The farm ‘chain gang’ toiled in the fields, in the hot sun. But we weren’t planting or weeding or even picking a crop. Unless you call rocks a crop.
Sometimes just the right words, placed on paper, can help make sense of what seems totally senseless.
In historical terms, I had never really thought about how young our country was in the 1930s. The United States Regional Cook Book, edited by Ruth Berolzheimer, copyright 1939, made me realize this simply by the index of the book. Broken down in sections for the Scandinavian part of the country, the Wisconsin Dutch and […]
One aspect of country life that interests me most is that it is never the same day after day. There are always new footprints on the snow, some familiar, like those of the skunks, who leave a special track near the big old trees where the tail drags, and some others that are impossible to […]
In a recent poll among U.S. citizens, 73 percent believe America is heading in the wrong direction. One friend quipped, “but hey, with the price of gas, we can’t afford to get there!” I was coming of age during our first real gasoline spike back in the late 1970s. Just prior to it, I can […]
By JUDITH SUTHERLAND Farm and Dairy columnist I read with interest the academic study report just released that says growing up on a farm impacts immune system health in a positive way. The University of Bristol’s School of Veterinary Sciences research has shown that spending early life in a complex farm environment increased the number […]
A Pekingese isn’t your typical farm dog, but they’ve been the favorite of columnist Judie Sutherland her whole [farm] life.
The year that I turned 6 was a big year. I started first grade. I started piano lessons — against my will. And I started helping with the daily chores of feeding calves. School was kind of nothing new. I had spent hours playing school at a real student desk with three big sisters telling […]
One of my favorite photographs, displayed where I can see it often, is a candid shot of my dad with John McNaull. They stand talking and laughing amid the backdrop of antique tractors, a passion they shared.
There is no other relationship quite like those of teacher-student, and the shadow of some of those connections follow the student for a very long walk in to adulthood.
As we watch our world changing, environmental landscapes shaved away, plowed under and concrete poured over, all for the sake of development and sprawl, we displace so much that deserves preservation.
Cats of every color and every possible temperament have long been a part of just about any farm I have ever set foot on, and most can agree that they are good to have around if they are capable hunters.
In the past couple of weeks, I have had the good fortune to sit and chat with some good people about how farm life and the land itself molds us in to who we are.
Yesterday was one of those gray, dreary days that make us long for sunshine and blue skies. Winter’s crop, so far, has been fresh mud on top of old mud.
We rarely think of ourselves as having interesting stories, as we just live it out, day by day, often bored with the humdrum beat of making a living while creating a life. There is something about the enormity of this season, though, that prompts us to look back, to take stock of where we’ve been.
I was talking with a lady not long ago who told me she remembered her very first trip to the dentist. It was 1936, and she had a terrible toothache, which was made worse each morning and evening when she had to milk by hand the family’s three cows.
Clovis Webb had left his tractor and hay baler overnight in a rented field on the old Monroe County Poor Farm, which is no longer used for the poor. The Soil Conservation Service share-rented the hayfield to Clovis. The field was fenced, but the night he left his tractor there vandals cut the fence and […]
My paternal grandfather and his brother Sam told some great stories about the ‘kid wagon’ that came through the old country neighborhood to carry the children to the one-room schoolhouse.
The notebook we kept in the dairy barn was a way of communicating with one another from one milking to the next, but it makes me laugh out loud to read some of the zany things we shared.
When I step out on my back porch and hear nothing at all, see the harvest moon shining brightly in the sky, I know that we are blessed. Quiet, calm, safe, serene: there is no doubt in my mind that the world would be a much better place if more people came home to this peacefulness at the end of each day