Saturday, December 08, 2018

History Tree




The Christmas tree is up. The tree lights are on. The tree decorations are hung with care. And the memories return. I remember the Christmas trees when I was a kid on the home farm. We had no lights at the time as we had no electricity. Pa would never think of putting candles on the tree. He was afraid of fire. He allowed no candles in the house, except for those that appeared on birthday cakes. Our tree was beautiful with big, shiny ornaments that my mother carefully stored away and brought out in early December to hang on the tree.

I must have been about four years old when I remember spotting a toy barn under the tree on Christmas along with toy cows and horses. It was likely the following year that I received my first and only toy train. It included a half dozen little red metal cars, and a black, wind-up locomotive. I still have that special little train, which I played with for years. It still works; it was built to last and last it did.

Today, and for the past several decades, our Christmas tree and its decorations have become a family history tree. Each year, Ruth writes down the essential happenings for the year and puts the information in a little matchbox that we hang on the tree. There are also unique ornaments for each of our children, grandchildren, and great grand grandchildren. To find the history of our family—we have three children, seven grandchildren and three great-grandchildren—inspect our Christmas tree.

THE OLD TIMER SAYS: Christmas trees can become history trees.

UPCOMING EVENTS:

December 15, 10 a.m. to 3:p.m. Macfarlanes, Sauk City. Presentation, radio show, and book signing.

PURCHASING BOOKS AND DVDs:

Christmas is just around the corner. Order your signed Apps books and DVDs for Christmas presents from the Patterson Memorial Library in Wild Rose. Phone: 920-622-3835 for prices and ordering.
Patterson Memorial Library
500 Division Street
Wild Rose, WI 54984
barnard@wildroselibrary.
www.wildroselibrary.org

The following DVDs are available for purchase at the library. Each is about one-hour long and each was aired on Public TV.

• One Room School, Based on the book, One-Room County Schools.

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

• Jerry Apps A Farm Story, based on Every Farm Tells a Story

• The Land with Jerry Apps, based on Whispers and Shadows.

• Never Curse the Rain, based on the book with the same title.

Saturday, December 01, 2018

The Perfect Christmas Tree




Dark and dreary. Chilly but not cold. Our day for searching out and cutting Christmas trees at our farm. An annual event for the past several years. Always fun, and ever a challenge as over the past couple of decades we’ve planted about twenty-five thousand trees to choose from. Most of them are red pine. A few of them Norway Spruce. A handful are jack pine. Add to this list several hundred Scotch pines that self-seeded and are of various sizes. The searching crew—daughter-in-law, Natasha (with the saw), daughter Sue, and two young lads that Natasha cares for.

And add several hundred, maybe thousand, white pines to the mix. When we bought the place in 1966, there was a former cornfield just south of our cabin. On the west and north sides of this field, previous owners had planted a white pine windbreak in the 1930s. This was during the depth of the Great Depression and the associated drought that raised havoc with the sand country in central Wisconsin.

Today, that cornfield, about six acres or so, is a naturally seeded white pine plantation, with white pine trees ranging from a foot or so tall, to those that are of timber quality. So the Christmas tree searchers had many choices: red pine, white pine, Scotch Pine. The spruce are still too little for consideration, and jack pines are in a class by themselves.

“How about this one?”
“Too scraggly?”
“This one?”
“Too short.”

And so the time passed as we searched, discussed, debated, and finally agreed on three trees. One red pine, one white pine, and one Scotch pine. What could be fairer?

THE OLD TIMER SAYS: What fun it is to tramp through the woods in search of the perfect Christmas tree.

UPCOMING EVENTS:

Monday, December 3, 7:00 p.m., All Wisconsin public TV stations. One Room School with Jerry Apps.

December 9, 4:30-6:30. 702 E. Johnson St., Madison.
"Water, Woods & The Pioneer Life: Three Wisconsin Authors on Process & Publication" 702WI teams up with Wisconsin Historical Society Press to present a panel discussion with three Wisconsin authors: Jerry Apps, Kathleen Ernst & Marnie Mamminga. A book signing will follow. Tickets are $15 for the event only or $20 for the event and a copy of Telling Your Story by Jerry Apps. Purchase tickets online, www.702wi.com.

December 15, 10 a.m. to 3:p.m. Macfarlanes, Sauk City. Presentation, radio show, and book signing.

Christmas is just around the corner. Order your signed Apps books and DVDs for Christmas presents from the Patterson Memorial Library in Wild Rose. Phone: 920-622-3835 for prices and ordering.
Patterson Memorial Library
500 Division Street
Wild Rose, WI 54984
barnard@wildroselibrary.
www.wildroselibrary.org
Featured books: You can purchase these separately, or as a package of four;
THE QUIET SEASON
WHISPERS AND SHADOWS
NEVER CURSE THE RAIN
SIMPLE THINGS: LESSONS FROM THE FAMILY FARM

Sunday, November 25, 2018

Winter Around The Corner



A late fall sun slowly crept over the eastern horizon. The thermometer reported eight degrees this morning as I made my way from the bedroom to the woodstove that provides most of the heat for our cabin. With some crumpled up newspaper, a couple sticks of cured split oak wood, and the magic of some commercial fire starter, the old stove sputtered to life.

Looking out the cabin window to a newly piled stack of firewood, now a little snow covered, I thought about my days on the farm as a kid. This time of the year and on into the “just around the corner” winter season, we began to relax a bit. The haymows in the barn were stacked high with alfalfa, clover, and bromegrass hay. The corn crib was filled to running over with yellow cob corn. Our wooden stave silo was filled with corn silage, and the oat bins in the granary sagged from the seasons annual threshing. The woodpile, many times larger than the one pictured here, stood ready for the long, cold winter ahead.

As I looked out the window at a chilly landscape, I thought about how much the winter season drove everything that we did on the farm. All of the work from spring to fall centered on preparations for winter. For providing sufficient shelter and feed for the farm animals. And making sure the family had shelter and food to last until spring.

THE OLD TIMER SAYS: As we finished preparing for winter, we looked forward to slowing down a bit.

UPCOMING EVENTS:

December 9, 4:30-6:30. 702 E. Johnson St., Madison.

"Water, Woods & The Pioneer Life: Three Wisconsin Authors on Process & Publication" 702WI teams up with Wisconsin Historical Society Press to present a panel discussion with three Wisconsin authors: Jerry Apps, Kathleen Ernst & Marnie Mamminga. A book signing will follow. Tickets are $15 for the event only or $20 for the event and a copy of Telling Your Story by Jerry Apps. Purchase tickets online, www.702wi.com.

December 15, 10 a.m. to 3:p.m. Macfarlanes, Sauk City. Presentation, radio show, and book signing.

Christmas is just around the corner. Order your Apps books and DVDs for Christmas presents from the Patterson Memorial Library in Wild Rose. Phone: 920-622-3835 for prices and ordering.
Patterson Memorial Library
500 Division Street
Wild Rose, WI 54984
barnard@wildroselibrary.
www.wildroselibrary.org


This week’s featured books:

• Simple Things: Lessons From the Family Farm
The importance of the simple things
.
• Once a Professor
Teaching at a major university during the turbulent 60s

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Opening Day



Opening day of the deer gun season in Wisconsin. A sacred day for thousands of hunters who would not think of attending a wedding, a funeral, an anniversary or a birthday party on this day.

I am at my trusty deer stand, at the crack of dawn. Except dawn hasn’t cracked as it is cloudy, dark, and cold. And quiet. So quiet. No bird sound. No wind rustling the tops of the naked oaks. A dusting of snow covers the landscape and the frozen, snow-covered pond that is to my left. I am sitting near a much-used deer trail. It includes fresh tracks, made last night? Promising. Surely a deer will wander by.

A half hour goes by. Nothing. No squirrels. No bluejays. No crows And no deer. I pour a cup of coffee from my thermos. Inevitably a deer will wander by when I do not have my rifle in hand. That’s when they usually show up. Not this time. Still nothing.

An hour goes by. Nothing. I pour more coffee. And then, strange as it may sound, I begin enjoying the nothingness of the morning. No phone ringing. No radio blaring. No loud talking. I can’t remember when I have experienced such absolute quiet, such complete “nothing happening” time. I sit back and relax. Enjoying the morning. Long ago, I concluded that deer hunting is so much more than bagging a deer. This is one more of those times.

THE OLD TIMER SAYS: Sometimes nothing can be everything.

UPCOMING EVENTS:

December 15, 10 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Macfarlanes Sauk City. Presentation, radio show, and book signing.

Christmas is just around the corner. Order your Apps books and DVDs for Christmas presents from the Patterson Memorial Library in Wild Rose. Phone: 920-622-3835 for prices and ordering.
Patterson Memorial Library
500 Division Street
Wild Rose, WI 54984
barnard@wildroselibrary.
www.wildroselibrary.org


Featured Books of the Week

Jerry’s Seven Novels

Cold as Thunder
A look into a challenging future when climate change is denied and one political party rules.

Tamarack River Ghost
Plans for a large industrial hog farm upset the nearby rural community

Blue Shadows Farm
A Family fights to keep control of their farmland with mounting pressures to sell.

Cranberry Red
When research results in unintended consequences that cause food safety concerns and raise havoc in Ames County

In A Pickle
A Story about the demise of the small family farm and how their disappearance affects the people who own them

The Great Sand Fracas of Ames County
When a sand mine has its eye on a rural community and the uproar it creates among the Citizens

The Travels of Increase Joseph
A historical novel about a preacher who advocates the need for soil conservation in the 1850s

All copies of these novels are signed by the author and available for sale at the Wild Rose Library as a fundraiser for the Friend of the Library.


Sunday, November 11, 2018

The Wood Makers



Last Saturday was our annual “wood making” day at Roshara. We bring as many volunteers from the family who are available, sometimes the number reaches a dozen or so when kids and grandkids are there. But Alas, the grandkids had seen fit to be elsewhere this year. So it was back to the long-time reliables. My daughter, Sue and son-in-law, Paul worked on Saturday along with brother, Don who lent a helping hand. My son, Steve and daughter-in-law Natasha worked on Sunday.

A note on the weather. Saturday was a beautiful, sunny day. No wind and temperatures hanging in the high forties. Sunday was a miserable, cold, all day rain. But weather or not, wood making went on. Earlier I had spotted two trees that were close to the trail. One dead, and one nearly so.

With Paul on the chainsaw and Sue helping with the cant hook, by noon we had a pile of blocks ready for splitting. I was in charge of hauling, an easy task. I drove a four-wheel drive all-terrain vehicle with a dump box. When I was a kid we toted limbs and tree trunks to the farmstead from the oak woods with our trusty team of horses and a steel-wheeled wagon.

For years we split the blocks with a splitting maul, with Steve becoming an expert at doing it. But now, as we all are older, I purchased an electric log splitter that does the job twice as fast with a fourth of the effort.

The splitting continued on Sunday, in the rain (the splitter was in a shed). Sue on Saturday and Natasha on Sunday (in the rain) created a neat woodpile outside the woodshed, where it will dry until next summer when we will carry it into the woodshed.

With sore muscles all around, one more annual farm task is completed. Aside from the hard work, there is a certain beauty to the work (I never thought I would say that). The smell of freshly cut trees, and the artful pile of split blocks. Plus of course a great feeling of accomplishment.

THE OLD TIMER SAYS: There is much more to making wood than cutting down a tree and splitting the blocks.

UPCOMING EVENTS:

November 13, 6:00 p.m. Patterson Memorial Library, Wild Rose. Central Wisconsin launch of SIMPLE THINGS, LESSONS FROM THE FAMILY FARM.

December 15, 10 a.m. to 2:p.m. Macfarlanes Sauk City. Presentation, radio show, and book signing.

Christmas is just around the corner. Order your Apps books and DVDs for Christmas presents from the Patterson Memorial Library in Wild Rose. Phone: 920-622-3835 for prices and ordering.
Patterson Memorial Library
500 Division Street
Wild Rose, WI 54984
barnard@wildroselibrary.
www.wildroselibrary.org

Jerry’s latest books are:
• Simple Things: Lessons From the Family Farm
• Once a Professor
• Cold As Thunder (A Novel)

Jerry’s most recent Public TV show (DVD)
One Room School (Aired on Public TV stations)(Based on the book, One-Room County Schools.

Additional DVDs of Public TV Shows (DVDs)
• Emmy Winner, A Farm Winter with Jerry Apps (based on The Quiet Season book.)
• Jerry Apps a Farm Story (based on Every Farm Tells a Story)
• The Land with Jerry Apps, (based on the book Whispers and Shadows,)
• Never Curse the Rain, (based on the book with the same title)

The library has several of Jerry’s signed books for sale including several of Jerry’s nonfiction books:
• Every Farm Tells a Story (Revised edition)
• Living a County Year (Revised edition)
• One Room Country Schools
• Never Curse the Rain
• Whispers and Shadows
• The Quiet Season
• Old Farm Country Cookbook,
• Wisconsin Agriculture: A History
• Roshara Journal (with photos by Steve Apps)
• Old Farm: A History
• Telling Your Story—a guidebook for those who want to write their own stories.
• Horse Drawn Days

Additionally, the library has for sale Jerry’s six published novels:
• The Travels of Increase Joseph
• In a Pickle
• Blue Shadows Farm
• Tamarack River Ghost
• The Great Sand Fracas of Ames County.
• Cold as Thunder

Sunday, November 04, 2018

Weather Wise




When I was a kid, there was no such thing as a TV weather report with radar images showing one exactly where a storm was located, and even suggesting how much rain or snow could be expected. Truth be known, there was no television in our neck of the woods until the early 1950s.

So how did we predict the weather? Farmers live by the weather, especially during the harvesting season, but also to a considerable extent throughout the year. For instance, you didn’t cut down 20 acres of alfalfa, if it rained the following day.

Pa was good at weather forecasting. He depended on two things, cloud formations and wind direction. We had a weather vane on top of our barn. First thing in the morning, Pa looked for the wind direction. If the wind was in the east, and the sky was red as blood, rain was on the way. The old saying, “Red sky in the morning, sailors take warning” had much truth connected to it.

If the wind came from the west or the southwest, and there were but a few fluffy clouds floating along, we were in store for some clear weather. If it happened to be one of those rare days when we left farm work behind and went fishing, Pa would say, “Wind in the west fish bite best.” For a south wind, he would say, “Wind from the south blows the worm right in the fish’s mouth.”

Pa was generally right about what kind of weather was on the way. He used his weather wisdom his whole life.


THE OLD TIMER SAYS: In the olden days, weather forecasting was an art. I suspect it still is.

UPCOMING EVENTS:


November 10: 9:30-11:30, Plymouth Art Center, Second Saturday. ONE ROOM SCHOOL.

November 13, 6:00 p.m. Patterson Memorial Library, Wild Rose. Central Wisconsin launch of SIMPLE THINGS, LESSONS FROM THE FAMILY FARM.

Purchase Jerry’s signed DVDs and books from the Library in Wild Rose, Wisconsin (a fundraiser for them):
Patterson Memorial Library
500 Division Street
Wild Rose, WI 54984
barnard@wildroselibrary.org
www.wildroselibrary.org
Phone: 920-622-3835
DVDs: His latest Public TV show, One-Room Country School is now available. It’s based on his book, One-Room Country Schools (also available). 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,)
Never Curse the Rain, (based on his book with the same title)
The library has several of Jerry’s signed books for sale including Jerry’s newest nonfiction books, Once a Professor, Every Farm Tells a Story, Living a County Year (reprints), One-Room Country Schools, Never Curse the Rain and Old Farm Country Cookbook, and his novel, The Great Sand Fracas of Ames County. Also Wisconsin Agriculture: A History, Roshara Journal (with photos by Steve Apps) and Telling Your Story—a guidebook for those who want to write their own stories.
Contact the library for prices and special package deals.


Sunday, October 28, 2018

Remembering Lamps and Lanterns



I recently spoke to a group of mostly retired people, about 300 of them. I asked how many of them had grown up without electricity. Ten people raised their hands. I expected more, as many in the group were of my generation. Electricity didn’t come to our farm until the spring of 1947 when I was in eighth grade. By that time, I had grown quite accustomed to lamps and lanterns. Before electricity arrived, we lighted out home with kerosene lamps. We used lanterns to light our way in the barn and other outbuildings.

The people in Wild Rose, our nearest town, got electricity in1908. Wild Rose had a water-powered grist mill, which not only ground grain for cattle feed but also powered a generator that provided the electricity. In those days, the village people had electricity from sundown until eleven o’ clock in the evening. The miller said he needed the waterpower for grinding grain at the mill during the daylight hours. Besides, why would anyone want electricity in the daytime

Electricity surely made life easier on the farm. We enjoyed electric lights, but electric motors where even more appreciated than light bulbs.

Thinking back to those pre-electricity days. I remember the cold, clear nights in winter and seeing a sky filled with stars, from one horizon to the other. I also, remember the quiet. There was no hum of motors in the background, no blaring TV, only quiet.

My newest book is titled: SIMPLE THINGS: LESSONS FROM THE FAMILY FARM.
In the book, I talk about the simple things including life on the farm with lamps and lanterns

THE OLD TIMER SAYS: Sometimes we forget how important the simple things such as darkness and quiet can be.

UPCOMING EVENTS:

November 9, 2-4 p.m. Plymouth Cheese Counter and Dairy Heritage Center, Plymouth, WI Book Signing.

November 10: 9:30-11:30, Plymouth Art Center, Second Saturday. ONE ROOM SCHOOL.

November 13, 6:30 p.m. Patterson Memorial Library, Wild Rose. Central Wisconsin launch of SIMPLE THINGS, LESSONS FROM THE FAMILY FARM.

Purchase Jerry’s signed DVDs and books from the Library in Wild Rose, Wisconsin (a fundraiser for them):
Patterson Memorial Library
500 Division Street
Wild Rose, WI 54984
barnard@wildroselibrary.org
www.wildroselibrary.org
Phone: 920-622-3835
DVDs: His latest Public TV show, One-Room Country School is now available. It’s based on his book, One-Room Country Schools (also available). 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,)
Never Curse the Rain, (based on his book with the same title)
The library has several of Jerry’s signed books for sale including Jerry’s newest nonfiction books, Once a Professor, Every Farm Tells a Story, Living a County Year (reprints), One-Room Country Schools, Never Curse the Rain and Old Farm Country Cookbook, and his novel, The Great Sand Fracas of Ames County. Also Wisconsin Agriculture: A History, Roshara Journal (with photos by Steve Apps) and Telling Your Story—a guidebook for those who want to write their own stories.
Contact the library for prices and special package deals.


Sunday, October 21, 2018

October Snow


I’m mowing one of my prairie patches with my tractor and rotary mower. The temperature is in the low 40s and all is going well. Earlier in the morning it had rained a bit, but with a stiff westerly wind, the field is dry and mowing is easy.

I’ve always enjoyed mowing. One thing about it. You can see what you’ve accomplished. Immediately. Sometimes it takes weeks, months and or even years before I learn whether I’ve accomplished anything with what I mostly do (writing, teaching, TV work). Not so with mowing. Feedback is immediate. The grass is cut.

About one-fourth into the project I glimpsed some white specks flying on the wind. Could they be snowflakes? Can’t be I told myself. It is October 20. Way too early for snowflakes.

I continued on. More snowflakes. The temperature seemed to be dropping as well. More than half done. Heavy snow falling. Heavy snow in October. My mind said not possible. The hood of my tractor said otherwise. It was snowing. Big time snowing. The kind where you have trouble seeing where you are going and where you have been.

Never before in my many years of mowing have I cut grass in a snowstorm. But we Germans can be stubborn. I had to finish the job. Snow or no. And I did. I don’t know why I am writing about this. People will think I’ve lost a few marbles. ‘That guy mows hay in a snowstorm.” But the field is mowed.

THE OLD TIMER SAYS: When it comes to weather, expect the unexpected.

October 27, 4:00 p.m. Edgerton Book Festival, showing of the film, ONE ROOM SCHOOL, with discussion and stories to follow.

November 9, 2-4 p.m. Plymouth Cheese Counter and Dairy Heritage Center, Plymouth, WI Book Signing.

November 10: 9:30-11:30, Plymouth Art Center, Second Saturday. ONE ROOM SCHOOL.

November 13, 6:30 p.m. Patterson Memorial Library, Wild Rose. Central Wisconsin launch of SIMPLE THINGS, LESSONS FROM THE FAMILY FARM.

Purchase Jerry’s signed DVDs and books from the Library in Wild Rose, Wisconsin (a fundraiser for them):
Patterson Memorial Library
500 Division Street
Wild Rose, WI 54984
barnard@wildroselibrary.org
www.wildroselibrary.org
Phone: 920-622-3835
DVDs: His latest Public TV show, One-Room Country School is now available. It’s based on his book, One-Room Country Schools (also available). 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,)
Never Curse the Rain, (based on his book with the same title)

The library has several of Jerry’s signed books for sale including Jerry’s newest nonfiction books, Once a Professor, Every Farm Tells a Story, Living a County Year (reprints), One-Room Country Schools, Never Curse the Rain and Old Farm Country Cookbook, and his novel, The Great Sand Fracas of Ames County. Also Wisconsin Agriculture: A History, Roshara Journal (with photos by Steve Apps) and Telling Your Story—a guidebook for those who want to write their own stories.

Contact the library for prices and special package deals.


Sunday, October 14, 2018

The Beauty of Fall



As a farm boy, I allotted one-word descriptions to each of the seasons:
Spring: Planting, Summer: Growing, Fall: Harvesting, and Winter: Resting.

Each season is much more than can be described in one word. Take my favorite season, fall. Of course, it involved harvesting. I remember so well when I was a kid. Pa cut our 20-acre cornfield with a one-row, McCormick corn binder, pulled by our trusty team of horses. The binder spewed out bundles of corn stalks, neatly wrapped with binder-twine. It was my job, and when the corn was all cut, Pa joined me, to stand the bundles into corn shocks. What a sight to see at day’s end when the cornfield had become an Indian encampment, with teepees standing in neat rows—or so it appeared.

It was hard work, but it also had its high points. By this time in the fall, the trees were in full fall color. The maples brilliant red and yellow. The aspens had turned to yellow, and the oaks announced a soft, natural brown.

And the smells, oh how I enjoyed and still do, the smells of fall. The subtle smell of drying cornstalks, the clear, clean smell of an early morning when frost coated the grass and caused the last geranium and other flowers still alive to wither and die.

With the corn in shocks, it was off to the woods for the first round of wood cutting, making wood we called it. Hard work, but also filled with the smells of drying oak leaves, the sight of a clear blue sky, and the feeling that summer had become a memory as we moved deeper into fall.


THE OLD TIMER SAYS: Appreciate the beauty of fall, wrapped around the hard work of the harvest.

UPCOMING EVENTS:

--October 20, 6-8:00 pm. American Legion Post 306, 518 Water Street, Green Lake. Fund Raiser for Princeton Public Library. Phone 920-295-6777 for ticket information. Simple Things book.

--October 21, 1:00 pm. Readers Realm Bookstore, Montello. Simple Things book.

Purchase Jerry’s signed DVDs and books from the Library in Wild Rose, Wisconsin (a fundraiser for them):
Patterson Memorial Library
500 Division Street
Wild Rose, WI 54984
barnard@wildroselibrary.org
www.wildroselibrary.org
Phone: 920-622-3835
DVDs: His latest Public TV show, One-Room Country School is now available. It’s based on his book, One-Room Country Schools (also available). 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,)
Never Curse the Rain, (based on his book with the same title)
The library has several of Jerry’s signed books for sale including Jerry’s newest nonfiction books, Once a Professor, Every Farm Tells a Story, Living a County Year (reprints), One-Room Country Schools, Never Curse the Rain and Old Farm Country Cookbook, and his novel, The Great Sand Fracas of Ames County. Also Wisconsin Agriculture: A History, Roshara Journal (with photos by Steve Apps) and Telling Your Story—a guidebook for those who want to write their own stories.
Contact the library for prices and special package deals.


Saturday, October 06, 2018

Garden to Bed For Winter


Once more we’ve put our garden to bed. The fence keeping out the deer/turkeys/raccoon is lifted and tucked away in the shed for the winter. The late crops: cabbage, carrots, kale, squash and pumpkins are harvested. The sweet corn stalks are cut into little pieces. The tomato racks removed and stacked. The blighted tomato and potato plants are removed to keep ground contamination at a minimum. My son, Steve did all this work last weekend.

As I ate breakfast on Tuesday, I watched a six-point buck eating what garden remnants remained. He dined for nearly half an hour in the garden, and because of the fence, all summer he was not allowed to enter. But the fence is gone.

Later in the morning I hooked the tractor to my brother’s disc and I worked up the soil, burying whatever garden trash that remained, and preparing the ground for its annual winter cover crop—this year it is winter rye.

Then I broadcast the rye seed by hand. Broadcasting means flinging the seeds in such a way that the entire garden plot is covered by seed. I learned how to do this many years ago from my father.

A final discing buried the seed, and the “putting to bed” procedure was completed. Within a few days, the rye seeds will germinate, turning the brown soil to a blanket of green. The deer and turkeys will enjoy this spot of green until next spring. In April, we will disc up the rye and the garden season will begin once more, the winter rye providing what is called “green manure.”

THE OLD TIMER SAYS: Every gardener knows the importance of taking care of the soil.

UPCOMING EVENTS:

--October 8, 7:00 p.m. Launch of my new book, SIMPLE THINGS: LESSON FROM THE FAMILY FARM, at Middleton Library. Ruth is baking cookies.
--October 13, Wisconsin Book Festival, 3:00 pm. Wis Historical Society Museum on the Square. Once a Professor book.
--October 20, 6-8:00 pm. American Legion Post 306, 518 Water Street, Green Lake. Fund Raiser for Princeton Public Library. Phone 920-295-6777 for ticket information. Simple Things book.

--October 21, 1:00 pm. Readers Realm Bookstore, Montello. Simple Things book.

Purchase Jerry’s signed DVDs and books from the Library in Wild Rose, Wisconsin (a fundraiser for them):
Patterson Memorial Library
500 Division Street
Wild Rose, WI 54984
barnard@wildroselibrary.org
www.wildroselibrary.org
Phone: 920-622-3835
DVDs: His latest Public TV show, One-Room Country School is now available. It’s based on his book, One-Room Country Schools (also available). 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,)
Never Curse the Rain, (based on his book with the same title)
The library has several of Jerry’s signed books for sale including Jerry’s newest nonfiction books, Once a Professor, Every Farm Tells a Story, Living a County Year (reprints), One-Room Country Schools, Never Curse the Rain and Old Farm Country Cookbook, and his novel, The Great Sand Fracas of Ames County. Also Wisconsin Agriculture: A History, Roshara Journal (with photos by Steve Apps) and Telling Your Story—a guidebook for those who want to write their own stories.
Contact the library for prices and special package deals.


Saturday, September 29, 2018

Cranberry Harvest



In the fall of 1955, I was working on the home farm waiting to go on active duty in the army. By the first of October we were mostly caught up with the farm work. The corn had been harvested. The silo was filled, and we had finished the first round of making wood for our every hungry wood stoves.

Our neighbor friends, Jim and Dave Kolka suggested we could earn a few dollars working in the cranberry bogs located near Wisconsin Rapids. They knew a bog owner who paid $1.25 an hour, a quarter more than the standard $1.00 offered for laborers in those days. So my brother, Donald and I joined our friends in applying for this new job.

I had never paid much attention to cranberry growing and knew nothing about harvesting them. I would soon learn. The bog where we worked was one of the few left where the cranberries were raked by hand, using a rake similar to the one pictured above. I also learned that I needed to have a pair of hip boots, as we would be working in water.

Ranking cranberries by hand proved to be one of the most difficult jobs I’d ever had. By this time I’d worked in a pea cannery, in a pickle factory, and of course, did farm work of every stripe. On a scale of 1-10 for hard work, raking cranberries was 11. But the money was good and by late October, with frosty mornings and cold, cold water to wade in all day, we finished the job. Army basic training was nothing compared to raking cranberries.


THE OLD TIMER SAYS: A little hard physical work never hurt anyone.

UPCOMING EVENTS:

-October 6, 10-2:00 pm, Dregne’s, Westby. Book Signing with daughter, Sue.

--October 7, 1-4 pm, August Derleth Center, 300 Water Street, Sauk City, Guest Speaker.

--October 13, Wisconsin Book Festival, 3:00 pm. Wis Historical Society Museum on the Square.

--October 20, 6-8:00 pm. American Legion Post 306, 518 Water Street, Green Lake. Fund Raiser for Princeton Public Library. Phone 920-295-6777 for ticket information.

--October 21, 1:00 pm. Readers Realm Bookstore, Montello.


Purchase Jerry’s signed DVDs and books from the Library in Wild Rose, Wisconsin (a fundraiser for them):
Patterson Memorial Library
500 Division Street
Wild Rose, WI 54984
barnard@wildroselibrary.org
www.wildroselibrary.org
Phone: 920-622-3835
DVDs: His latest Public TV show, One-Room Country School is now available. It’s based on his book, One-Room Country Schools (also available). 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,)
Never Curse the Rain, (based on his book with the same title)
The library has several of Jerry’s signed books for sale including Jerry’s newest nonfiction books, Once a Professor, Every Farm Tells a Story, Living a County Year (reprints), One-Room Country Schools, Never Curse the Rain and Old Farm Country Cookbook, and his novel, The Great Sand Fracas of Ames County. Also Wisconsin Agriculture: A History, Roshara Journal (with photos by Steve Apps) and Telling Your Story—a guidebook for those who want to write their own stories.
Contact the library for prices and special package deals.


Sunday, September 23, 2018

Garden Report


As summer reluctantly moves into autumn, it’s time to report on Roshara’s vegetable garden. We’ve planted a vegetable garden for more than fifty years, and each year, we see failure and success.

Overall, I’d rate this year’s garden as below average compared to other years. The green beans were an exception. Last year the green beans did nothing. This year they win a solid A.

I must award our tomato crop a D. I planted seven different varieties, and all of them, every last one of 50 some plants, was taken down with blight, some affected more than others. We managed to harvest a couple bushels, but many of the individual tomatoes were far from the perfection that we expected.

As for the potatoes, they started out well, looked great all through June, then, the heavy rains came and the high humidity. And the blight. Maybe two plus bushels.


The sweet corn crop ranked a D as well. Poor yield. Same for the squash and pumpkins—a dozen or so squash and only four pumpkins. Pathetic.

On the other hand, an A to the radishes, lettuce, kale, and zucchini. But as the saying goes, if you can’t grow zucchini, best you hang up your hoe.

The weather has a lot to do with a vegetable garden’s success. We started the season with lots of rain, then an extended dry spell, then fifteen inches of rain in ten days, along with 90 degree plus temperatures and equally high humidity.

THE OLD TIMER SAYS: Remembering his father’s oft said words: Next year will be better.

UPCOMING EVENTS:

--Sept. 28, 5:00 pm. Platteville Farm-Town Dinner Meeting. Speaker

--October 6, 10-2:00 pm, Dregne’s, Westby. Book Signing with daughter, Sue.

--October 7, 1-4 pm, August Derleth Center, 300 Water Street, Sauk City, Guest Speaker.

--October 13, Wisconsin Book Festival, 3:00 pm. Wis Historical Society Museum on the Square.

--October 20, 6-8:00 pm. American Legion Post 306, 518 Water Street, Green Lake. Fund Raiser for Princeton Public Library. Phone 920-295-6777 for ticket information.

--October 21, 1:00 pm. Readers Realm Bookstore, Montello.


Purchase Jerry’s signed DVDs and books from the Library in Wild Rose, Wisconsin (a fundraiser for them):
Patterson Memorial Library
500 Division Street
Wild Rose, WI 54984
barnard@wildroselibrary.org
www.wildroselibrary.org
Phone: 920-622-3835
DVDs: His latest Public TV show, One-Room Country School is now available. It’s based on his book, One-Room Country Schools (also available). 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,)
Never Curse the Rain, (based on his book with the same title)
The library has several of Jerry’s signed books for sale including Jerry’s newest nonfiction books, Once a Professor, Every Farm Tells a Story, Living a County Year (reprints), One-Room Country Schools, Never Curse the Rain and Old Farm Country Cookbook, and his novel, The Great Sand Fracas of Ames County. Also Wisconsin Agriculture: A History, Roshara Journal (with photos by Steve Apps) and Telling Your Story—a guidebook for those who want to write their own stories.
Contact the library for prices and special package deals.


Saturday, September 15, 2018

Thriving Prairie


In 1867, Tom Stewart, a Civil War Veteran, homesteaded my farm. When he arrived, he saw a mixture of open prairie land with small clumps of trees. Stewart hired a neighbor, who had oxen and a breaking plow, to turn over the wild grasses and flowers that had grown there for several thousand years. He likely planted this “new” land to wheat, which was commonly grown throughout central and southern Wisconsin counties at the time.

Now, more than 150 years later, I am working to restore some of Tom Stewart’s prairie land to its original state. I know that is probably impossible as Stewart’s prairie land had been cultivated until I started my prairie restoration in 1968. Corn had been the final cultivated crop on this land before I allowed it to begin returning to its original state.

I encouraged the prairie restoration by cutting rogue brush and trees, and I occasionally mow it. I have several pine plantations that surround my prairie, so I have been skittish about doing a burn.

Over the years, new wildflowers have appeared as well as grasses I had not seen before. This year, with the late summer rains, my early autumn wildflowers have been spectacular, especially the blazing star and goldenrods. I’ve also seen monarch butterflies everywhere. A couple weeks ago, my daughter Sue, and I counted a dozen monarchs in one cluster.

Each year I see something new in my prairie, some new grass and wildflower, and often a butterfly I hadn’t seen before. To help the monarch population, we have lots of milkweed plants. With the recent rains on our sandy soil, our droughty prairie has thrived.

THE OLD TIMER SAYS: Prairie restoration requires patience, but what a joy to see something new each season.

UPCOMING EVENTS:

--Sept. 21, Evening, Wisconsin Writers Association Meeting, Milwaukee. Keynote Speaker

--Sept.22. 9-2:00 p.m. All Writers Workshop, Waukesha

--Sept. 28, 5:00 pm. Platteville Farm-Town Dinner Meeting. Speaker

--October 6, 10-2:00 pm, Dregne’s, Westby. Book Signing

--October 7, 1-4 pm, August Derleth Center, 300 Water Street, Sauk City, Guest Speaker.

--October 13, Wisconsin Book Festival, 3:00 pm. Wis Historical Society Museum on the Square.

--October 20, 6-8:00 pm. American Legion Post 306, 518 Water Street, Green Lake. Fund Raiser for Princeton Public Library. Phone 920-295-6777 for ticket information.

--October 21, 1:00 pm. Readers Realm Bookstore, Montello.


Purchase Jerry’s signed DVDs and books from the Library in Wild Rose, Wisconsin (a fundraiser for them):
Patterson Memorial Library
500 Division Street
Wild Rose, WI 54984
barnard@wildroselibrary.org
www.wildroselibrary.org
Phone: 920-622-3835

DVDs: His latest Public TV show, One-Room Country School is now available. It’s based on his book, One-Room Country Schools (also available). 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,)
Never Curse the Rain, (based on his book with the same title)

The library has several of Jerry’s signed books for sale including Jerry’s newest nonfiction books, Once a Professor, Every Farm Tells a Story, Living a County Year (reprints), One-Room Country Schools, Never Curse the Rain and Old Farm Country Cookbook, and his novel, The Great Sand Fracas of Ames County. Also Wisconsin Agriculture: A History, Roshara Journal (with photos by Steve Apps) and Telling Your Story—a guidebook for those who want to write their own stories.
Contact the library for prices and special package deals.



Saturday, September 08, 2018

Rain



Last year, I wrote a book titled “Never Curse the Rain,” published by the Wisconsin Historical Society Press, and I did an hour-long documentary with Wisconsin Public TV with the same title. The idea came from my dad, who had farmed during the dry-weather Depression years of the 1930s, and the occasional dry summers that followed on our sandy, western Waushara County Farm. My brothers and I dared not ever say a bad word about rain, as, according to Pa, we never had enough.

Now, late summer 2018. It has rained. And rained. Fifteen inches of rain at my Waushara County Farm in 10 days. We have survived quite well. Some rotten potatoes, some spoiled tomatoes. Some trail washing. Not so in many parts of Wisconsin. My nephew, Jim Olson, farms west of Westby. All of his valley fences washed away. He managed to save his cattle from drowning. Coon Valley is flooded. Reedsburg is flooded. Montello bridge is out. And many, many other places have suffered, including some Madison streets that are flooded. Several roads and bridges destroyed. Farm crop losses are unknown, but there will be many.

“Now can we curse the rain?” several people have asked me. (Photo is my son, Steve, clearing dead brush in our pond so he can photograph it. The pond is the highest it has been in 40 years.)

THE OLD TIMER SAYS: “Under certain circumstances, a bad word about too much rain is probably appropriate.

UPCOMING EVENTS:

--Sept 14, 7:00 p.m. The Local Store, Eau Claire. Simple Things and Old Farm Country Cookbook

--Sept. 21, Evening, Wisconsin Writers Association Meeting, Milwaukee. Keynote Speaker

--Sept.22. 9-2:00 p.m. All Writers Workshop, Waukesha

--September 28, 5:00 pm. Platteville Farm-Town Dinner Meeting. Speaker

--October 6, 10-2:00 pm, Dregni’s, Westby. Book Signing

--October 7, 1-4 pm, August Derleth Center, 300 Water Street, Sauk City, Guest Speaker.

--October 13, Wisconsin Book Festival, 3:00 pm. Wis Historical Society Museum on the Square.

--October 20, 6-8:00 pm. American Legion Post 306, 518 Water Street, Green Lake. Fund Raiser for Princeton Public Library. Phone 920-295-6777 for ticket information.

--October 21, 1:00 pm. Readers Realm Bookstore, Montello.


Purchase Jerry’s signed DVDs and books from the Library in Wild Rose, Wisconsin (a fundraiser for them):
Patterson Memorial Library
500 Division Street
Wild Rose, WI 54984
barnard@wildroselibrary.org
www.wildroselibrary.org
Phone: 920-622-3835
DVDs: His latest Public TV show, One-Room Country School is now available. It’s based on his book, One-Room Country Schools (also available). 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,)
Never Curse the Rain, (based on his book with the same title)
The library has several of Jerry’s signed books for sale including Jerry’s newest nonfiction books, Once a Professor, Every Farm Tells a Story, Living a County Year (reprints), One-Room Country Schools, Never Curse the Rain and Old Farm Country Cookbook, and his novel, The Great Sand Fracas of Ames County. Also Wisconsin Agriculture: A History, Roshara Journal (with photos by Steve Apps) and Telling Your Story—a guidebook for those who want to write their own stories.
Contact the library for prices and special package deals.



Friday, August 31, 2018

Old Time Hay Equipment


It sits in the corner of my shed, it’s been there for fifty years. My kids sometimes ask what it is. My son-in-law asked once about it. My grandkids don’t even ask because Grandpa has a shed full of mysterious “old stuff that he likes to talk about,” and they don’t want to get me started.

So what is it? As any old time farmer will know, it’s a harpoon hayfork, the kind that lifted loose hay from a hay wagon with a series of heavy ropes and pulleys so the hay could be distributed in the barn’s hay mow. This was before the days of hay balers, choppers and other fancy equipment used in haymaking these days.
I grew up using a harpoon fork just like this. Being the oldest of three sons, after our team of horses pulled a load of loose hay into the upper part of our barn, it was my job to set the hay fork. My dad always worked the hay mows, making sure the hay was stuffed into every corner. My younger twin brothers had the task of driving one of the horses that was hitched to the end of the hayfork rope. I rammed the harpoon hay fork into the loose hay.

After I set the fork, I yelled to my brothers, “ Okay.” The horse tightened the rope and a huge load of loose hay left the wagon for the upper reaches of our barn. If I had set the fork correctly.

THE OLD TIMER SAYS: The work was hard, but haymaking provided many good memories.

UPCOMING EVENTS:
--Sept 8. 10 a.m. Mt. Horeb Library, Once a Professor.

--Sept 14, 7:00 p.m. The Local Store, Eau Claire. Simple Things and Old Farm Country Cookbook

--Sept. 21, Evening, Wisconsin Writers Association Meeting, Milwaukee. Keynote Speaker

--Sept.22. 9-2:00 p.m. All Writers Workshop, Waukesha

--September 28, 5:00 pm. Platteville Farm-Town Dinner Meeting. Speaker

--October 6, 10-2:00 pm, Dregni’s, Westby. Book Signing

--October 7, 1-4 pm, August Derleth Center, 300 Water Street, Sauk City, Guest Speaker.

--October 13, Wisconsin Book Festival, 3:00 pm. Wis Historical Society Museum on the Square.

--October 20, 6-8:00 pm. American Legion Post 306, 518 Water Street, Green Lake. Fund Raiser for Princeton Public Library. Phone 920-295-6777 for ticket information.


--October 21, 1:00 pm. Readers Realm Bookstore, Montello.


Purchase Jerry’s signed DVDs and books from the Library in Wild Rose, Wisconsin (a fundraiser for them):

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

DVDs: His latest Public TV show, One-Room Country School is now available. It’s based on his book, One-Room Country Schools (also available). 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,)
Never Curse the Rain, (based on his book with the same title)
The library has several of Jerry’s signed books for sale including Jerry’s newest nonfiction books, Once a Professor, Every Farm Tells a Story, Living a County Year (reprints), One-Room Country Schools, Never Curse the Rain and Old Farm Country Cookbook, and his novel, The Great Sand Fracas of Ames County. Also Wisconsin Agriculture: A History, Roshara Journal (with photos by Steve Apps) and Telling Your Story—a guidebook for those who want to write their own stories.
Contact the library for prices and special package deals.



Sunday, August 26, 2018

Antique Dairy Equipment

When visitors to our home see this little contraption, they wonder what it is. No one has yet to correctly identify it. Like so many antique farm items I have collected over the years, this one is most unusual. It originated with my grandfather, William Witt, who had given it to my mother and she, in turn, gave it to me. It has a story to tell, a story much bigger than the item itself.

Most Wisconsinites know that in the early days of the state’s settlement, wheat farming was king. There were but a handful of dairy cows, which were tended to by the farm women who fed them, milked them and, in their kitchens, churned butter and made cheese.

Wheat continued as the primary agricultural pursuit in Wisconsin into the 1870s as dairying slowly took over after the failure of the wheat crop. The transition to dairying was hindered by the macho wheat farmers who believed anything having to do with cows was women’s work.

Some farmers continued to churn butter in their homes well into the early 1900s—my grandfather was one of them. Grandpa Witt used this little wooden box along with the design block to prepare butter for sale. This was before milk trucks began making the rounds picking up milk from farmers for the cheese factories.

THE OLD TIMER SAYS: It’s important to know where we’ve been, as we try to figure out where we are going.

UPCOMING EVENTS:

--Sept 8. 10 a.m. Mt. Horeb Library, Once a Professor.

--Sept 14, 7:00 p.m. The Local Store, Eau Claire.

--Sept. 21, Evening, Wisconsin Writers Association Meeting, Milwaukee. Keynote Speaker

--Sept.22. 9-2:00 p.m. All Writers Workshop, Waukesha

--September 28, 5:00 pm. Platteville Farm-Town Dinner Meeting. Speaker

--October 6, 10-2:00 pm, Dregni’s, Westby. Book Signing

--October 7, 1-4 pm, August Derleth Center, 300 Water Street, Sauk City, Guest Speaker.

--October 13, Wisconsin Book Festival, 3:00 pm. Wis Historical Society Museum on the Square.

--October 20, 6-8:00 pm. American Legion Post 306, 518 Water Street, Green Lake. Fund Raiser for Princeton Public Library. Phone 920-295-6777 for ticket information.

--October 21, 1:00 pm. Readers Realm Bookstore, Montello.




Purchase Jerry’s signed DVDs and books from the Library in Wild Rose, Wisconsin (a fundraiser for them):

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

DVDs: His latest Public TV show, One-Room Country School is now available. It’s based on his book, One-Room Country Schools (also available). 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,)

Never Curse the Rain, (based on his book with the same title)

The library has several of Jerry’s signed books for sale including Jerry’s newest nonfiction books, Once a Professor, Every Farm Tells a Story, Living a County Year (reprints), One-Room Country Schools, Never Curse the Rain and Old Farm Country Cookbook, and his novel, The Great Sand Fracas of Ames County. Also Wisconsin Agriculture: A History, Roshara Journal (with photos by Steve Apps) and Telling Your Story—a guidebook for those who want to write their own stories.

Contact the library for prices and special package deals.






Sunday, August 19, 2018

Antique Barb Wire




Shortly after we bought our farm, I found a rusty roll of barb wire leaning against a nearly rotted off fence post. Looking more closely, I quickly saw that this barb wire was different from any I had seen before. (See photo.)

I grew up with barb wire, the kind with sharp spikes designed to keep livestock where they were supposed to be. “Making fence,” we called the activity that took place on days when it had rained too much for other field work. It seems there was always a stretch of fence that needed fixing or even replacing. Our fences, they were everywhere on the home farm, consisted of four strands of barb wire stapled to red cedar fence posts that marched around each of our several fields.

The rusty old wire fence I found had no spikes of the kind I remembered. Rather it had little metal triangles woven into two twisted wires. I did some checking and discovered this strange barb wire had been patented by Edward M. Crandall of Chicago in 1879. My guess is Tom Stewart, who had homesteaded my farm in 1867, or another early owner bought this wire to enclose a cow pasture—now the prairie that I am restoring.

The very first popular barb wire had been patented by an Illinois farmer, Joseph Glidden, in 1873. A few others had come up with barb wire designs, but Glidden took the lead, and by 1880, he had sold more than 80 million pounds of this replacement for wooden rail fences.

I am pleased to have a piece of historical barb wire—to go along with the many other antiques I have uncovered on my farm over the years.

The Old Timer Remembers: Good fences make good neighbors.

UPCOMING EVENTS:

--Sept 8. 10 a.m. Mt. Horeb Library, Once a Professor.

--Sept. 21, Evening, Wisconsin Writers Association Meeting, Milwaukee. Keynote Speaker

--Sept.22. 9-2:00 p.m. All Writers Workshop, Waukesha

--September 28, 5:00 pm. Platteville Farm-Town Dinner Meeting. Speaker

--October 6, 10-2:00 pm, Dregni’s, Westby. Book Signing

--October 7, 1-4 pm, August Derleth Center, 300 Water Street, Sauk City, Guest Speaker.

--October 13, Wisconsin Book Festival, Wis Historical Society Museum on the Square. Time to be announced.

--October 20, 6-8:00 pm. American Legion Post 306, 518 Water Street, Green Lake. Fund Raiser for Princeton Public Library. Phone 920-295-6777 for ticket information.

--October 21, 1:00 pm. Readers Realm Bookstore, Montello.




Purchase Jerry’s signed DVDs and books from the Library in Wild Rose, Wisconsin (a fundraiser for them):

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

DVDs: His latest Public TV show, One-Room Country School is now available. It’s based on his book, One-Room Country Schools (also available). 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,)

Never Curse the Rain, (based on his book with the same title)

The library has several of Jerry’s signed books for sale including Jerry’s newest nonfiction books, Once a Professor, Every Farm Tells a Story, Living a County Year (reprints), One-Room Country Schools, Never Curse the Rain and Old Farm Country Cookbook, and his novel, The Great Sand Fracas of Ames County. Also Wisconsin Agriculture: A History, Roshara Journal (with photos by Steve Apps) and Telling Your Story—a guidebook for those who want to write their own stories.

Contact the library for prices and special package deals.





Sunday, August 12, 2018

Lead Plant in the Prairie




A rather strange looking plant grows near the northwest corner of my prairie. It is too big for a wildflower, and too little to be a shrub. So I did a little research and discovered it is a leadplant. Scientific name: Amorpha canescens.

It gets its name from its lead-colored silver-gray leaves. Its flowers are purplish-orange and it blooms in July and August. It is one of our many native plants. The growing range for leadplant stretches from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico, right down the middle of the U.S., Canada to the north and Texas to the south. It will grow three feet tall on soil ranging from acidic, what I have, to soils somewhat alkaline. It is drought resistant and is a legume, which means it fixes nitrogen in the soil.

The early pioneers called this plant “ The Devil’s Shoestring” because of its tough root system which tangled their breaking plows. Of course the deep and tangled roots of the leadplant allow it to survive on droughty, sandy soils, which make up much of my farm.

Native Americans in the region knew about the leadplant and used it in many ways. They made tea from the leaves. Sometimes they drank the tea as a medicine to treat such health challenges as rheumatism and pinworms. They also put the leaves on open wounds. Some Native Americans believed that the smoke from burning leadplant leaves would attract buffalo to the person who had the smell of the smoke on their clothing.

Today, I enjoy looking at it and appreciate that I have this special plant growing in my prairie.

THE OLD TIMER SAYS: There is always something interesting to see in nature.


UPCOMING EVENTS:

--Sept 8. 10 a.m. Mt. Horeb Library, Once a Professor.
Purchase Jerry’s signed DVDs and books from the Library in Wild Rose, Wisconsin (a fundraiser for them):

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

DVDs: His latest Public TV show, One-Room Country School is now available. It’s based on his book, One-Room Country Schools (also available). 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,)

Never Curse the Rain, (based on his book with the same title)

The library has several of Jerry’s signed books for sale including Jerry’s newest nonfiction books, Once a Professor, Every Farm Tells a Story, Living a County Year (reprints), One-Room Country Schools, Never Curse the Rain and Old Farm Country Cookbook, and his novel, The Great Sand Fracas of Ames County. Also Wisconsin Agriculture: A History, Roshara Journal (with photos by Steve Apps) and Telling Your Story—a guidebook for those who want to write their own stories.

Contact the library for prices and special package deals.







A rather strange looking plant grows near the northwest corner of my prairie. It is too big for a wildflower, and too little to be a shrub. So I did a little research and discovered that it is a leadplant. Scientific name: Amorpha canescens.

It gets its name from its lead-colored silver-gray leaves. Its flowers are purplish-orange and it blooms in July and August. It is one of our many native plants. The growing range for leadplant stretches from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico, right down the middle of the U.S., Canada to the north and Texas to the south. It will grow three feet tall on soil ranging from acidic, what I have, to soils somewhat alkaline. It is drought resistant and is a legume, which means it fixes nitrogen in the soil.

The early pioneers called this plant “ The Devil’s Shoestring” because of its tough root system which tangled their breaking plows. Of course, the deep and tangled roots of the leadplant allow it to survive on droughty, sandy soils, which make up much of my farm.

Native Americans in the region knew about the leadplant and used it in many ways. They made tea from the leaves. Sometimes they drank the tea as a medicine to treat such health challenges as rheumatism and pinworms. They also put the leaves on open wounds. Some Native Americans believed that the smoke from burning leadplant leaves would attract buffalo to the person who had the smell of the smoke on their clothing.

Today, I enjoy looking at it and appreciate that I have this special plant growing in my prairie.

THE OLD TIMER SAYS: There is always something interesting to see in nature.


UPCOMING EVENTS:

--Sept 8. 10 a.m. Mt. Horeb Library, Once a Professor.

Purchase Jerry’s signed DVDs and books from the Library in Wild Rose, Wisconsin (a fundraiser for them):

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

DVDs: His latest Public TV show, One-Room Country School is now available. It’s based on his book, One-Room Country Schools (also available). 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,)

Never Curse the Rain, (based on his book with the same title)

The library has several of Jerry’s signed books for sale including Jerry’s newest nonfiction books, Once a Professor, Every Farm Tells a Story, Living a County Year (reprints), One-Room Country Schools, Never Curse the Rain and Old Farm Country Cookbook, and his novel, The Great Sand Fracas of Ames County. Also Wisconsin Agriculture: A History, Roshara Journal (with photos by Steve Apps) and Telling Your Story—a guidebook for those who want to write their own stories.

Contact the library for prices and special package deals.





Sunday, August 05, 2018

Beauty in a Vegetable Garden



There are many benefits to vegetable gardening. Growing your own food is one good reason for digging in the dirt and becoming friends with a garden hoe. But there are other benefits as well.

I became acquainted with vegetable gardening when I was maybe two or three years old. I remember walking around in the big vegetable garden dad and mother always grew on the home farm. Pa especially and Ma too, would often stop their work in the garden and just stand and look at it. I thought they were just resting, but now I know they saw beauty in these rows of vegetables. They saw beauty in watching things grow.

As I got older and left home, I always had a vegetable garden, except for my college years and when I was in the Army. Sometimes my garden was only a few square feet. At one time, when our kids were growing up, we grew nearly a half-acre of vegetables.

In addition to the vegetables and their inherent beauty my dad always planted a few flowers. He especially liked dahlias. Big colorful ones. During the summer and autumn months that my mother was in a nursing home, Pa always took her a big beautiful dahlia. To help brighten her day, and help her remember earlier days when they gardened together. They were both in their 90s at the time.

Today, I usually plant a few zinnia seeds and a row of sunflowers in our garden. I like sunflowers. They are beautiful, easy to grow, and the birds like the seeds.


THE OLD TIMER SAYS: Grow a few flowers in your vegetable garden. They also add a spot of beauty.

UPCOMING EVENTS:


--August 7, 5:30 p.m. Downtown Madison Historical Museum. With Sue. Old Farm County Cookbook.

--Sept 8. 10 a.m. Mt. Horeb Library, Once a Professor.

Purchase Jerry’s signed DVDs and books from the Library in Wild Rose, Wisconsin (a fundraiser for them):

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

DVDs: His latest Public TV show, One-Room Country School is now available. It’s based on his book, One-Room Country Schools (also available). 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,)

Never Curse the Rain, (based on his book with the same title)

The library has several of Jerry’s signed books for sale including Jerry’s newest nonfiction books, Once a Professor, Every Farm Tells a Story, Living a County Year (reprints), One-Room Country Schools, Never Curse the Rain and Old Farm Country Cookbook, and his novel, The Great Sand Fracas of Ames County. Also Wisconsin Agriculture: A History, Roshara Journal (with photos by Steve Apps) and Telling Your Story—a guidebook for those who want to write their own stories.

Contact the library for prices and special package deals.

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Daylilies



One of the first things I noticed when we bought our farm was the orange daylilies growing along the south and east sides of the pump house. They bloomed for weeks and required no care whatever.

Now, more than fifty years later, the daylilies are still there, tough as nails. Deer eat them, rabbits eat them, dry weather slows them down, winter doesn’t faze them. A couple years ago I did a little research on this vigorous daylily that grows wild alongside roads and many other places across the country. Because of where it is commonly found, it is often called a “Ditch Lily.”

I learned that daylilies have been around for thousands of years, originating in Asia and soon spreading around the world. Daylilies bloom for but one day—but a single stalk can have many flowers on it. The genus name for daylilies is Hemerocallis, which comes from two Greek words, hemeros, which means “day” and kallios which means “beauty.”

My brother, Darrel knows daylilies. As a professional plant breeder and former nursery owner, Darrel has introduced some 420 new types of daylilies—real beauties each one. While the old orange daylilies were called Ditch Lilies, Darrel’s carry such names as Pardon Me, Happy Returns, I’ll See You Again, Orginal Score, and Majestic Heights to mention a few names. No Ditch Lilies for Darrel. See photo above for a few examples of his creations.



THE OLD TIMER SAYS: Add a little color to your life. Plant some daylilies.

UPCOMING EVENTS:


--August 3, 1:00 p.m. Chilton Library. With Sue. Old Farm Country Cookbook.

--August 7, 5:30 p.m. Downtown Madison Historical Museum. With Sue. Old Farm County Cookbook.

--Sept 8. 10 a.m. Mt. Horeb Library, Once a Professor.

Purchase Jerry’s signed DVDs and books from the Library in Wild Rose, Wisconsin (a fundraiser for them):

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

DVDs: His latest Public TV show, One-Room Country School is now available. It’s based on his book, One-Room Country Schools (also available). 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,)

Never Curse the Rain, (based on his book with the same title)

The library has several of Jerry’s signed books for sale including Jerry’s newest nonfiction books, Once a Professor, Every Farm Tells a Story, Living a County Year (reprints), One-Room Country Schools, Never Curse the Rain and Old Farm Country Cookbook, and his novel, The Great Sand Fracas of Ames County. Also Wisconsin Agriculture: A History, Roshara Journal (with photos by Steve Apps) and Telling Your Story—a guidebook for those who want to write their own stories.

Contact the library for prices and special package deals.





Sunday, July 22, 2018

Vacation at the Lake



We never took a vacation when I was growing up on the farm. Cows had to be milked twice a day, every day, every season of the year. As a kid, I knew some people took vacations. I knew this because I saw vacationing people in Wild Rose, my hometown. They vacationed on the lakes east of the village. They were city people. Pa said. “You can tell because they wear short pants. No farmer would be caught dead wearing short pants.”

Pa had us believing that we should feel sorry for these city folk on vacation because they apparently did not have enough work to keep them busy throughout the summer. I thought about what Pa said as I hoed potatoes, helped make hay, shocked grain, and made fence to make sure our cows kept out of the neighbor’s cornfield. I wasn’t sure he was right.

Today, my family takes vacations. For the past 18 years, our kids, and their kids (our grandchildren) gather at a lake where we rent a cabin and enjoy a week away from our various occupations. Our family is scattered, as many families are these days. One Grandson in Denver, another grandson in Boulder, Co, a son and his family in Avon, Co, Another grandson in San Diego. A granddaughter and her family in Minneapolis plus several family members in Madison.

These days not all can make it to the annual event, but most of them do. For the past three years, we have rented a place on Long Lake near Waupaca. It is a time for cousins to get to know cousins, for families to catch up on the happenings of the past year. A time for waterskiing and kayaking. A time for doing nothing but sitting and looking out over the lake.

My favorite time at the lake is at sunset—thus the photo. Oh, by the way, I do not wear short pants. My father’s words are still in my head.

THE OLD TIMER SAYS: Everyone needs a break. It is good for the body, but also good for the soul.

UPCOMING EVENTS:

--July 27, 9-4, Writing Workshop, The Clearing, Door County

--August 3, 1:00 p.m. Chilton Library. With Sue. Old Farm Country Cookbook.

--August 7, 5:30 p.m. Downtown Madison Historical Museum. With Sue. Old Farm County Cookbook.

--Sept 8. 10 a.m. Mt. Horeb Library, Once a Professor.

Purchase Jerry’s signed DVDs and books from the Library in Wild Rose, Wisconsin (a fundraiser for them):

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

DVDs: His latest Public TV show, One-Room Country School is now available. It’s based on his book, One-Room Country Schools (also available). 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,)

Never Curse the Rain, (based on his book with the same title)

The library has several of Jerry’s signed books for sale including Jerry’s newest nonfiction books, Once a Professor, Every Farm Tells a Story, Living a County Year (reprints), One-Room Country Schools, Never Curse the Rain and Old Farm Country Cookbook, and his novel, The Great Sand Fracas of Ames County. Also Wisconsin Agriculture: A History, Roshara Journal (with photos by Steve Apps) and Telling Your Story—a guidebook for those who want to write their own stories.

Contact the library for prices and special package deals.





Friday, July 13, 2018

Tough Old Rose



It’s a tough old rose bush. It’s more than 50 years old. But no matter what the weather, or what is going on in the world, this old rose shows a lot of “pretty” every summer, year after year. It begins blooming in late May and keeps at it until early fall. Neither temperatures in the 90s or twenty-below zero seem to trouble it. I never water it, never fertilize it. Occasionally I do a little pruning. But that’s all.

The old rose stands nearly six feet tall. Different from many of the more fancy roses, my old rose bush has made it through the coldest of winters with seldom a dead branch, and without even any “dying back,” which is common with many rose varieties.

Its flowers are plain. Not nearly as fancy as the roses you buy in the store and give to your wife on Valentine’s day. I like plain.


My dad grew a rose bush just like mine. He didn’t have time to fuss with it—that would have been the language he would have used. He didn’t have time for fussing. His rose bush was as tall as mine, maybe even taller.

My hometown is Wild Rose, and my farm today is in the Township of Rose. I feel some obligation to grow at least one kind of rose. How could you live in the Township of Rose and but four miles from Wild Rose and not grow at least one rose?

THE OLD TIMER SAYS: Roses are red, violets are blue. I have a tough old rose bush, how about you?

UPCOMING EVENTS:

--July 27, 9-4, Writing Workshop, The Clearing, Door County

--August 3, 1:00 p.m. Chilton Library. With Sue. Old Farm Country Cookbook.

--August 7, 5:30 p.m. Downtown Madison Historical Museum. With Sue. Old Farm County Cookbook.

--Sept 8. 10 a.m. Mt. Horeb Library, Once a Professor.

Purchase Jerry’s signed DVDs and books from the Library in Wild Rose, Wisconsin (a fundraiser for them):

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

DVDs: His latest Public TV show, One-Room Country School is now available. It’s based on his book, One-Room Country Schools (also available). 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,)

Never Curse the Rain, (based on his book with the same title)

The library has several of Jerry’s signed books for sale including Jerry’s newest nonfiction books, Once a Professor, Every Farm Tells a Story, Living a County Year (reprints), One-Room Country Schools, Never Curse the Rain and Old Farm Country Cookbook, and his novel, The Great Sand Fracas of Ames County. Also Wisconsin Agriculture: A History, Roshara Journal (with photos by Steve Apps) and Telling Your Story—a guidebook for those who want to write their own stories.

Contact the library for prices and special package deals.




Saturday, July 07, 2018

Garden Report



My daughter-in-law, Natasha called this a bouquet of radishes. Not to brag too much, but these are the best radishes we’ve grown in our Roshara garden in many a year. Usually they are tiny little globes filled with worms and impossible to eat. Not this year.

So what else is doing well and not so well in the Apps vegetable garden on July 4th, 2018? I give the various crops a grade of 1 to 5, with 5 being outstanding, and 1 a total failure. Potatoes-5, Green beans-5, tomatoes-4 (seeing a little early blight), kale-5, lettuce 5, peas-4, sweet corn-3, zucchini-5, cucumbers-5, squash-3, pumpkins 3, carrots-2, beets-2, sunflowers (must have some sunflowers)-4, cabbage-4, and broccoli-1. Most of the garden crops seem to flourish with rain and hot weather—so far at least. Unfortunately, with our sandy soil, a half inch of rain every few days is better than three inches at one time—and then two weeks with none.

We surround our garden with a two wire electric fence, the top wire to keep away the deer and the turkeys. The bottom wire to keep out the raccoons and woodchucks. Over the years it has worked well. But this year, we’ve had to repair the fence four times.

The broccoli would have received a 4 had not a hungry deer confronted our electric fence—successfully—and walked down the row of broccoli and ate every one. It must have gotten a message from its mother that broccoli is good for you. It didn’t touch anything else—left the sweet corn, left the green beans, left the lettuce, left everything but the broccoli. So if you happen to see a very healthy looking deer, it has probably visited my garden.

THE OLD TIMER SAYS: For the non-broccoli eaters, remember, even deer know that broccoli is good for them.


UPCOMING EVENTS:

--July 27, 9-4, Writing Workshop, The Clearing, Door County

--August 3, 1:00 p.m. Chilton Library. With Sue. Old Farm Country Cookbook.

--August 7, 5:30 p.m. Downtown Madison Historical Museum. With Sue. Old Farm County Cookbook.

--Sept 8. 10 a.m. Mt. Horeb Library, Once a Professor.

Purchase Jerry’s signed DVDs and books from the Library in Wild Rose, Wisconsin (a fundraiser for them):

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

DVDs: His latest Public TV show, One-Room Country School is now available. It’s based on his book, One-Room Country Schools (also available).
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,)
Never Curse the Rain, (based on his book with the same title)
The library has several of Jerry’s signed books for sale including Jerry’s newest nonfiction books, Once a Professor, Every Farm Tells a Story, Living a County Year (reprints), One-Room Country Schools, Never Curse the Rain and Old Farm Country Cookbook, and his novel, The Great Sand Fracas of Ames County. Also Wisconsin Agriculture: A History, Roshara Journal (with photos by Steve Apps) and Telling Your Story—a guidebook for those who want to write their own stories.

Contact the library for prices and special package deals.









Sunday, July 01, 2018

Mystery Rock



It was back in the 1940s when I was cultivating potatoes with a one-horse, handheld cultivator. One of those jobs where you had to pay attention or you’d cultivate out a potato plant. It was tricky guiding Dick with leather lines wrapped around your shoulders, as both hands were on the cultivator handles. It was a bright and glorious day in June, as I recall. I was enjoying the sights and sounds of an early morning in the potato field. And not to forget the smells, of horse sweat and leather harness, and the smell of freshly turned soil.

All of our fields were stony—little stones, big stones, black stones, red stones. I spotted a green looking, odd shaped stone. And because my hands were busy steering the cultivator, I kicked at the stone. It hardly moved.

“Whoa,” I said to Dick. I picked up the strange stone and noticed it was several times heavier than stones of a similar size. I showed the strange stone to Pa when I came home at dinner time. “What is it?” I asked. “Maybe it’s gold?” Pa said, smiling.

A professor of geology spent his summers at his home place near Wild Rose. We took the mystery stone to him. “Is it gold?” Pa asked. “No, it is pure copper,” the professor answered.

We wondered how it had gotten into our potato field. The professor offered two theories. It could have come with the glacier, or an Indian had lost it. I still have it. The hunk of copper is pictured above.

THE OLD TIMER SAYS: You never know what you’ll find when cultivating potatoes.

SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT: My writing class at The Clearing in Door County is scheduled: Friday, July 27, 9-4. Call 920-854-4088 to register. A few openings remain.

UPCOMING EVENTS:

--July 27, 9-4, Writing Workshop, The Clearing, Door County

--August 3, 1:00 p.m. Chilton Library. With Sue. Old Farm Country Cookbook.

--August 7, 5:30 p.m. Downtown Madison Historical Museum. With Sue. Old Farm County Cookbook.

--Sept 8. 10 a.m. Mt. Horeb Library, Once a Professor.

Purchase Jerry’s signed DVDs and books from the Library in Wild Rose, Wisconsin (a fundraiser for them):

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

DVDs: His latest Public TV show, One-Room Country School is now available. It’s based on his book, One-Room Country Schools (also available).
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,)
Never Curse the Rain, (based on his book with the same title)
The library has several of Jerry’s signed books for sale including Jerry’s newest nonfiction books, Once a Professor, Every Farm Tells a Story, Living a County Year (reprints), One-Room Country Schools, Never Curse the Rain and Old Farm Country Cookbook, and his novel, The Great Sand Fracas of Ames County. Also Wisconsin Agriculture: A History, Roshara Journal (with photos by Steve Apps) and Telling Your Story—a guidebook for those who want to write their own stories.

Contact the library for prices and special package deals.









Sunday, June 24, 2018

Cheese Center in Plymouth, Wisconsin




Want to learn more about the history of cheese in Wisconsin? The recently opened (last October) Cheese Counter: Dairy Heritage Center In Plymouth is the place to visit.

Located in a restored 1875 building in downtown Plymouth, you can purchase umpteen varieties of cheese from local cheese factories, and at the same time learn about Wisconsin’s cheese history. At one time Plymouth was the center of Wisconsin’s cheese industry. Today, it calls itself the Cheese Capital of the World—with a signed congressional proclamation to prove it.

Here you can purchase books about Wisconsin’s dairy history—I signed copies of my books there last Wednesday and I met the assistant manager, Margie Morgan. In addition to having several of my book titles, they feature books about cheese, local history and cookbooks. The store also carries several games and books about farming and cheese for children.

Want to purchase a yellow foam cheese head or a cheese cowboy hat? This is the place. Want to try a bowl of delicious cheese and beer soup or feast on various kinds of cheese sandwiches. It’s here. How about a T-shirt inscribed with the words, “Keep Calm: We Have Cheese?” Yup, buy it here.

In 1910, Wisconsin became the leading cheese-producing state in the nation, beating out New York state. Wisconsin may have lost the title of producing the most milk to California a few years ago, it has retained the title of “Leading cheese producer in the nation.” This is year 108 and still counting.

The store, really a combination gift shop, lunch counter, and museum is open daily, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Closed Tuesdays.


THE OLD TIMER SAYS: Eat cheese. It’s good for you.

SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT: My writing class at The Clearing in Door County is scheduled: Friday, July 27, 9-4. Call 920-854-4088 to register. A few openings remain.

UPCOMING EVENTS:

--July 27, 9-4, Writing Workshop, The Clearing, Door County
--August 3, 1:00 p.m. Chilton Library. With Sue. Old Farm Country Cookbook.
--August 7, 5:30 p.m. Downtown Madison Historical Museum. With Sue. Old Farm County Cookbook.
--Sept 8. 10 a.m. Mt. Horeb Library, Once a Professor.
Purchase Jerry’s signed DVDs and books from the Library in Wild Rose, Wisconsin (a fundraiser for them):

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

DVDs: His latest Public TV show, One-Room Country School is now available. It’s based on his book, One-Room Country Schools (also available).
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,)
Never Curse the Rain, (based on his book with the same title)
The library has several of Jerry’s signed books for sale including Jerry’s newest nonfiction books, Once a Professor, Every Farm Tells a Story, Living a County Year (reprints), One-Room Country Schools, Never Curse the Rain and Old Farm Country Cookbook, and his novel, The Great Sand Fracas of Ames County. Also Wisconsin Agriculture: A History, Roshara Journal (with photos by Steve Apps) and Telling Your Story—a guidebook for those who want to write their own stories.

Contact the library for prices and special package deals.