August 11, 2014

Small Farms & Local Foods Tour

Earlier this summer, Nathan, Garrett, and I took advantage of an opportunity offered by our local farm bureau to tour three local farms - Twin Silos Farm, Caveny Farm, and Lieb Farms.  I heard about the tour from a fellow mom from The Moms' Group I belong to and was tickled about the opportunity!  (Nathan wasn't nearly as "tickled", but he later admitted that he was glad I signed us up for it.)

Enough people (of all ages) to fill a chartered bus signed up for the tour.  The first stop on our tour was at Twin Silos Farm.  (I must give props to the driver who successfully maneuvered our large bus along the hilly, winding roads to this and the other stops.  There were a couple of women who showed up at the first farm soon after our bus arrived.  They had gotten lost on their way to the departure site but saw a bus that didn't quite fit in along the hilly, winding roads and decided to follow it.)  The owners of Twin Silos Farm, an organic pumpkin, vegetable, fruit, and berry farm, told our group the story of how they came to own the farm and then let us walk among the rows of berries, herbs, vegetables, flowers, and more.  Raspberries straight from the bush?  Yes, please!

The next stop was at Caveny Farm where Bourbon Red turkeys are raised.  After a brief presentation by Mr. Caveny, we were encouraged to explore a bit.  What I noticed first (or maybe second, after the aroma) was the chorus of hundreds of turkeys.  They live in triangular coops that are moved every few days to allow new grass to grow under where they had previously trod.  Oh, and if you've never heard Nathan and Garrett sing "The Turkey Song", you've missed out!

The third and final stop on the tour was at Lieb Farms, which is not far from where we live.  In addition to corn and soybean production, the Liebs raise bison.  We've driven by many times and stopped to watch the bison roam and graze.  This stop was, by far, Garrett's favorite because he got to climb up into several tractors - even a combine!  If you look closely, you can see from his lips that he's making tractor sounds.


After our third stop, we returned to the farm bureau's facility for a luncheon that included products from each of the farms - fresh fruits and vegetables, turkey salad wraps, and bison meatballs, among other delicious creations.  This was a neat alternative to our typical Saturday morning, and we learned a lot about these great farms that I intend to support in the future.  If you're in the Piatt County area, check them out!

March 6, 2014


First bath...first smile...first tooth...first step...first haircut...first word...first trip to the zoo...

The first few years of our lives are full of many, well, "firsts".  Most of them are celebrated in one way or another, privately or publicly.  (We have yet to take Garrett to the ER for the first time, but trust me, there won't be any celebrating going on if that happens.)  Some firsts we have time to prepare for, and others sneak up on us when there's no camera within reach to capture them.

Our children's firsts become somewhat scarce after they've had two or three birthdays.  That doesn't mean there's little to look forward to, however.  While I occasionally find myself wishing my preschooler (What?  When did that happen?!) could be a sack-o'-potatoes-sized baby again, he says something or does something or creates something that brings me right back to this moment, this time in his life that will go by just as quickly as (or quicker than) his first three years have gone.

These thoughts are brought to you by...

...this, Garrett's latest first.

March 2, 2014

Happy 110th birthday, Dr. Seuss!

Yesterday, Garrett and I joined several other kids and parents at our local library to celebrate what would have been Dr. Seuss' 110th birthday. 

Garrett & Thing 1/Thing 2

The party began with the children's librarian, Cara, reading "Mr. Brown Can Moo!  Can You?" to everyone.  A puppet show followed, and then we made our own puppet, pieced together some giant puzzles on the floor, tried to pin The Hat on The Cat, and enjoyed some cookies and punch.  (And what outing with a 3-year-old would be complete without that 3-year-old attempting to open the emergency exit while his mother colored and cut out the parts for the puppet he wanted to make?)

My earliest memories of Dr. Seuss involved the tradition in our family of reading "How The Grinch Stole Christmas!" at Christmas time and the copy my Grandparents Horton had of...wait for it..."Horton Hears A Who!".  Fast forward to 2010 when some of my wonderful friends threw me a Dr. Seuss-themed baby shower.  My friend, Shelby, sent me "Oh, Baby, the Places You'll Go!" to read to my pregnant belly, and I passed it along to my cousin, Alice, to ready to her pregnant belly.  Garrett's book collection includes several board books that I intend to hang onto and read to his children some day.  There are still so many that we haven't discovered yet! 

And just for fun...

If you were one of Dr. Seuss' characters, which one would you be?