Monday, December 18, 2017

A History Tree



Our Christmas tree is a history tree. Beginning with the tree itself, that we cut from our farm, and planted some ten years or so ago. Since 1961, when Ruth and I married, our Christmas tree has hanging on its branches the history of our family.

A little wedding bell was one of the first ornaments on our tree. In not many more years, three more little ornaments appeared, one for each of our three children. And this was followed with ornaments helping us remember family vacations, here and there around the country. Then little rolled up pieces of paper tied with a ribbon, depicting high school and college graduations. And ornaments showing jobs the children have held over the years. For Steve a camera. For Sue a teacher’s desk. For Jeff a tiny pair of skis (he once worked at Vale resorts).

Children, spouses, grandchildren, and now great grandchildren each has a special Christmas ball with his or her name on it hanging on our tree.

Ruth uses little matchboxes as containers, and fastens an image of a book cover for a book that Jerry wrote that year. Inside the matchbox, Ruth lists the important events of the year, those both joyful and those less so.

So if anyone, at some future time, wants to learn the history of our family, they do not turn to a book, but they check the ornaments on our Christmas Trees.

THE OLD TIMER SAYS: A Most Merry Christmas to all.

Purchase Jerry’s DVDS and his Books from the Patterson Memorial Library in Wild Rose, Wisconsin (a fundraiser for them):
The library now has available signed copies of Jerry’s DVDs:

Emmy Winner, A Farm Winter with Jerry Apps (based on The Quiet Season book.)
Jerry Apps a Farm Story (based on Rural Wit and Wisdom and Old Farm books.)
The Land with Jerry Apps, (based on the book Whispers and Shadows,) and Never Curse the Rain, Jerry’s newest DVD based on his book with the same title.
Also available are several of Jerry’s signed books including: Jerry’s newest nonfiction books, Never Curse the Rain and Old Farm Country Cookbook, and his newest novel, The Great Sand Fracas of Ames County. Also available are Wisconsin Agriculture: A History, Roshara Journal (with photos by Steve Apps) and Telling Your Story—a guide book for those who want to write their own stories.
Contact the library for prices and special package deals.
Patterson Memorial Library
500 Division Street
Wild Rose, WI 54984
barnard@wildroselibrary.org
www.wildroselibrary.org
920-622-3835

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Radio Broadcast and Book Signing.




Photo: Sue, Jerry and Rauel LaBreche at McFarlanes in Sauk City.

It had snowed enough to remind us that winter was just around the corner. And if the snow wasn’t enough, a cold northwest wind put an exclamation point on that reality. Sue and I were on or way to Sauk City, to McFarlanes. To a hardware store that sells more than nuts and bolts, and paint and wrenches. McFarlanes also sells books— books written by Wisconsin authors.

Starting at ten a.m., Sue and I were a part of an hour long, live radio broadcast originating at the hardware store and aired on Baraboo’s 99.7 FM and 740 AM radio stations. Rauel LaBeche, animated and with never a dull word, hosted the show, asking us questions: What makes Old Farm Country Cookbook different from other cookbooks, why did Sue refuse to try the fried squirrel recipe, why did I write the Never Curse the Rain book, and more.

Some 40 plus people were seated in the little studio, carved out of a corner of the hardware store, listening, laughing—having a good time.

Sandwiched in between the questions and answers, Curt Meine and his Prairie Spies musical group offered live Christmas music. Curt, beyond his musical skills, is also a well know author and Aldo Leopold’s biographer.

Sue and I had a fun time.

THE OLD TIMER SAYS: Want to get in the Christmas mood? Plan a stop at McFarlanes in Sauk City. You won’t be disappointed.


UPCOMING EVENTS:

Sunday, Dec. 17 –Readers Realm Bookstore, Montello 1 p.m. Old Farm Country Cookbook. Jerry and Susie

Purchase Jerry’s DVDS and his Books from the Patterson Memorial Library in Wild Rose, Wisconsin (a fundraiser for them):
The library now has available signed copies of Jerry’s DVDs:

Emmy Winner, A Farm Winter with Jerry Apps (based on The Quiet Season book.)
Jerry Apps a Farm Story (based on Rural Wit and Wisdom and Old Farm books.)
The Land with Jerry Apps, (based on the book Whispers and Shadows,) and Never Curse the Rain, Jerry’s newest DVD based on his book with the same title.
Also available are several of Jerry’s signed books including: Jerry’s newest nonfiction books, Never Curse the Rain and Old Farm Country Cookbook, and his newest novel, The Great Sand Fracas of Ames County. Also available are Wisconsin Agriculture: A History, Roshara Journal (with photos by Steve Apps) and Telling Your Story—a guide book for those who want to write their own stories.
Contact the library for prices and special package deals.
Patterson Memorial Library
500 Division Street
Wild Rose, WI 54984
barnard@wildroselibrary.org
www.wildroselibrary.org
920-622-3835


Sunday, December 03, 2017

Dregne's in Westby


It’s called the driftless area. That part of southwestern Wisconsin where the last great glacier failed to reach. A place of steep hills and long valleys. A place where a goodly number of Norwegians settled back in the mid 1800s.

On Saturday, Sue and I signed books at Dregne’s Scandinavian Gift shop in Westby, south of LaCrosse and deep in the driftless area. As an aside, it is here where I found my wife, Ruth, with a last name of what else, Olson.

Dregne’s is celebrating their forty-second anniversary as one of the region’s premier gift shops for all things Scandinavian. Want to know how to make lefse? They have the books and equipment that will get you started. Want some Swedish herring with dill, this is the place. A gnome? Sure, lots of gnomes. Norwegian Christmas ornaments? Many choices. A sweet tooth? How about some Swedish milk chocolate with caramel?

But there’s more. I quietly asked Jana Dregne, she and her husband Dave, own the place, if she had anything German. “Sure,” she said, and was soon showing me some beautiful wooden ornaments made in Germany. “We’ve got some Irish stuff, too,” she offered showing Sue and me some “Inis,” a unisex cologne that “makes you feel close to the ocean no matter where you are.”

And books, lots of books at Dregne’s. Books about Scandinavia. Books about Wisconsin. Kids books. How-to books. Gift books. Many books.

THE OLD TIMER SAYS: Plan a stop at Dregne’s in Westby. Something for everyone, especially if you are Scandinavian, or married to one.

UPCOMING EVENTS:

Thursday, Dec. 7, 6:00 p.m. Waupaca Historical Society, Trinity Lutheran Church, 206 E. Badger Strreet, Waupaca. Christmas on the Farm

Saturday, Dec. 9 McFarlane’s, Sauk City. Old Farm Country Cookbook. Jerry and Susie

Sunday, Dec. 17 –Readers Realm Bookstore, Montello 1 p.m. Old Farm Country Cookbook. Jerry and Susie

Purchase Jerry’s DVDS and his Books from the Patterson Memorial Library in Wild Rose, Wisconsin (a fundraiser for them):
The library now has available signed copies of Jerry’s DVDs:

Emmy Winner, A Farm Winter with Jerry Apps (based on The Quiet Season book.)
Jerry Apps a Farm Story (based on Rural Wit and Wisdom and Old Farm books.)
The Land with Jerry Apps, (based on the book Whispers and Shadows,) and Never Curse the Rain, Jerry’s newest DVD based on his book with the same title.
Also available are several of Jerry’s signed books including: Jerry’s newest nonfiction books, Never Curse the Rain and Old Farm Country Cookbook, and his newest novel, The Great Sand Fracas of Ames County. Also available are Wisconsin Agriculture: A History, Roshara Journal (with photos by Steve Apps) and Telling Your Story—a guide book for those who want to write their own stories.
Contact the library for prices and special package deals.
Patterson Memorial Library
500 Division Street
Wild Rose, WI 54984
barnard@wildroselibrary.org
www.wildroselibrary.org
920-622-3835











Monday, November 27, 2017

Christmas Tree Search



A warm day in late November. A clear blue sky with a slight breeze. We are at Roshara, our Waushara County farm in search of Christmas trees. Three generations in search of three trees. Not an easy task—but it is a family tradition, one of many that our family enjoys each year.

The challenge is not locating a tree—Roshara is a tree farm with thousands of them, most of which we have planted over the 51 years that we have owned the place. We have mostly red pine from two years old to 50, white pine of various sizes and shapes, all self-seeded, Scotch pine, also self-seeded, a few jack pine, a handful of spruce, and even smaller handful of Frasier fir. Christmas tree farms, Roshara is not one of them, feature Frasier Fir, which is a beautiful tree.

We shear (prune) none of our trees to make them look more perfect. Our trees are what they are, each natural and perfect in its own way. After considerable hiking, inspecting, comparing, discussing, dismissing, and finally accepting, we have three trees. One Scotch pine, one red pine, and one white pine. It was great day in the woods. The only thing missing was a little snow.

THE OLD TIMER SAYS: Traditions can help tie the generations together.

Photo: Grandson Ben, and daughter, Sue.

UPCOMING EVENTS:

Tuesday, November 28, Aldo Leopold Nature Center, Madison. Stories from the Land. 7:00 p.m.

Saturday, December 2, (10:00 to 2:00) Dregni’s, Westby. Old Farm Country Cookbook, Susie and Jerry.

Thursday, Dec. 7, 6:00 p.m. Waupaca Historical Society, Christmas on the Farm

Saturday, Dec. 9 McFarlane’s, Prairie du Sac. Old Farm Country Cookbook. Jerry and Susie

Sunday, Dec. 17 –Readers Realm Bookstore, Montello 1 p.m. Old Farm Country Cookbook. Jerry and Susie

Purchase Jerry’s DVDS and his Books from the Patterson Memorial Library in Wild Rose, Wisconsin (a fundraiser for them):
The library now has available signed copies of Jerry’s DVDs:

Emmy Winner, A Farm Winter with Jerry Apps (based on The Quiet Season book.)
Jerry Apps a Farm Story (based on Rural Wit and Wisdom and Old Farm books.)
The Land with Jerry Apps, (based on the book Whispers and Shadows,) and Never Curse the Rain, Jerry’s newest DVD based on his book with the same title.
Also available are several of Jerry’s signed books including: Jerry’s newest nonfiction books, Never Curse the Rain and Old Farm Country Cookbook, and his newest novel, The Great Sand Fracas of Ames County. Also available are Wisconsin Agriculture: A History, Roshara Journal (with photos by Steve Apps) and Telling Your Story—a guide book for those who want to write their own stories.
Contact the library for prices and special package deals.
Patterson Memorial Library
500 Division Street
Wild Rose, WI 54984
barnard@wildroselibrary.org
www.wildroselibrary.org
920-622-3835











Sunday, November 19, 2017

Savoring Silence





Silence. Not a lot of that around anymore. Loud noises coming at us from every direction. Shouting political pundits. Angry people raising their voices about one thing and another. Blaring TV sets. Sirens. Traffic noise everywhere, surrounding us to the point that we are numb to its very existence.

Yesterday, opening day of the gun season. I’m setting near my pond. It is chilly, an invigorating chill, not the bone shaking kind that we’ve sometimes experienced during deer season.

As the sun struggles to send a bit of light though a heavy bank of gray crowds, I listen to the silence. And I savor it. Not realizing how much I enjoy it. Occasionally a slight breeze hurries through the tops of the now bare cottonwood trees that grow near the pond offering the subtle sound of fall.

No birds or animals are calling. They too must be enjoying the silence of the morning. A rifle shot from the west jars me a bit. Then silence once more.

THE OLD TIMER SAYS: There are times when we humans need silence, whether we know it or not.

UPCOMING EVENTS:

Tuesday, November 28, Aldo Leopold Nature Center, Madison. Stories from the Land. 7:00 p.m.

Saturday, December 2, (10:00 to 2:00) Dregni’s, Westby. Old Farm Country Cookbook, Susie and Jerry.

Thursday, Dec. 7, 6:00 p.m. Waupaca Historical Society, Christmas on the Farm

Saturday, Dec. 9 McFarlane’s, Prairie du Sac. Old Farm Country Cookbook. Jerry and Susie

Sunday, Dec. 17 –Readers Realm Bookstore, Montello 1 p.m. Old Farm Country Cookbook. Jerry and Susie

Purchase Jerry’s DVDS and his Books from the Patterson Memorial Library in Wild Rose, Wisconsin (a fundraiser for them):
The library now has available signed copies of Jerry’s DVDs:

Emmy Winner, A Farm Winter with Jerry Apps (based on The Quiet Season book.)
Jerry Apps a Farm Story (based on Rural Wit and Wisdom and Old Farm books.)
The Land with Jerry Apps, (based on the book Whispers and Shadows,) and Never Curse the Rain, Jerry’s newest DVD based on his book with the same title.
Also available are several of Jerry’s signed books including: Jerry’s newest nonfiction books, Never Curse the Rain and Old Farm Country Cookbook, and his newest novel, The Great Sand Fracas of Ames County. Also available are Wisconsin Agriculture: A History, Roshara Journal (with photos by Steve Apps) and Telling Your Story—a guide book for those who want to write their own stories.
Contact the library for prices and special package deals.
Patterson Memorial Library
500 Division Street
Wild Rose, WI 54984
barnard@wildroselibrary.org
www.wildroselibrary.org
920-622-3835









Sunday, November 12, 2017

A Sacred Day


Next Saturday is opening day for the 2017 deer gun season. A sacred day for many Wisconsinites. A day when people know better than to schedule a wedding, a wedding reception, or even a funeral. Unless they don’t want anybody to show up.

I have not missed a gun deer season since I first began deer hunting in 1946, after I had turned twelve. That is 71 years ago, if my forever challenged math is correct.

Much about deer hunting has changed over these many years. But much has remained the same. Families continue to get together for this annual event, sometimes three generations—grandfather, father, son & daughter. For me, the gathering of family is more important than the hunt, although I still enjoy sitting in the woods on a quiet, often chilly morning, and enjoying the sights and smells of fall. If a buck deer wanders by, that’s a special treat. But I don’t need to see a deer to enjoy the day.

As far as the hunt itself, I prefer just sitting on a stool in the woods. I’ve never used a tree stand, or sit in one of these fancy little huts elevated on stilts with a heater inside, a radio, and for some even TV as I have seen dishes on some stands.

The photo is my brother’s deer stand, nothing fancy, but quite comfortable he tells me. I’m trying to remember the last time he shot a deer from his stand.

THE OLD TIMER SAYS: There is much more to deer hunting, than hunting deer.

UPCOMING EVENTS:

Thursday, Nov. 16. 1:00 p.m. Berlin Library. Old Farm Country Cookbook.

Tuesday, November 28, Aldo Leopold Nature Center, Madison. Never Curse the Rain.

Saturday, December 2, (10:00 to 2:00) Dregni’s, Westby. Old Farm Country Cookbook, Susie and Jerry.

Thursday, Dec. 7, 6:00 p.m. Waupaca Historical Society, Christmas on the Farm

Saturday, Dec. 9 McFarlane’s, Prairie du Sac. Old Farm Country Cookbook. Jerry and Susie

Sunday, Dec. 17 –Readers Realm Bookstore, Montello 1 p.m. Old Farm Country Cookbook. Jerry and Susie

Purchase Jerry’s DVDS and his Books from the Patterson Memorial Library in Wild Rose, Wisconsin (a fundraiser for them):
The library now has available signed copies of Jerry’s DVDs:

Emmy Winner, A Farm Winter with Jerry Apps (based on The Quiet Season book.)
Jerry Apps a Farm Story (based on Rural Wit and Wisdom and Old Farm books.)
The Land with Jerry Apps, (based on the book Whispers and Shadows,) and Never Curse the Rain, Jerry’s newest DVD based on his book with the same title.
Also available are several of Jerry’s signed books including: Jerry’s newest nonfiction books, Never Curse the Rain and Old Farm Country Cookbook, and his newest novel, The Great Sand Fracas of Ames County. Also available are Wisconsin Agriculture: A History, Roshara Journal (with photos by Steve Apps) and Telling Your Story—a guide book for those who want to write their own stories.
Contact the library for prices and special package deals.
Patterson Memorial Library
500 Division Street
Wild Rose, WI 54984
barnard@wildroselibrary.org
www.wildroselibrary.org
920-622-3835







Sunday, November 05, 2017

Barn Lantern


Those of my generation, especially those who grew up on farms before electricity arrived, will immediately recognize this barn lantern. We all had them, lamps in the house and lanterns outdoors.

On a cold winter morning, after dressing in front of the dining room wood burner, I would pull on my old Mackinaw winter coat, slip on my wool cap with the fur ear laps, and find my barn lantern, one just like this one, standing at its place near the wood box in the kitchen. I would take a match from the match box on the wall near the kitchen stove, lift the lantern’s glass globe, strike the match, and touch the flame to the lantern’s wick. Then I was on my way to the barn, where Pa had gone a few minutes earlier.

The lantern cast long shadows on the snow scape, as I briskly walked along the narrow path we had shoveled in the snow. Once arriving at the barn, I hung my lantern on the nail behind the cows. Pa had hung his lantern on a nail at the other end of the barn.

Grabbing up my three-legged milk stool and a milk pail, I cozied up to a cow and began milking. Except for the sound of fresh milk zinging against the bottom of the milk pail, and the occasiaonal rattle of a cow’s stanchion, it was quiet in the barn. The light from the two lanterns gave us just enough light to see what we were doing.

The soft, yellow light cast by the lanterns added to this quiet, peaceful time.

THE OLD TIMER ASKS? Is it possible to have too much light?

COMING EVENTS:


Saturday, Nov. 11, Second Saturday, 9:00 a.m. Plymouth Art Center, The Land. Viewing of PBS show with discussion and additional stories.

Thursday, Nov. 16. 1:00 p.m. Berlin Library. Old Farm Country Cookbook.

Tuesday, November 28, Aldo Leopold Nature Center, Madison. Never Curse the Rain.

Saturday, December 2, (10:00 to 2:00) Dregni’s, Westby. Old Farm Country Cookbook, Susie and Jerry.

Thursday, Dec. 7, 6:00 p.m. Waupaca Historical Society, Christmas on the Farm

Saturday, Dec. 9 McFarlane’s, Prairie du Sac. Old Farm Country Cookbook. Jerry and Susie

Sunday, Dec. 17 –Readers Realm Bookstore, Montello 1 p.m. Old Farm Country Cookbook. Jerry and Susie

Purchase Jerry’s DVDS and his Books from the Patterson Memorial Library in Wild Rose, Wisconsin (a fundraiser for them):
The library now has available signed copies of Jerry’s DVDs:

Emmy Winner, A Farm Winter with Jerry Apps (based on The Quiet Season book.)
Jerry Apps a Farm Story (based on Rural Wit and Wisdom and Old Farm books.)
The Land with Jerry Apps, (based on the book Whispers and Shadows,) and Never Curse the Rain, Jerry’s newest DVD based on his book with the same title.
Also available are several of Jerry’s signed books including: Jerry’s newest nonfiction books, Never Curse the Rain and Old Farm Country Cookbook, and his newest novel, The Great Sand Fracas of Ames County. Also available are Wisconsin Agriculture: A History, Roshara Journal (with photos by Steve Apps) and Telling Your Story—a guide book for those who want to write their own stories.
Contact the library for prices and special package deals.
Patterson Memorial Library
500 Division Street
Wild Rose, WI 54984
barnard@wildroselibrary.org
www.wildroselibrary.org
920-622-3835






Saturday, October 28, 2017

Edgerton Sterling North Book Festival




A cold northwest wind scattered a few raindrops here and there as Sue and I traveled to Edgerton for their annual book festival. It was the 12th one—I was privileged to be part of their first one as well.

The full title: “Sterling North Book & Film Festival.” Edgerton is of course the hometown for internationally famous children’s book writer, Sterling North. Most of us remember reading his best-selling book, Rascal (published in 1963), at one time or other.

The theme of this year’s festival was “Every Root a Story: Narratives Anchored in Wisconsin Culture.” The theme fit very well with our new book, Old Farm Country Cookbook: Recipes, Menus, and Memories, which Sue and I co-authored.

Together we shared stories and recipe ideas that had their roots in my mother’s little white wooden recipe box. Recipes designed for folks who didn’t yet have electricity or indoor plumbing, and cooked and baked with a wood-burning cook stove.

On a this fall’s day with temps hanging not much above freezing, it was a good time to talk about books, share stories, and meet lots of interesting folks.

THE OLD TIMER SAYS: Learned this week that Old Farm Country Cookbook hit the Midwest Independent Booksellers “Bestseller List.”

COMING EVENTS:

Sunday, Nov. 5, 1:30 p.m. Mequon Nature Preserve, Mequon, WI. Never Curse the Rain.

Saturday, Nov. 11, Second Saturday, 9:00 a.m. Plymouth Art Center, The Land. Viewing of PBS show with discussion and additional stories.

Thursday, Nov. 16. 1:00 p.m. Berlin Library. Old Farm Country Cookbook.

Tuesday, November 28, Aldo Leopold Nature Center, Madison. Never Curse the Rain.

Saturday, December 2, (10:00 to 2:00) Dregni’s, Westby. Old Farm Country Cookbook, Susie and Jerry.

Thursday, Dec. 7, 6:00 p.m. Waupaca Historical Society, Christmas on the Farm

Saturday, Dec. 9 McFarlane’s, Prairie du Sac. Old Farm Country Cookbook. Jerry and Susie

Sunday, Dec. 17 –Readers Realm Bookstore, Montello 1 p.m. Old Farm Country Cookbook. Jerry and Susie

Purchase Jerry’s DVDS and his Books from the Patterson Memorial Library in Wild Rose, Wisconsin (a fundraiser for them):
The library now has available signed copies of Jerry’s DVDs:

Emmy Winner, A Farm Winter with Jerry Apps (based on The Quiet Season book.)
Jerry Apps a Farm Story (based on Rural Wit and Wisdom and Old Farm books.)
The Land with Jerry Apps, (based on the book Whispers and Shadows,) and Never Curse the Rain, Jerry’s newest DVD based on his book with the same title.
Also available are several of Jerry’s signed books including: Jerry’s newest nonfiction books, Never Curse the Rain and Old Farm Country Cookbook, and his newest novel, The Great Sand Fracas of Ames County. Also available are Wisconsin Agriculture: A History, Roshara Journal (with photos by Steve Apps) and Telling Your Story—a guide book for those who want to write their own stories.
Contact the library for prices and special package deals.
Patterson Memorial Library
500 Division Street
Wild Rose, WI 54984
barnard@wildroselibrary.org
www.wildroselibrary.org
920-622-3835






f

Sunday, October 22, 2017

A Tale of Two Trees



These two trees, different as different can be, stand 100 feet from each other in front of my cabin at Roshara. They are both tall and they each have a story to tell, but that’s about it for similarities. One is a balsam fir, the other an ornamental maple.

The Balsam fir’s story begins at Pine Point Resort on Lake Georgia east of Rhinelander. In 1972, when I was teaching writing at the School of the Arts in Rhinelander, we rented a little cabin at the Resort, and Ruth and our three little kids enjoyed the resort while I was teaching. Susan, then ten years old, found several little trees growing back of our cabin. They apparently had self-seeded. Sue asked the resort owner what kind of trees these were, and he replied, “Balsam Fir.” Sue asked if she could have one of the little trees, they were probably six inches tall at the time. “Sure,” the resort owner, answered.

I helped Sue dig up the little tree and wrap the roots in some wet newspaper. We hauled the little tree back to Madison, where we planted it in our backyard. A couple years later, we transplanted the tree, now about a foot tall at Roshara—it is the only Balsam Fir among the thousands of trees that grow at my farm. Now some 45 years later this little fir has grown into a tall, graceful, beautiful tree.

On my 60th birthday, my three kids surprised me with a beautiful maple tree, which was about ten feet tall when they planted it. It grew rapidly. But alas, in about its third year at Roshara a buck deer, anxious to polish its horns, found the maple and stripped off a huge hunk of bark, nearly killing it.

But it lived, and now it puts on quite the show each fall with its brilliant crimson leaves. Not to go too far with this analogy, but as different as these two trees are and as close as they are together, they appear to be getting along just fine. A model for some of the rest of us?

THE OLD TIMER SAYS: We can learn much from trees—if we’d take time to do so.

COMING EVENTS;

Oct. 25 at Cambridge Public Library – Never Curse the Rain – 12:30 pm
Saturday, October 28, at Edgerton Book Festival 9 a.m.Old Farm Country Cookbook. Jerry and Susie.

Sunday, October 29, 2:00 p.m. at Reed School, Neillsville. Old Farm Country Cookbook. Jerry and Susie..

Sunday, Nov. 5, 1:30 p.m. Mequon Nature Preserve, Mequon, WI. Never Curse the Rain.

Saturday, Nov. 11, Second Saturday, 9:00 a.m. Plymouth Art Center, The Land
Thursday, Nov. 16. 1:00 p.m. Berlin Library. Old Farm Country Cook Book.

Tuesday, November 28, Aldo Leopold Nature Center, Madison. Never Curse the Rain.

Saturday, December 2, (10:00 to 2:00) Dregni’s, Westby. Old Farm Country Cookbook, Susie and Jerry.

Thursday, Dec. 7, 6:00 p.m. Waupaca Historical Society, Christmas on the Farm

Saturday, Dec. 9 McFarlane’s, Prairie du Sac. Old Farm Country Cookbook. Jerry and Susie

Sunday, Dec. 17 –Readers Realm Bookstore, Montello 1 p.m. Old Farm Country Cookbook. Jerry and Susie

Purchase Jerry’s DVDS and his Books from the Patterson Memorial Library in Wild Rose, Wisconsin (a fundraiser for them):
The library now has available signed copies of Jerry’s DVDs:

Emmy Winner, A Farm Winter with Jerry Apps (based on The Quiet Season book.)
Jerry Apps a Farm Story (based on Rural Wit and Wisdom and Old Farm books.)
The Land with Jerry Apps, (based on the book Whispers and Shadows,) and Never Curse the Rain, Jerry’s newest DVD based on his book with the same title.
Also available are several of Jerry’s signed books including: Jerry’s newest nonfiction books, Never Curse the Rain and Old Farm Country Cookbook, and his newest novel, The Great Sand Fracas of Ames County. Also available are Wisconsin Agriculture: A History, Roshara Journal (with photos by Steve Apps) and Telling Your Story—a guide book for those who want to write their own stories.
Contact the library for prices and special package deals.
Patterson Memorial Library
500 Division Street
Wild Rose, WI 54984
barnard@wildroselibrary.org
www.wildroselibrary.org
920-622-3835





Sunday, October 15, 2017

Fox Valley Book Festival



They named her Nina. She is a pelican. A big tall pelican. She is the Neenah public library pelican. A library with a mascot. My daughter, Sue, and I met Nina yesterday. Cool.

Sue and I attended the Fox Valley Book Festival, where I spoke at eleven o’clock to a room full of folks who were learning about my book “Never Curse the Rain,” as raindrops pounded against the library windows. Never to let a little rain—a lot of rain—slow me down, I motored on with my talk, all the while wondering what was going on in the minds of my listeners. Some of whom I’m sure were at least saying “darn the rain.” A step toward cursing, but only a baby step.

This was the tenth year for the Fox Valley Festival that went on from October 9 through October 15. Their theme, “Connecting writers and readers.” The festival featured 50 authors and 65 events offered at 13 venues throughout the Fox River Valley. As the festival’s catalog stated, “the festival features readings to hear words come alive, to learn about the writing process, and discussions to engage both readers and writers.”

I was more than pleased to be a part of their program.

THE OLD TIMER SAYS: It’s my readers that keep me writing.

COMING EVENTS:

Oct. 18 Water Conservation Presentation, Portage, 6:30 p.m. Knights of Columbus Hall, 918 Silver Lake Drive, Portage
.
Oct. 25 at Cambridge Public Library – Never Curse the Rain – 12:30 pm

Saturday, October 28, at Edgerton Book Festival 9 a.m.Old Farm Country Cookbook. Jerry and Susie.

Sunday, October 29, 2:00 p.m. at Reed School, Neillsville. Old Farm Country Cookbook. Jerry and Susie.

Sunday, Nov. 5, 1:30 p.m. Mequon Nature Preserve, Mequon, WI. Never Curse the Rain.

Saturday, Nov. 11, Second Saturday, 9:00 a.m. Plymouth Art Center, The Land

Thursday, Nov. 16. 1:00 p.m. Berlin Library. Old Farm Country Cook Book.

Tuesday, November 28, Aldo Leopold Nature Center, Madison. Never Curse the Rain

Saturday, December 2, Dregni’s, Westby. Old Farm Country Cookbook, Susie and Jerry.

Thursday, Dec. 7, 6:00 p.m. Waupaca Historical Society, Christmas on the Farm

Saturday, Dec. 9 McFarlane’s, Prairie du Sac. Old Farm Country Cookbook. Jerry and Susie

Sunday, Dec. 17 –Readers Realm Bookstore, Montello 1 p.m. Old Farm Country Cookbook. Jerry and Susie.

Purchase Jerry’s DVDS and his Books from the Patterson Memorial Library in Wild Rose, Wisconsin (a fundraiser for them):
The library now has available signed copies of Jerry’s DVDs:

Emmy Winner, A Farm Winter with Jerry Apps (based on The Quiet Season book.)

Jerry Apps a Farm Story (based on Rural Wit and Wisdom and Old Farm books.)

The Land with Jerry Apps, (based on the book Whispers and Shadows,) and Never Curse the Rain, Jerry’s newest DVD based on his book with the same title.
Also available are several of Jerry’s signed books including: Jerry’s newest nonfiction books, Never Curse the Rain and Old Farm Country Cookbook, and his newest novel, The Great Sand Fracas of Ames County. Also available are Wisconsin Agriculture: A History, Roshara Journal (with photos by Steve Apps) and Telling Your Story—a guide book for those who want to write their own stories.

Contact the library for prices and special package deals.

Patterson Memorial Library
500 Division Street
Wild Rose, WI 54984
barnard@wildroselibrary.org
www.wildroselibrary.org
920-622-3835




Sunday, October 08, 2017

Remembering One-Room Country Schools




Nearly every one-room country school in Wisconsin had closed by the mid-1960s. But the memories and stories from these little schools remain. Last Thursday evening, I had the opportunity to speak at the McMillan Library to a wonderful group of former one-room school students, a couple of teachers and several others interested in what these little country schools were like.

Stories of those days when one teacher and all eight grades learned together in one room were never ending. There was something special about these little schools, Wisconsin boasted more than 6,000 of them at one time.

My wife, Ruth, and I attended a one-room school for eight years. Her school was near Westby in Western Wisconsin, mine was west of Wild Rose. When I begin first grade (these schools had no kindergarten) my school had no electricity, was heated with a wood stove, and had no indoor plumbing. Electricity finally arrived, but the outdoor toilets and woodstove remained until the school closed in 1955.

Beyond the curriculum, and the education provided to several generations of farm kids, the country schools gave rural communities an identity. Not only did the school provide a formal educational opportunity for the community’s kids, it was the social center. The school provided a place for birthday parties, anniversaries, and of course offered the annual Christmas program that everyone in the community attended, whether they had kids in the program or not.

When these little schools closed, and the kids were bused to the consolidated school in a nearby village or city, something may have been gained in academic opportunity for the rural kids, but much was lost in rural communities as well.

For those interested in learning more about these little schools, read my daughter, Sue’s book, One Room Schools: Stories from the Days of 1 Room, 1 Teacher, 8 Grades. Or read my book: One Room Country Schools, History and Recollections.

THE OLD TIMER SAYS: Those of us who attended one-room country schools had a special education.

COMING EVENTS:


Oct. 14 at Neenah Public Library (Fox Cities Book Festival)– Never Curse the Rain– 11 a.m. .

Oct. 18 Water Conservation Presentation, Portage, 6:30 p.m. Knights of Columbus Hall, 918 Silver Lake Drive, Portage.

Oct. 25 at Cambridge Public Library – Never Curse the Rain – 12:30 pm

Saturday, October 28, at Edgerton Book Festival 9 a.m.Old Farm Country Cookbook. Jerry and Susie..

Sunday, October 29, 2:00 p.m. at Reed School, Neillsville. Old Farm Country Cookbook. Jerry and Susie..

Sunday, Nov. 5, 1:30 p.m. Mequon Nature Preserve, Mequon, WI. Never Curse the Rain.

Saturday, Nov. 11, Second Saturday, 9:00 a.m. Plymouth Art Center, The Land

Thursday, Nov. 16. 1:00 p.m. Berlin Library. Old Farm Country Cook Book.

Tuesday, November 28, Aldo Leopold Nature Center, Madison. Never Curse the Rain.

Saturday, December 2, Dregni’s, Westby. Old Farm Country Cookbook, Susie and Jerry.

Thursday, Dec. 7, 6:00 p.m. Waupaca Historical Society, Christmas on the Farm

Saturday, Dec. 9 McFarlane’s, Prairie du Sac. Old Farm Country Cookbook. Jerry and Susie

Sunday, Dec. 17 –Readers Realm Bookstore, Montello 1 p.m. Old Farm Country Cookbook. Jerry and Susie

Purchase Jerry’s DVDS and his Books from the Patterson Memorial Library in Wild Rose, Wisconsin (a fundraiser for them):

The library now has available signed copies of Jerry’s DVDs:

Emmy Winner, A Farm Winter with Jerry Apps (based on The Quiet Season book.)
Jerry Apps a Farm Story (based on Rural Wit and Wisdom and Old Farm books.)
The Land with Jerry Apps, (based on the book Whispers and Shadows,) and Never Curse the Rain, Jerry’s newest DVD based on his book with the same title.

Also available are several of Jerry’s signed books including: Jerry’s newest nonfiction books, Never Curse the Rain and Old Farm Country Cookbook, and his newest novel, The Great Sand Fracas of Ames County. Also available are Wisconsin Agriculture: A History, Roshara Journal (with photos by Steve Apps) and Telling Your Story—a guide book for those who want to write their own stories.

Contact the library for prices and special package deals.
Patterson Memorial Library
500 Division Street
Wild Rose, WI 54984
barnard@wildroselibrary.org
www.wildroselibrary.org
920-622-3835


Saturday, September 30, 2017

Record Rains at Roshara


div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;">

It has been the rainiest summer at Roshara in many a moon. To be specific, from late June until last week, my rain gauge recorded 28 ¾ inches.

On the plus side, the prairie that I am restoring never looked so vibrant with wild flowers and grasses remaining green and growing throughout the summer.

The understory of little oaks and maples in my woodlot are thriving.

The pines that we have planted every year for many years are showing substantially more growth than when rain was less plentiful.

Our ponds are the highest in a decade, now crawling up the banks to swallow the birch and aspen that have each year grown without getting their feet wet.

On the negative side. Three times I replanted the sweet corn in my garden. My green bean crop was a total failure. Green beans apparently don’t enjoy being underwater, which they were when a small pond appeared on one end of the garden. Both the tomatoes and the potatoes succumbed to blight before they were in full production. So about half a normal crop for each.

But, as my dad always said, and what I titled both a TV show as well as a new book: Never Curse the Rain. I haven’t done any cursing, but a little complaining seemed in order.

THE OLD TIMER ASKS: Do deep snows in winter follow a summer of record rainfall?

COMING EVENTS:

Oct. 5 at Wisconsin Rapids McMillan Library 7 p.m. (One-Room Schools).

Oct. 14 at Neenah Public Library – Never Curse the Rain & Garden Book– 11 a.m. .

Oct. 18 at Water Conservation Presentation, Portage, 6:30 p.m. Place to be announced.

Oct. 25 at Cambridge Public Library – Never Curse the Rain – 12:30 pm

Saturday, October 28, at Edgerton Book Festival 9 a.m.Old Farm Country Cookbook. Jerry and Susie..

Sunday, October 29, 2:00 p.m. at Reed School, Neillsville. Old Farm Country Cookbook. Jerry and Susie..

Sunday, Nov. 5, 1:30 p.m. Mequon Nature Preserve, Mequon, WI. Never Curse the Rain.

Saturday, Nov. 11, Second Saturday, 9:00 a.m. Plymouth Art Center, The Land

Thursday, Nov. 16. 1:00 p.m. Berlin Library. Old Farm Country Cook Book.

Tuesday, November 28, Aldo Leopold Nature Center, Madison. Never Curse the Rain.

Saturday, December 2, Dregni’s, Westby. Old Farm Country Cookbook, Susie and Jerry.

Thursday, Dec. 7, 6:00 p.m. Waupaca Historical Society, Christmas on the Farm

Saturday, Dec. 9 McFarlane’s, Prairie du Sac. Old Farm Country Cookbook. Jerry and Susie

Sunday, Dec. 17 –Readers Realm Bookstore, Montello 1 p.m. Old Farm Country Cookbook. Jerry and Susie

Purchase Jerry’s DVDS and his Books from the Patterson Memorial Library in Wild Rose, Wisconsin (a fundraiser for them):

The library now has available signed copies of Jerry’s DVDs:

Emmy Winner, A Farm Winter with Jerry Apps (based on The Quiet Season book.)
Jerry Apps a Farm Story (based on Rural Wit and Wisdom and Old Farm books.)
The Land with Jerry Apps, (based on the book Whispers and Shadows,) and Never Curse the Rain, Jerry’s newest DVD based on his book with the same title.

Also available are several of Jerry’s signed books including: Jerry’s newest nonfiction books, Never Curse the Rain and Old Farm Country Cookbook, and his newest novel, The Great Sand Fracas of Ames County. Also available are Wisconsin Agriculture: A History, Roshara Journal (with photos by Steve Apps) and Telling Your Story—a guide book for those who want to write their own stories.

Contact the library for prices and special package deals.
Patterson Memorial Library
500 Division Street
Wild Rose, WI 54984
barnard@wildroselibrary.org
www.wildroselibrary.org
920-622-3835

<

Sunday, September 24, 2017

We Visit Stonefield


On the hottest day of the year, 92 degrees in Madison, daughter Sue and I drove to Stonefield, located a mile from Cassville, in southwestern Wisconsin. It was our annual visit to this Wisconsin Historical Society site. On this day they were holding their annual Great River Road Festival, featuring broom making, butter churning, blacksmithing and sorghum making. People watched from pressing the sweet sorghum stalks to extract the juice, to cooking down the juice to make the delicious brown sweetener.

Stonefield features a typical 1900 rural village with a one-room school, cheese factory, train depot, law office, country store, tavern and much more. Separated from the village by a beautiful covered bridge spanning a creek, people can visit an early 1900 farmstead complete with farmhouse, barn, windmill, out buildings plus some chickens and sheep.

What better place for Sue and me to talk about and sign our new book, OLD FARM COUNTRY COOKBOOK. We had a good crowd. Good questions. It was good day.


THE OLD TIMER SAYS: A little hot weather never bothers a farmer much. When the temp crawls above 90, he remembers the winter days when it was 20 below zero.

COMING EVENTS:


Friday, September 29, 5:00 p.m. at Farm City Dinner, Platteville. Old Farm Country Cook Book. Jerry and Susie

Oct. 5 at Wisconsin Rapids McMillan Library 7 p.m. (One-Room Schools).

Oct. 14 at Neenah Public Library – Never Curse the Rain & Garden Book– 11 a.m. .

Oct. 18 at Water Conservation Presentation, Portage, 6:30 p.m. Place to be announced.

Oct. 25 at Cambridge Public Library – Never Curse the Rain – 12:30 pm

Saturday, October 28, at Edgerton Book Festival 9 a.m.Old Farm Country Cookbook. Jerry and Susie..

Sunday, October 29, 2:00 p.m. at Reed School, Neillsville. Old Farm Country Cookbook. Jerry and Susie..

Sunday, Nov. 5, 1:30 p.m. Mequon Nature Preserve, Mequon, WI. Never Curse the Rain.

Saturday, Nov. 11, Second Saturday, 9:00 a.m. Plymouth Art Center, The Land

Thursday, Nov. 16. 1:00 p.m. Berlin Library. Old Farm Country Cook Book.

Tuesday, November 28, Aldo Leopold Nature Center, Madison. Never Curse the Rain.

Saturday, December 2, Dregni’s, Westby. Old Farm Country Cookbook, Susie and Jerry.

Thursday, Dec. 7, 6:00 p.m. Waupaca Historical Society, Christmas on the Farm

Saturday, Dec. 9 McFarlane’s, Prairie du Sac. Old Farm Country Cookbook. Jerry and Susie

Sunday, Dec. 17 –Readers Realm Bookstore, Montello 1 p.m. Old Farm Country Cookbook. Jerry and Susie

Purchase Jerry’s DVDS and his Books from the Patterson Memorial Library in Wild Rose, Wisconsin (a fundraiser for them):

The library now has available signed copies of Jerry’s DVDs:

Emmy Winner, A Farm Winter with Jerry Apps (based on The Quiet Season book.)
Jerry Apps a Farm Story (based on Rural Wit and Wisdom and Old Farm books.)
The Land with Jerry Apps, (based on the book Whispers and Shadows,) and Never Curse the Rain, Jerry’s newest DVD based on h is book with the same title.

Also available are several of Jerry’s signed books including: Jerry’s newest nonfiction books, Never Curse the Rain and Old Farm Country Cookbook, and his newest novel, The Great Sand Fracas of Ames County. Also available are Wisconsin Agriculture: A History, Roshara Journal (with photos by Steve Apps) and Telling Your Story—a guide book for those who want to write their own stories.

Contact the library for prices and special package deals.
Patterson Memorial Library
500 Division Street
Wild Rose, WI 54984
barnard@wildroselibrary.org
www.wildroselibrary.org
920-622-3835

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Prairie Restoration


What is now the prairie on our farm was a cornfield at one time. That was nearly 50 years ago. Over the years I have simply watched and waited to see what would happen to this once cornfield. It has been quite amazing. A little history.

Thomas Stewart, a Civil War veteran from New York State, homesteaded our farm in 1867. He broke the land with oxen. At the time it was mixture of oak trees and open ground—which was mostly big blue stem grass. The land was stony, hilly, and sandy. Far from ideal farm land. But homestead land was essentially free, 160 acres for someone willing to “prove up,” meaning putting up some buildings and farming the land.

Stewart sold the place and a succession of farmers continued to work these sandy acres. They sometimes harvested a decent crop if the rains came at the right time, but mostly the crops were poor and making a living was tough.

My goal is to try to return this old cornfield into a prairie of wildflowers and native grasses. It takes patience but so far, outside of some mowing and keeping out the rogue trees and brush, I have done little to speed up the restoration. I have too many nearby pine trees for burning.

It has been a joy, over these 50 years, to see how much Mother Nature can do to restore itself to what at one time it had been.


THE OLD TIMER SAYS: We are all so much in a hurry. Mother Nature is not.

COMING EVENTS:

Monday, September 18 Old Farm Country Cook Book. Willy St Coop West, Madison. – 6 p.m. cooking with Susie.

Saturday, September 23, 11:00 a.m. at Stonefield Village, Cassville, WI. Old Farm Country Cookbook. Jerry and Susie

Friday, September 29, 5:00 p.m. at Farm City Dinner, Platteville. Old Farm Country Cook Book. Jerry and Susie

Oct. 5 at Wisconsin Rapids McMillan Library 7 p.m. (One-Room Schools).

Oct. 14 at Neenah Public Library – Never Curse the Rain & Garden Book– 11 a.m. .

Oct. 18 at Water Conservation Presentation, Portage, 6:30 p.m. Place to be announced.

Oct. 25 at Cambridge Public Library – Never Curse the Rain – 12:30 pm

Saturday, October 28, at Edgerton Book Festival 9 a.m.Old Farm Country Cookbook. Jerry and Susie..

Sunday, October 29, 2:00 p.m. at Reed School, Neillsville. Old Farm Country Cookbook. Jerry and Susie..

Sunday, Nov. 5, 1:30 p.m. Mequon Nature Preserve, Mequon, WI. Never Curse the Rain.

Saturday, Nov. 11, Second Saturday, 9:00 a.m. Plymouth Art Center, The Land

Thursday, Nov. 16. 1:00 p.m. Berlin Library. Old Farm Country Cook Book.

Tuesday, November 28, Aldo Leopold Nature Center, Madison. Never Curse the Rain.

Saturday, December 2, Dregni’s, Westby. Old Farm Country Cookbook, Susie and Jerry.

Thursday, Dec. 7, 6:00 p.m. Waupaca Historical Society, Christmas on the Farm

Saturday, Dec. 9 McFarlane’s, Prairie du Sac. Old Farm Country Cookbook. Jerry and Susie

Sunday, Dec. 17 –Readers Realm Bookstore, Montello 1 p.m. Old Farm Country Cookbook. Jerry and Susie

Purchase Jerry’s DVDS and his Books from the Patterson Memorial Library in Wild Rose, Wisconsin (a fundraiser for them):

The library now has available signed copies of Jerry’s DVDs:

Emmy Winner, A Farm Winter with Jerry Apps (based on The Quiet Season book.)
Jerry Apps a Farm Story (based on Rural Wit and Wisdom and Old Farm books.)
The Land with Jerry Apps, (based on the book Whispers and Shadows.)

Also available are several of Jerry’s signed books including: Jerry’s newest nonfiction books, Never Curse the Rain and Old Farm Country Cookbook, and his newest novel, The Great Sand Fracas of Ames County. Also available are Wisconsin Agriculture: A History, Roshara Journal (with photos by Steve Apps) and Telling Your Story—a guide book for those who want to write their own stories.

Contact the library for prices and special package deals.
Patterson Memorial Library
500 Division Street
Wild Rose, WI 54984
barnard@wildroselibrary.org
www.wildroselibrary.org
920-622-3835

Saturday, September 09, 2017

Grape Jelly




This will be short and sweet—pardon the pun. Remember the grapes I talked about last week. Well, they are now grape jelly. Forty-two jars to exact. And Ruth did it all.

For a recipe for making grape jelly, follow the directions on a fruit pectin box or turn to p.151 of Sue and my book, Old Farm County Cookbook.

THE OLD TIMER SAYS: Homemade grape jelly on toast. It’s so, so good.

COMING EVENTS:

Monday, September 18 Old Farm Country Cook Book. Willy St Coop West, Madison. – 6 p.m. cooking with Susie.

Saturday, September 23, 11:00 a.m. at Stonefield Village, Cassville, WI. Old Farm Country Cookbook. Jerry and Susie

Friday, September 29, 5:00 p.m. at Farm City Dinner, Platteville. Old Farm Country Cook Book. Jerry and Susie

Thursday, Oct. 5 at Wisconsin Rapids McMillan Library 7 p.m. (One-Room Schools).

Saturday, Oct. 14 at Neenah Public Library – Never Curse the Rain & Garden Book– 10 a.m. .

Wednesday, Oct. 18 at Water Conservation Presentation, Portage, 6:30 p.m. Place to be Announced.

Wednesday Oct. 25 at Cambridge Public Library – Never Curse the Rain – 12:30 pm WHSPRESS drives/sells JOHN

Saturday, October 28, at Edgerton Book Festival 9 a.m.Old Farm Country Cookbook. Jerry and Susie..

Sunday, October 29, 2:00 p.m. at Reed School, Neillsville. Old Farm Country Cookbook. Jerry and Susie..

Sunday, Nov. 5, 1:30 p.m. Mequon Nature Preserve, Mequon, WI. Never Curse the Rain.

Tuesday, November 28, Aldo Leopold Nature Center, Madison. Never Curse the Rain.

Saturday, December 2, Dregni’s, Westby. Old Farm Country Cookbook, Susie and Jerry.

Thursday, Dec. 7 Waupaca Historical Society, Christmas on the Farm

Saturday, Dec. 9 McFarlane’s, Prairie du Sac. Old Farm Country Cookbook. Jerry and Susie

Sunday, Dec. 17 –Readers Realm Bookstore, Montello 1 p.m. Old Farm Country Cookbook. Jerry and Susie

Purchase Jerry’s DVDS and his Books from the Patterson Memorial Library in Wild Rose, Wisconsin (a fundraiser for them):

The library now has available signed copies of Jerry’s DVDs:

Emmy Winner, A Farm Winter with Jerry Apps (based on The Quiet Season book.)
Jerry Apps a Farm Story (based on Rural Wit and Wisdom and Old Farm books.)
The Land with Jerry Apps, (based on the book Whispers and Shadows.)

Also available are several of Jerry’s signed books including: Jerry’s newest nonfiction books, Never Curse the Rain and Old Farm Country Cookbook, and his newest novel, The Great Sand Fracas of Ames County. Also available are Wisconsin Agriculture: A History, Roshara Journal (with photos by Steve Apps) and Telling Your Story—a guide book for those who want to write their own stories.

Contact the library for prices and special package deals.
Patterson Memorial Library
500 Division Street
Wild Rose, WI 54984
barnard@wildroselibrary.org
www.wildroselibrary.org
920-622-3835

Monday, September 04, 2017

Split Rail Grapes


About forty-five years ago I planted one Concord grape vine along the split rail fence in front of my house. It sputtered along for a couple of years, sending out a rather frail vine with few grapes. I did nothing, no fertilization, nothing special with weed control, except I pruned the vine back each spring, as per a grape-growing friend’s suggestion. Each year my neighbor was sure that I had killed the vine with what he said was excess pruning—but rather than kill it, the pruning encouraged ever more growth each year.

Around year five, the grape vine succeeded in growing to the end of the split rail fence, and was producing a quarter bushel of beautiful, plump, purple grapes.

By year ten the vine was producing a half bushel or so of grapes, again with no care on my part except pruning each spring and tying the vine to the fence here and there.

Then there was last year. Never had I seen since lush growth. The vine not only grew to the end of the split rail fence and headed south, but when it reached the corner post it turned and began growing west (with my help). I looked forward to the best crop of grapes ever. But alas, when I began harvesting I found five grapes. Not five quarts, not five pails, but five miserable little grapes. A late frost last spring had taken its toll.

Ah, but this year. More lush growth. More turning the corner at the end post and, yes, likely the most grapes we have ever harvested. It’s grape jelly making time.

THE OLD TIMER: There is a lot of talk these days, but little being said.

COMING EVENTS:

Saturday, September 23, 11:00 a.m. Stonefield Village, Cassville, WI. Old Farm Country Cookbook.

Friday, September 29, 5:00 p.m. Farm City Dinner, Platteville (details to follow)

Saturday, October 28, Edgerton Book Festival (details to follow)

Sunday, October 29, 2:00 p.m. Reed School, Neillsville. Old Farm Country Cookbook.

Purchase Jerry’s DVDS and his Books from the Patterson Memorial Library in Wild Rose, Wisconsin (a fundraiser for them):

The library now has available signed copies of Jerry’s DVDs:

Emmy Winner, A Farm Winter with Jerry Apps (based on The Quiet Season book.)
Jerry Apps a Farm Story (based on Rural Wit and Wisdom and Old Farm books.)
The Land with Jerry Apps, (based on the book Whispers and Shadows.)

Also available are several of Jerry’s signed books including: Jerry’s newest nonfiction books, Never Curse the Rain and Old Farm Country Cookbook, and his newest novel, The Great Sand Fracas of Ames County. Also available are Wisconsin Agriculture: A History, Roshara Journal (with photos by Steve Apps) and Telling Your Story—a guide book for those who want to write their own stories.

Contact the library for prices and special package deals.
Patterson Memorial Library
500 Division Street
Wild Rose, WI 54984
barnard@wildroselibrary.org
www.wildroselibrary.org
920-622-3835

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Watkins Man


I have fond memories of the Watkins man who stopped by our farm once or twice a month, every month of the year. He carried a big black leather case, which he sat on the kitchen table as my brothers and I watched him unload product after product for my mother to see and consider buying. He was a pleasant chap, calling my brothers and me by name, and seeming glad to see us. We enjoyed his visits as well, especially during the cold and snowy winter months when we saw few visitors.

A few weeks ago, Ruth and I had an opportunity to visit the Watkins Museum in Winona, MN. I learned that J. R. Watkins had started his door-to-door business in 1868, working out of Plainview, MN. His first product was horse liniment. I recall my dad always had some Watkins liniment handy. He said it was good for everything, a horse’s sore muscles, a person’s sore leg, an upset stomach. Pa said that Watkins liniment was good for “man or beast.”

In 1885 Watkins moved his operation to Winona, MN, where it remains today. By 1895, Watkins had added several other products, including its ever popular pepper and Vanilla. Now, more than 130 years later, Watkins products are still sold—but not door-to-door, as I so fondly remember.

In the early days, the Watkins salesmen made their rounds with horse and buggy—see photo above.

THE OLD TIMER SAYS: When you whack a hornet’s nest, expect to be stung.

UPCOMING EVENTS:

Saturday, September 23, 11:00 a.m. Stonefield Village, Cassville, WI. Old Farm Country Cookbook.

Friday, September 30, 5:00 p.m. Farm City Dinner, Platteville (details to follow)

Saturday, October 28, Edgerton Book Festival (details to follow)

Sunday, October 29, 2:00 p.m. Reed School, Neillsville. Old Farm Country Cookbook.

Purchase Jerry’s DVDS and his Books from the Patterson Memorial Library in Wild Rose, Wisconsin (a fundraiser for them):

The library now has available signed copies of Jerry’s DVDs:

Emmy Winner, A Farm Winter with Jerry Apps (based on The Quiet Season book.)
Jerry Apps a Farm Story (based on Rural Wit and Wisdom and Old Farm books.)
The Land with Jerry Apps, (based on the book Whispers and Shadows.)

Also available are several of Jerry’s signed books including: Jerry’s newest nonfiction books, Never Curse the Rain and Old Farm Country Cookbook, and his newest novel, The Great Sand Fracas of Ames County. Also available are Wisconsin Agriculture: A History, Roshara Journal (with photos by Steve Apps) and Telling Your Story—a guide book for those who want to write their own stories.

Contact the library for prices and special package deals.
Patterson Memorial Library
500 Division Street
Wild Rose, WI 54984
barnard@wildroselibrary.org
www.wildroselibrary.org
920-622-3835








THE OLD TIMER SAYS: Sometimes a bad situation can turn into something better.

UPCOMING EVENTS:

Saturday, September 23, 11:00 a.m. Stonefield Village, Cassville, WI. Old Farm Country Cookbook.

Friday, September 30, 5:00 p.m. Farm City Dinner, Platteville (details to follow)

Saturday, October 28, Edgerton Book Festival (details to follow)

Sunday, October 29, 2:00 p.m. Reed School, Neillsville. Old Farm Country Cookbook.

Purchase Jerry’s DVDS and his Books from the Patterson Memorial Library in Wild Rose, Wisconsin (a fundraiser for them):

The library now has available signed copies of Jerry’s DVDs:

Emmy Winner, A Farm Winter with Jerry Apps (based on The Quiet Season book.)
Jerry Apps a Farm Story (based on Rural Wit and Wisdom and Old Farm books.)
The Land with Jerry Apps, (based on the book Whispers and Shadows.)

Also available are several of Jerry’s signed books including: Jerry’s newest nonfiction books, Never Curse the Rain and Old Farm Country Cookbook, and his newest novel, The Great Sand Fracas of Ames County. Also available are Wisconsin Agriculture: A History, Roshara Journal (with photos by Steve Apps) and Telling Your Story—a guide book for those who want to write their own stories.

Contact the library for prices and special package deals.
Patterson Memorial Library
500 Division Street
Wild Rose, WI 54984
barnard@wildroselibrary.org
www.wildroselibrary.org
920-622-3835



Monday, August 21, 2017

Logging at Roshara


I wrote about the fierce windstorm that swept through central Wisconsin last June, tearing out trees by the roots, and doing considerable damage to buildings and other structures. It was that storm that smashed into the row of willow trees that serves as a windbreak for my farmstead at Roshara, nearly destroying the end willow, a character in my first book.

At the time, I had not done an assessment of the damage the storm had done to my woodlots, especially the half dozen acres that made up a naturally seeded white pine woodlot. These white pines have an interesting history. John Coombes, who owned Roshara before we bought it, planted a row of white pine trees in the 1930s. He planted the trees as a way of saving some of his sandy soil from blowing away with the windstorms that swept through this part of Wisconsin at the time.

When we came to Roshara in 1966, the field immediately to the east of the white pine windbreak was a cornfield. As the years passed the cornfield became a field of naturally seeded white pines, many of which are now more than 50 years old.

The windstorm topped many of these fifty-year old pines, created a mess of tangled branches and broken tree trunks. It also ruined a few of the original white pines planted by Mr. Coombes.

With the help of a consulting forester (I also worked with my brother, Donald, who had considerable damage to his trees) a logger spent the last week cutting and piling the broken trees, which are headed for saw and pulp mills. The logger also did some thinning of our other red pine plantations—a thinning done a bit earlier than planned. (The above photo shows some of the logger’s efforts. When the photo was taken, six semi-loads of logs had already been hauled away.)


THE OLD TIMER SAYS: Sometimes a bad situation can turn into something better.

UPCOMING EVENTS:

Saturday, September 23, 11:00 a.m. Stonefield Village, Cassville, WI. Old Farm Country Cookbook.

Friday, September 30, 5:00 p.m. Farm City Dinner, Platteville (details to follow)

Saturday, October 28, Edgerton Book Festival (details to follow)

Sunday, October 29, 2:00 p.m. Reed School, Neillsville. Old Farm Country Cookbook.

Purchase Jerry’s DVDS and his Books from the Patterson Memorial Library in Wild Rose, Wisconsin (a fundraiser for them):

The library now has available signed copies of Jerry’s DVDs:

Emmy Winner, A Farm Winter with Jerry Apps (based on The Quiet Season book.)
Jerry Apps a Farm Story (based on Rural Wit and Wisdom and Old Farm books.)
The Land with Jerry Apps, (based on the book Whispers and Shadows.)

Also available are several of Jerry’s signed books including: Jerry’s newest nonfiction books, Never Curse the Rain and Old Farm Country Cookbook, and his newest novel, The Great Sand Fracas of Ames County. Also available are Wisconsin Agriculture: A History, Roshara Journal (with photos by Steve Apps) and Telling Your Story—a guide book for those who want to write their own stories.

Contact the library for prices and special package deals.
Patterson Memorial Library
500 Division Street
Wild Rose, WI 54984
barnard@wildroselibrary.org
www.wildroselibrary.org
920-622-3835



Monday, August 14, 2017

Cruisin' Down The River


From the day when I was first introduced to the writings of Mark Twain, I wanted to learn more about the Mississippi River and its famed steamboat history. This past week Ruth and I had an opportunity to do that in a special way.

We booked passage on the American Queen, a steam powered riverboat that travels the Mississippi from New Orleans to Red Wing, MN with stops at the river towns along the way.

We took an abbreviated trip, traveling from Red Wing to Dubuque, and then back to Red Wing with stops at Prairie du Chein, La Crosse, and Winona, MN, plus Dubuque and Red Wing of course.

The American Queen is a big boat, 420 feet long with 424 passengers and a crew of 172. It has six decks and as you might guess, one of its greatest challenges is traveling under the many bridges that cross the river. The boat has the capability of lowering its smoke stacks, was well as its pilothouse. But even then, for some of the bridges, only a few inches separate the top of the boat from the bottom of a bridge.

The several dams and locks along the river present another challenge. If I counted correctly there are nine dams and locks between Red Wing and Dubuque. These were built during the Depression years of the 1930s, as government projects, and each one is an engineering marvel. They were built, not for flood control, but as a way of maintaining the river depth so the many tow boats, and boats like ours could more easily make their way.

It was a great week on the Upper Mississippi, thought by many to be the most beautiful part of the river with the beautiful river bluffs, bald eagles everywhere, and interesting river towns along the way.

THE OLD TIMER SAYS: Too often we take the great Mississippi River for granted, the river that defines much of our state’s western boundary.

UPCOMING EVENTS:

August 15, 11:00 to 11:45. Larry Meiller Show, Wisconsin Public Radio. With daughter Sue, discussing Old Farm Country Cookbook.

August 18, 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Writing Workshop, The Clearing.


Purchase Jerry’s DVDS and his Books from the Patterson Memorial Library in Wild Rose, Wisconsin (a fundraiser for them):

The library now has available signed copies of Jerry’s DVDs:

Emmy Winner, A Farm Winter with Jerry Apps (based on The Quiet Season book.)
Jerry Apps a Farm Story (based on Rural Wit and Wisdom and Old Farm books.)
The Land with Jerry Apps, (based on the book Whispers and Shadows.)

Also available are several of Jerry’s signed books including: Jerry’s newest nonfiction books, Never Curse the Rain and Old Farm Country Cookbook, and his newest novel, The Great Sand Fracas of Ames County. Also available are Wisconsin Agriculture: A History, Roshara Journal (with photos by Steve Apps) and Telling Your Story—a guide book for those who want to write their own stories.

Contact the library for prices and special package deals.
Patterson Memorial Library
500 Division Street
Wild Rose, WI 54984
barnard@wildroselibrary.org
www.wildroselibrary.org
920-622-3835




Sunday, August 06, 2017

School of the Arts Legacy Program



My son, Steve, and I have just returned from a couple of most interesting days in Rhinelander, where I was involved with the “ArtStart School of the Arts—Legacy Program.” It was a Writer’s Retreat conducted at ArtStart and the Rhinelander District Library.

Many writers, artists, musicians and others interested in the arts will recall the School of the Arts in Rhinelander. It was started by UW-Madison Professor Robert Gard and carried on for many years in this beautiful North Country city. I attended the School of the Arts in 1967, when I was a beginning writer. I studied there with Bob Gard, August Derleth and Kentucky writer, Jesse Stuart.

I began teaching writing at the School in 1971, and I taught there for 32 years. Steve taught photography there for ten years. So it was a coming home experience for both Steve and me.

ArtStart, located at 68 S. Stevens Street in Rhinelander, in a wonderfully well restored old Federal Building, offers a series of events throughout the year—and is committed to bringing back to life the popular School of the Arts that had so many successful years in Rhinelander. (Click on http://www.artstartrhinelander.org/ for further information about ArtStart.)

I spoke to a group of writers and writing instructors on Friday evening. The event offered a variety of writing workshops from Friday through Sunday, August 4th to 6th. On Saturday, at an event open to the public, I spoke at the Rhinelander District Library—see photo—about my new books: Old Farm Country Cookbook and Never Curse the Rain.

I was pleased to be a part of this legacy program designed to bring back to life the School of the Arts in Rhinelander, which brought the arts to Northern Wisconsin, and ultimately attracted participants from throughout the Midwest.

THE OLD TIMER SAYS: No matter how old we are, it’s never too late to learn something new.

UPCOMING EVENTS:

August 15, 11:00 to 11:45. Larry Meiller Show, Wisconsin Public Radio. With daughter Sue, discussing Old Farm Country Cookbook.

August 18, 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Writing Workshop, The Clearing.


Purchase Jerry’s DVDS and his Books from the Patterson Memorial Library in Wild Rose, Wisconsin (a fundraiser for them):

The library now has available signed copies of Jerry’s DVDs:

Emmy Winner, A Farm Winter with Jerry Apps (based on The Quiet Season book.)
Jerry Apps a Farm Story (based on Rural Wit and Wisdom and Old Farm books.)
The Land with Jerry Apps, (based on the book Whispers and Shadows.)

Also available are several of Jerry’s signed books including: Jerry’s newest nonfiction books, Never Curse the Rain and Old Farm Country Cookbook, and his newest novel, The Great Sand Fracas of Ames County. Also available are Wisconsin Agriculture: A History, Roshara Journal (with photos by Steve Apps) and Telling Your Story—a guide book for those who want to write their own stories.

Contact the library for prices and special package deals.
Patterson Memorial Library
500 Division Street
Wild Rose, WI 54984
barnard@wildroselibrary.org
www.wildroselibrary.org
920-622-3835

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Seventeen Inches of Rain in Three Weeks



Not unexpectedly I’ve been receiving more than a few comments based on my recent book, NEVER CURSE THE RAIN and the associated Public TV show with the same name.

Comments mostly from folks who have had more rain than they wanted. Comments from farm folk who see part of their cornfields under water. And not so friendly comments from people who have seen their roads and bridges washed away, and their basements flooded.

Southern and southwestern Wisconsin has been especially hammered with too much rain. Last Sunday, on our way to a family reunion near Westby, we saw some of the damage first hand. We saw the raging Wisconsin River, sneaking over its banks at Spring Green. We saw the angry Kickapoo River where it had flooded the Readstown Park. My nephew, Jim Olson, who farms west of Westby, saw all of his valley fences destroyed when flood waters washed through the valley on his farm.

Back in central Wisconsin at my farm, Roshara, we saw seventeen inches of rain in three weeks. For the first time in fifty years of gardening, I replanted my sweet corn twice. It washed out. Same for the snap beans. Replanted them. And mind you, we have sandy soil that can soak up a lot of rain.

On the positive side, the prairie land I’m restoring has never looked better, more wild flowers, more milkweeds (Monarch butterflies need them), and grass growing tall and thick. My long-time suffering ponds that had declined to mere shadows of what they had been in the early 1990s, have come back to a levels we haven’t known for ten years (See photo)

THE OLD TIMER SAYS: Never too much rain on a sandy farm?

SPECIAL NOTICE: My newest book, “Old Farm Country Cook book” (with my daughter), Sue is now available.just off the presses.


UPCOMING EVENTS:

August 1, 6:30, Beloit Public Library, Showing of Never Curse the Rain, followed by interview with Jerry Apps (Skype).

August 5, 1:p.m., Rhinelander Public Library. Never Curse the Rain


Patterson Memorial Library in Wild Rose, WI has available signed copies of Jerry's DVDs:

Emmy Winner, A Farm Winter with Jerry Apps (based on The Quiet Season book.)
Jerry Apps a Farm Story (based on Rural Wit and Wisdom and Old Farm books.)
The Land with Jerry Apps, (based on the book Whispers and Shadows.)

Also available are several of Jerry’s signed books including: Jerry’s newest nonfiction book, Never Curse the Rain, and his newest novel, The Great Sand Fracas of Ames County. Also available are Wisconsin Agriculture: A History, Never Curse the Rain, and Old Farm County Cookbook--all signed by author, plus the the book, Telling Your Story—a guide book for those who want to write their own stories.

Contact the library for prices and special package deals.
Patterson Memorial Library
500 Division Street
Wild Rose, WI 54984
barnard@wildroselibrary.org
www.wildroselibrary.org
920-622-3835


Saturday, July 22, 2017

Family at The Lake



As most parents are well aware, once the kids are grown, leave home, and often move hundreds of miles from the home place, it’s difficult to keep contacts. In 2002, my wife and I tried an experiment, based on what we had learned back in the 1970s when I taught a two-week writing workshop at the School of the Arts in Rhinelander. At that time, we rented a cabin on a lake near Rhinelander, and oh how the kids enjoyed it.

Our children, in 2002, now grown, married, and with their own kids, encouraged us to do that again, but this time to invite the entire extended family. And that’s what we’ve done every year since. This year we rented a place on Long Lake in the Waupaca Chain O’ Lakes. We had as many as 18 people sitting around the dinner table each evening. Kids, grandkids, and even two great grandkids.

They swam, water skied, kayaked, played cards, read books, chatted with each other, or sometimes just sat by themselves looking out across the lake. Ruth and I did as little as possible, leaving the cooking to the kids and grandkids.

We also have contests. This year the main contest was who could grow the best mustache in two weeks. There was a junior and a senior division. The winner received a razor and shaving cream.

The week is planned a year in advance, so everyone can adjust vacation and work schedules. It is extremely rare for anyone to miss the event. We are four generations together, sharing, laughing, kidding, and most of all getting to know each other just a little better.

THE OLD TIMER SAYS: Never forget; family comes first.

SPECIAL NOTICE: My newest book, “Old Farm Country Cook Book” (with my daughter, Sue) is now available. It should be in the bookstores by now. See note below for upcoming launch at the Wild Rose Library.

WRITER’S WORKSHOP: A couple of slots remain for my one-day writing workshop on writing your own story: Friday, August 18, 9-4:00 p.m. The Clearing, Door County. Call 920-854-4088.

UPCOMING EVENTS:

Wednesday, Central Wisconsin launch of OLD FARM COUNTRY COOKBOOK. July 26, snacks at 5:30, book talk at 6:00 p.m. Patterson Memorial Library, Wild Rose.

Saturday, July 29, 1:00 p.m. Symco Thresheree , Symco, WI.

Friday, August 4, 5:30 p.m., School of the Arts, Legacy Program. ArtStart, 68 S. Stevens Street, Rhinelander, WI. Keynote address.

Saturday, August 5, 1:00 p.m., Rhinelander Public Library, 106 N. Stevens Street, Rhinelander. Never Curse the Rain, talk and book signing.

Purchase Jerry’s DVDS and his Books from the Patterson Memorial Library in Wild Rose, Wisconsin (a fundraiser for them):

The library now has available signed copies of Jerry’s DVDs:

Emmy Winner, A Farm Winter with Jerry Apps (based on The Quiet Season book.)
Jerry Apps a Farm Story (based on Rural Wit and Wisdom and Old Farm books.)
The Land with Jerry Apps, (based on the book Whispers and Shadows.)

Also available are several of Jerry’s signed books including: Jerry’s newest nonfiction book, Never Curse the Rain, and his newest novel, The Great Sand Fracas of Ames County. Also available are Wisconsin Agriculture: A History,
Roshara Journal (with photos by Steve Apps) and Telling Your Story—a guide book for those who want to write their own stories.

Contact the library for prices and special package deals.
Patterson Memorial Library
500 Division Street
Wild Rose, WI 54984
barnard@wildroselibrary.org
www.wildroselibrary.org
920-622-3835


Friday, July 14, 2017

A Daylilly Year


This is the year of the daylily. Those beautiful flowers that only bloom for one day, but what a show they put on during the day they bloom. The scientific name of daylily is Hemerocallis, which is quite a mouthful but becomes important in knowing, as guys like me sometimes have trouble telling one kind of lily from another.

There is a fellow in Wild Rose, my home town, who hybridizes daylilies, which means he creates new ones that are more winter hardy, more colorful, and have more blooms than some of the earlier types.

Oh, I forget to mention, this Wild Rose guy, happens to be my brother, Dr. Darrel Apps. Darrel has been developing daylilies for about as many years as I’ve been writing, and that’s a good long time. He is nationally and internationally known for his work as well.

When I am out on the stump giving talks, which I do probably more than I should, I often hear, “Are you any relation to Darrel Apps, the daylily guy.”

“I am,” I answer, and then the conversation swings around to daylilies a topic about which I am about 90 to 99 percent ignorant. The person goes on to applaud Darrel’s work.

I have several of Darrel’s daylilies, and they are putting on quite a show this summer. They thrive on lots of rain and hot weather. (See photo)

THE OLD TIMER SAYS: Enjoy the summer of the daylily.

SPECIAL NOTICE: My newest book, “Old Farm Country Cook book” (with my daughter), Sue is just off the presses. It should be in the bookstores by now. See note below for upcoming launch at Wild Rose.

WRITER’S WORKSHOP: A few slots remain for my one-day writing workshop on writing your own story: Friday, August 18, 9-4:00 p.m. The Clearing, Door County.
Call 920-854-4088.


UPCOMING EVENTS:

Wednesday, July 26, snacks at 5:30, book talk at 6:00 p.m. Patterson Memorial Library, Wild Rose. Central Wisconsin launch of OLD FARM COUNTRY COOKBOOK.

Saturday, July 29, 1:00 p.m. Symco Thresheree , Symco, WI.

Friday, August 4, 5:30 p.m., School of the Arts, Legacy Program. ArtStart, 68 S. Stevens Street, Rhinelander, WI. Keynote address.

Saturday, August 5, 1:00 p.m., Rhinelander Public Library, 106 N. Stevens Street, Rhinelander. Never Curse the Rain, talk and book signing.

Purchase Jerry’s DVDS and his Books from the Patterson Memorial Library in Wild Rose, Wisconsin (a fundraiser for them):

The library now has available signed copies of Jerry’s DVDs:

Emmy Winner, A Farm Winter with Jerry Apps (based on The Quiet Season book.)
Jerry Apps a Farm Story (based on Rural Wit and Wisdom and Old Farm books.)
The Land with Jerry Apps, (based on the book Whispers and Shadows.)

Also available are several of Jerry’s signed books including: Jerry’s newest nonfiction book, Never Curse the Rain, and his newest novel, The Great Sand Fracas of Ames County. Also available are Wisconsin Agriculture: A History,
Roshara Journal (with photos by Steve Apps) and Telling Your Story—a guide book for those who want to write their own stories.

Contact the library for prices and special package deals.
Patterson Memorial Library
500 Division Street
Wild Rose, WI 54984
barnard@wildroselibrary.org
www.wildroselibrary.org
920-622-3835

Sunday, July 09, 2017

Rainy Days



It’s been raining at Roshara. Raining a lot. In June, raining more than fifteen inches in two weeks. A good thing for our sandy land. My little pine trees, especially those we planted this past spring are happy. So are the trees we planted last year and the year before. Little trees on sandy land like lots of rain.

Our prairie—see photo—is thriving. Grass is tall; wildflowers are everywhere. And in the deep woods, in my 50 acres or so of oaks and maples, I can’t see six feet off the trail as the woods are so thick with foliage.

My two ponds, with low water for a long time, are the highest they’ve been in ten years. But they still have a long way to go to match the high water years of the early 1990s.

And now to my garden. The potato crop has never been better at this time in the growing season. Anyone who knows anything about growing potatoes knows they like lots of water. Same for the cabbage, lettuce, and broccoli. The vine crops are another story—I’ve had to re-plant the cucumbers and squash that drowned out. And the beans, they are miserable with too much rain. Yellowish and struggling to live. And worst of all, the sweet corn. I’ve replanted some of it twice. Never before have I had to do this.

As many readers know, I’ve written a book with the title “Never Curse the Rain.”
“Are you sure about that?” one of my readers near Oshkosh recently wrote.

THE OLD TIMER SAYS: Some years are too wet, some years are too dry. But every year’s weather remains a mystery.

SPECIAL NOTICE: My newest book, “Old Farm Country Cook book” (with my daughter), Sue is just off the presses. It should be in the bookstores in a week or two. See notes below for upcoming launches of the book.

WRITER’S WORKSHOP: A few slots remain for my one-day writing workshop on writing your own story: Friday, August 18, 9-4:00 p.m. The Clearing, Door County.
Call 920-854-4088.


UPCOMING EVENTS:

Wednesday, July 12, 7:00 p.m. Middleton Public Library. Launch of Sue’s and my new book: OLD FARM COUNTRY COOKBOOK.

Wednesday, July 26, snacks at 5:30, book talk at 6:00 p.m. Patterson Memorial Library, Wild Rose. Central Wisconsin launch of OLD FARM COUNTRY COOKBOOK.

Saturday, July 29, 1:00 p.m. Symco Thresheree , Symco, WI.
Purchase Jerry’s DVDS and his Books from the Patterson Memorial Library in Wild Rose, Wisconsin (a fundraiser for them):

The library now has available signed copies of Jerry’s DVDs:

Emmy Winner, A Farm Winter with Jerry Apps (based on The Quiet Season book.)
Jerry Apps a Farm Story (based on Rural Wit and Wisdom and Old Farm books.)
The Land with Jerry Apps, (based on the book Whispers and Shadows.)

Also available are several of Jerry’s signed books including: Jerry’s newest nonfiction book, Never Curse the Rain, and his newest novel, The Great Sand Fracas of Ames County. Also available are Wisconsin Agriculture: A History,
Roshara Journal (with photos by Steve Apps) and Telling Your Story—a guide book for those who want to write their own stories.

Contact the library for prices and special package deals.
Patterson Memorial Library
500 Division Street
Wild Rose, WI 54984
barnard@wildroselibrary.org
www.wildroselibrary.org
920-622-3835

Monday, July 03, 2017

Storm Damage at Roshara


The windstorm that roared through central Wisconsin in mid-June caused more havoc at Roshara than I first assumed. It toppled the 105 year old black willow tree that fronted the windbreak that has protected our farmstead these many years. It crashed trees across our trails in many places. But these bits of destruction were the least of the damage wrought.

As many of those who read these weekly ramblings know, Roshara is my family’s 120 acre farm in Waushara County. Of those 120 acres, 100 acres are wooded. About 50 acres of mixed hardwood and another 50 of red and white pine, with a scattering of native jack pine and few intruder Scotch pine.

We’ve planted all of the red pine, some by machine, but lots by hand, beginning in 1966 and every year since. The white pines are an interesting story. Back in the 1930s, in the midst of the Great Depression, a devastating drought and windstorms attacked western Waushara County. John Coombes, who owned our farm then, did what many other farmers did. He planted a windbreak, which consisted of white pine trees. These beautiful white pines, now some 80 plus years old, have succeeded in producing about five acres of self-seeded white pines, in what was an old cornfield when we bought the place 50 years ago.

It is in this patch of 50-year-old white pines where the recent windstorm smashed off the tops of many trees, snapped off huge branches, and otherwise made a mess of things. Our forester is coming in this week to mark trees, these and others—a thinning is in order as well. And the loggers will follow shortly after to clean up the mess.

THE OLD TIMER SAYS: Remembering his farmer father’s words, “If it isn’t one thing, it’s another.” Meaning something unexpected is always happening on the farm.

SPECIAL NOTICE: My newest book, “Old Farm Country Cook book” (with my daughter, Sue) is just off the presses. It should be in the bookstores in a week or two. See notes below for upcoming launches of the book.

WRITER’S WORKSHOP: A few slots remain for my one-day writing workshop on writing your own story: Friday, August 18, 9-4:00 p.m. The Clearing, Door County.
Call 920-854-4088.


UPCOMING EVENTS:

Friday July 7, 7:30, Village Booksmith, Baraboo, WI

Wednesday, July 12, 7:00 p.m. Middleton Public Library. Launch of Sue’s and my new book: OLD FARM COUNTRY COOKBOOK.

Wednesday, July 26, snacks at 5:30, book talk at 6:00 p.m. Patterson Memorial Library, Wild Rose. Central Wisconsin launch of OLD FARM COUNTRY COOKBOOK.

Saturday, July 29, 1:00 p.m. Symco Thresheree , Symco, WI

Purchase Jerry’s DVDS and his Books from the Patterson Memorial Library in Wild Rose, Wisconsin (a fundraiser for them):

The library now has available signed copies of Jerry’s DVDs:

Emmy Winner, A Farm Winter with Jerry Apps (based on The Quiet Season book.)
Jerry Apps a Farm Story (based on Rural Wit and Wisdom and Old Farm books.)
The Land with Jerry Apps, (based on the book Whispers and Shadows.)

Also available are several of Jerry’s signed books including: Jerry’s newest nonfiction book, Never Curse the Rain, and his newest novel, The Great Sand Fracas of Ames County. Also available are Wisconsin Agriculture: A History,
Roshara Journal (with photos by Steve Apps) and Telling Your Story—a guide book for those who want to write their own stories.

Contact the library for prices and special package deals.
Patterson Memorial Library
500 Division Street
Wild Rose, WI 54984
barnard@wildroselibrary.org
www.wildroselibrary.org
920-622-3835