and less land to grow it on, but that doesn’t mean there is any less care that goes into it.
Being five generations removed from the farm, a huge disconnect has developed between the farmer and the consumer. So much so, in some cases, that people couldn’t even tell you where their food comes from aside from in the grocery store. When in reality, about 90 percent of the food grown in America comes from a family farm.
It really saddens and frustrates me to see this happen, which is one of the reasons why I became an ag communicator. One of my greatest passions is helping to educate people where their food comes from and how it’s grown. But with anti-ag groups presenting misinformation, it’s sometimes hard to give people a firsthand look into what it is REALLY like on the farms across America. That is why I am so excited to share with you the new documentary, Farmland!
Released in theaters today, Farmland lets you step inside the world of farming and take an intimate look at the lives of farmers and ranchers in their ‘20s, all of whom are now responsible for running their farm and producing the food we all depend on.
As the trailer said, “When people see farmers, they think GMOs, organic, certified organic, all natural, treading an animal humanely” and all of the other buzz words that the media reports on, but what they don’t think about is that the farmer growing their food is a regular person just like you and me. And farming isn’t just a job to them, it’s their livelihood. Their lives depend on ensuring that their crops and/or livestock are healthy or nutritious. Not only because they feed them to their own family, but because hundreds and thousands of people are depending on them. To the outside eye, making sure that happens might look easy. But from firsthand experience, I can tell you that farming is anything but.
“We put so much time and so much effort into making something happen, when it finally does happen, we’re pretty proud of it.” – Farmland.
Thanks to the Indiana Soybean Alliance, the Indiana Farm Bureau, and BASF, I had the opportunity to attend an advanced screening of the movie and I absolutely loved it! I’m not sure if it was because it was such a great representation of the different areas of farming and what all it takes to be grow the food we all depend on, or because of how proud it made me feel to be a part of agriculture, but I truly hope that everyone takes the time to watch it! (Oh and maybe bring a tissue just in case, as I may have gotten a little tear-y eyed at the end.)
Farmland will be released in select theaters across the country starting TODAY! Please check www.FarmlandFilm.com for screening dates and locations. In Indiana, it will be showing at the Landmark Keystone Theater in Indianapolis.
If you don’t see a theater near you, their Facebook page said to send them a message with your email address and they’ll add you to the list to receive updates about the digital download and DVD release of the film.
Please do me, and yourself, a favor and go see this film! I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!
Happy Meals To Promote The Importance Of Reading – McIndyMom’s Give-A-Way
As I scrolled through social media pages and blog posts over the weekend, I started to see the familiar “thankful” posts that are published each November. I always enjoy these. I have never actually written a “thankful” post on my blog or social media pages, but they do make me reflect on all the things I am thankful for in my life.
My health, family, friends, faith, and my job are among the few obvious things I initially thought of, but as I reflected more, I know that I wouldn’t have gotten to where I am now without the solid foundation of skills and values that my parents instilled in me at a young age.
One of the most important of those being reading. Growing up, I can remember learning my ABC’s, my parents helping teach me to read with books like, “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” (anyone remember that one?), and taking trips to my local Library with my Aunt Beth.
At the time, I may not have realized how valuable those experiences were, but the very fact that I am able to sit here and share my experiences through words just shows how many things in my life, as well as yours, are affected by our ability to read and write. And looking back, I have really come to cherish those memories.
Last Friday, November 1, was National Family Literacy Day and in support of this cause, McDonald’s launched a National Happy Meal Books Program to invite families to celebrate the joy of reading. Through November 14, children who order McDonald’s Happy Meals will find one of four limited edition books featuring stories that bring nutrition, imagination, and play to life. Each book also comes with it’s very own bookmark that kids can personalize.
I think this is so neat! I mean, the toys we got in Happy Meals when I was younger were cool and all, but books are something interesting and practical that kids can keep instead of hiding them in between the car seat cushions, or leaving them on the floor for you to step on, when they get bored with them.
Have you seen these books in your kids’ Happy Meals yet?
Along with these books being placed in Happy Meals nationwide, McDonald’s of Central Indiana is leading a “Give a Book, Get a Book” campaign! By donating a gently used children’s book, customers will receive a “Be Our Guest” card for a free Happy Meal to say thank you for helping to share the gift of reading with others in the Indy community.
Book donation sites will be set up around the area at the Ronald McDonald House, local libraries, and Indy Reads from Nov 1 – 14. In addition, participating libraries are hosting a “Happy Meal Day” with activities for kids and McDonald’s Happy Meal Books. To find a full list of book donation sites and participating libraries, click here: http://www.indywithkids.com/2013/11/happy-meal-day-give-a-book-get-a-book-locations/
Now, I know not all of you are in the Indy area, but I hope everyone can help me promote this event! To help in promoting the “Give a Book, Get a Book” campaign, McDonald’s Happy Meal Books program, and National Family Literacy Day, I am hosting a give-a-way for anyone who shares this post on their social media pages!
By entering the contest, and sharing these events, one reader will win a week of happy meal coupons, a $10 Amazon gift card and a copy of a Happy Meal Book! (Everything will even be put together in a Happy Meal box!)
Here’s how to enter:
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What was your favorite book as a child?
We have a winner!! Congratulations to Angie MCKie! You are the winner of the McIndyMom’s prize pack! Please email me at email@example.com to claim your prize! Thanks to everyone who shared my posts and followed the social media pages! Stay tuned to BoilermakerAg.com for more blog posts and potential give-a-ways!
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Indiana Vino Adventure: Dinner
Here it is, finally!! The 3rd and final leg of our Marion County Farm Bureau Wine Tour!
I am extremely sorry for the delay on this, but with the last minute Indians Ticket Give-a-way, filming a TV commercial at work, 2 friend’s weddings and planning for my class reunion coming up in 2 weeks, I’ve been a little swamped to say the least!
But I didn’t want to leave you hanging, so here is the final part of our journey: Dinner! Better late than never right? (Please say yes so I don’t feel as bad for being so late on this).
Since it’s been a little while since Part 1:Breakfast and Part 2:Lunch, you might want to go back read them for a little refresher if needed.
After we left lunch at Oliver Winery, we headed to our last three wineries and then dinner! We traveled to Brown County Winery, Butler Winery and Mallow Run Winery to round out our vino-filled day.
Brown County Winery was such a cool place. I have been to their shop in downtown Nashville (IN) for a tasting before and I loved their Blackberry Wine and their Vista Red Wine! But unfortunately during this visit, I got a little car sick on the ride down there (don’t worry I didn’t physically get sick) so I didn’t feel like tasting the wine – but I did still get my souvenir! I got a Wine Cork Cage that was shaped like a wine glass!
I am very excited to add this to my decorations in my apartment!
After everyone finished tasting, we headed to Butler Winery for our next stop! I had never been to Butler Winery before but it was a pretty cool little place!
Did You Know? – You can’t call a Port Wine “Port” unless it’s made in Portugal, just like you can’t call sparkling wine “Champagne” unless it’s made in France!
Neat, huh? I never knew that before! If only I would have been able to take the Wine Appreciation Class at Purdue, I might have been better prepared for all of this wine trivia! Haha
Have any of you ever taken the Wine Appreciation Class at Purdue? I’m not joking, it’s a real class. 🙂
Thankfully, I felt better at Butler Winery and did try some of their wines.
My favorite was their Indiana Red! Just like its description, it’s a “fruity red wine perfect for picnics. If you are serving a meal & aren’t sure if you have dry wine drinkers or sweet wine drinkers, but you want to have a red, pick this one.”
Plus, the best part, its only $11.95! Great deal if you ask me!
By this point I couldn’t believe that our day was going by so quickly! I wish we could have stayed a little longer at each place, but we had to stay on schedule. But the little tease of a visit just gives me more incentive to go back later!
So after Butler Winery, we were on the road to our final destination – Mallow Run in Bargersville, IN.
This was one of my favorite stops of the day. It’s just such a neat place! Their tasting room is a remodeled barn that is beautiful inside and out, and they have a great patio outside with tables and chairs which allow you to enjoy the weather as you enjoy your wine.
They also have music and pizza for people who want to stay for nightly entertainment! I definitely want to go back again and stay for their events.
As far as their wine, all of it was awesome. Hands down. But if I had to pick a favorite, I LOVED their Picnic White! I ended up choosing that one as my “economic impact” and purchased a bottle as my souvenir.
WHEW! Are you guys as worn out as I am after all of this fun? After a long but fun-filled day, our wine tour had finally come to an end. We had such a great time! I loved getting to tour several Indiana wineries, trying new wine, and building friendships and memories with my fellow Farm Bureau members.
I can’t wait to go back to some of these wineries and take my friends and family there.
THANKS TO EVERYONE WHO HELPED MAKE THIS DAY POSSIBLE!
If you have any questions about wine, our trip, or if you would like to learn more about becoming Marion County Farm Bureau member (which you totally should because you get to do cool things like this!) I would be happy to share any information I have!
Indy Adventure – Farm Bureau Wine Tour!
Wow what a great weekend!
My parents were in town, I managed to squeeze in some pool time, and had an AMAZING time at the Marion County Farm Bureau wine tour!
In Farm Bureau, we try to plan activities throughout the year which allow us to tour local agri-tourism sites, learn about different agricultural practices in Indiana and have fun at the same time. All of the activities pretty much guarantee a good time, but I was especially excited for this one, we planned a wine tour!
Some of you might not have thought that the wine industry was a part of agriculture but it is actually a very big industry and has a lot of similarities to crop farming.
So, I like to consider myself a wine fanatic (and apparently Klout does too?) but I still learned a lot during our vino-filled day!
Did You Know: There are over 6,700 family wineries in the U.S.?
As for the wine industry as a whole, wineries in all 50 states attract 27 million tourists annually, create 1.1 million jobs in America and have a $162 billion economic impact on the American economy. – Wine Institute
If you ask me, I’d say that’s pretty impressive!
During our wine tour we visited five central Indiana Wineries where we tried several different wines, toured their facilities, and made an economic impact on the industry (AKA…buy wine to take home) ♥
Over the course of the day we visited:
Easley Winery – Indianapolis, IN
Oliver Winery – Bloomington, IN
Butler Winery – Bloomington, IN
Brown County Winery – Nashville, IN
Mallow Run Winery – Bargersville, IN
Have any of you visited these wineries?
We had such a great time! I have a lot of neat information to share with all of you but if I tried to squeeze all of our fun into one blog, you would need a nap just from reading it. So in an effort to help you refrain from tuckering out, I am going to re-cap our “Indiana Vino Adventure” over the course of three posts: Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner. (Who can guess why this relates?)
Be sure to check back for an inside look at these awesome wineries that are right here in our own backyards! And better yet – if you subscribe to my blog by email, my posts will be delivered right to you inbox so you won’t miss a thing!
It’s National Women’s Health Week!
Today I want to give a shout out to all of the ladies because it’s National Women’s Health Week!
Now through Saturday, May 19th the U.S. Dept of Health and Human Services is coordinating the 13th Annual Women’s Health Week, a wellness initiative promoting health and wellness in women everywhere.
Let’s be real, we are all busy. Sometimes too busy for our own good and even if we are aware of that, it still doesn’t stop us from that “go, go, go” mentality. (I will be the first to admit to doing this!)(Do you think my to-do lists are a bit overwhelming?)
But we all need to stop and make sure we put our health on the top of our to-do lists, even when nothing is wrong.
That’s what Women’s Health Week is here to do for us – remind us to think about our health and provide tips and events to help us work toward healthy living.
So in honor of Women’s Health Week, here are few tips to remember:
★ Get preventative screenings!
- Regular check-ups and tests for things like high cholesterol, high blood pressure, breast cancer, diabetes, colon cancer, and ovarian cancer are important!
★ Get your move on!
- I know it’s hard to find time to fit exercise in our busy schedules sometimes, but even just little bits of activity throughout the day help.
- Sneak in several 10 minute walks, tighten abs while you sit at your desk, take the stairs, or use hand weights while you’re on the phone.
★ Eat healthy!
- Keep basic supplies stocked so you can make a fast, healthy meal in minutes.
- When you buy veggies, chop/ prepare them all at once so you can easily throw them into recipes quickly.
- Whenever you can, double recipes and freeze in portion sizes for later meals.
- Check out my Pinterest page for healthy recipe ideas.
★ Pay attention to mental health, stress management, and sleep!
- We all need brain and body breaks. You’re body tells you when its exhausted – listen to it!
- Strive for that extra hour of sleep each night. Or if you can’t fit that in, at least take 30 minutes before bed to reflect and relax without technology to let your brain rest.
- If you are dealing with a problem, pick up the phone and call a fellow girlfriend, they give the best advice!
★ Avoid smoking, limit alcohol intake, and wear your seat belt!
- These are pretty simple tips, but they will be better for you in the long run.
If you would like to learn more about Women’s Health Week, you can attend an event in your local area!
For all my friends in #Indy: Don’t miss this event on Thursday!
We Serve Women’s Health Open House
Hosted by Sanford Brown College – Indianapolis
Date: 5/17/2012 Time: 10am to 2pm; 4pm to 7pm
Sanford College College
4030 Vincennes Road
Indianapolis, IN 46268
Description: Free Blood Pressure Checkups, Height and Weight Measurements, Body Fat Calculations, Blood Sugar Testing, Visioning Screening, Color Blindness Checks, and Cholesterol Testing.
This is a free event and is open to the general public.
For all my friends in Southern Indiana:
National Women’s Health Day Event
Hosted by Curves
Date: 5/17/2012 Time: 7 pm
Curves in Newburgh
8211 Bell Oaks Drive
Newburgh, IN 47630
Description: This is a Community Health Education Event. Health professionals will be speaking on Women’s Mental Health issues and Menopause issues. There will be a question & answer session afterwards, followed by door prizes and a healthy taster’s potluck.
This is a free event and is open to the general public.
If you would like to find out more information on the National Women’s Health Week, or look for an event in your area, visit their website at http://womenshealth.gov/whw/.
PLEASE SHARE THIS INFORMATION WITH ALL OF THE SPECIAL WOMEN IN YOUR LIFE!
Happy National Women’s Health Week! ♥
FIVE AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTS YOU CAN BUY AT WALMART
So we all know that Wal-Mart has pretty much everything right? But did you ever think you could go there to buy agricultural products?
Most people assume that you have to go to Rural King or Tractor Supply Company (if they even know what those stores are), but actually you don’t. You can buy your food, clothes, bathroom supplies, and agricultural things right in the same store!
And as a side note: your food, clothes, and most bathroom supplies are actually agricultural products too—but that’s a whole different blog topic. 🙂
But today, I wanted to share just a few of the familiar and not so familiar ag products in Walmart.
1. Mane ‘n Tail Shampoo and Conditioner:
Mane ‘n Tail products were originally developed for horses. Horse owners reported seeing significant improvement in the health and appearance of their horses’ manes and tails. Similar results were seen when horse owners and groomers used the products on themselves. This was the beginning of the Mane ‘n Tail legend. You can use it on both you and your horse!
2. Vegetable Garden Seed Packets:
These are very common products and are usually always in stock.
Also, most any vegetable you would want to grow is available from popular things like sweet corn or tomatoes, to more obscure things like okra or peppers.
3. Suncast 8-Panel Garden Kit:
Now if you’re saying to yourself, but I don’t have a garden to grow those seeds in… don’t worry, Wal-Mart has one of those too! This Garden Kit has raised sides, rigid resin construction and holds 14 cu. ft. of soil. It also comes with 8 panels, 12 connectors, and 16 steel spikes so you can grow multiple plants. How convenient!
4. Heartland: Metal Curry Comb
These are used to clean caked on mud out of livestock when they are extremely dirty. These have been used on horses, but typically aren’t recommended as they have sensitive skin. They are primarily used for cattle and are very common among the industry.
5. Corn Huskers Lotion:
This one I found one day when I was just browsing the lotion aisle, I thought it was so cool! This lotion is an oil-free, heavy duty hand treatment that provides fast penetrating action. It moisturizes and softens dry skin, as well as soothes discomfort of irritated, chapped or cracked skin.
This is very popular for farmers or people who are outside working with their hands a lot. Constant washing can also dry your hands out really bad, so this can also work for other professions.
Have you guys ever seen a new product in Wal-Mart that was agriculture related? I would be interested in hearing about them!
Also, be sure to check back tomorrow for a preview of a neat event that I will be participating in next week!
Baling wire….I love you.
Agriculture and agricultural related products make some pretty awesome stuff. Did you ever think hay baling wire could be used to make cute jewelry?
Well Meredith Clowdus of Burnet County, Texas has done it. She creates handcrafted jewelry made from Vintage Ranch Wire!
Check out this post from The Farmer’s Trophy Wife and get the chance to win one of your own!