Saturday, August 15, 2009

Summer Reunions

Summer Reunions
Fond memories are stored away from our summer reunions and vacations. This is as true today as it was in the 1800s. At the Henry and Sarah farm several family gatherings were hosted. These get-to-gathers were formalized in 1893 when the Indiana relatives pedaled their tandem bikes to visit their Casco cousins. These reunions have been held every year since. It must have been well attended in 1900 when all the 12 living kids of George and Elizabeth had their photo taken. Henry is 2nd from left in the back row.

Over 180 “cousins” attended the 50th (8-14-1943) and over 250 were at all or part of the two day 100th reunion (7-24/25-1993). Were you there? The 1993 cousins reunion was held at the Scott Lake Lodge one mile east of Pullman. This lodge has been replaced by a very nice home. Events included a history tour of Casco, golf outing, Will Rogers USA entertainment by Gene McFall, worship service, group photo and reunion picnic. I still have and wear my reunion t-shirt. These are real collectors items as there were only 150 made.

Do enjoy these last few days of summer. Hook up the camper to the big old van and hit the road one more time. That is what Martin, Lucy, Sandi, Marla, Carrie and Ron did in 1979. The hard working farmers will be deferring their get away until the harvest is completed.

The Farm August 15, 2009
Redhaven peaches are winding down as the flaming fury, coral star and glo haven verities are ripening. U-pick peaches should be available through the end of August. Paula Red apples are now available and near the end of August MaIntosh, Gala and Honeycrisp will be ripe. Pears and purple plums will also be ripe. U-pick apples will continue into October. Don’t forget to visit the farm website and print out the 10% off coupon.

This is the time of year to make jams and jellies and stock the freezer and canning shelves. We have frozen peaches, sour cherries and blueberries. When the purple plums are ripe I will pop them in zip lock bags and freeze them whole. Then this winter we can boil them, add a little sugar and presto – stewed prunes. Applesauce is also easy to make and freeze. Have fun supplying your home for the dog days of winter.
Don’t forget to eat My Brother’s Fruit!

Monday, August 3, 2009

6 Word Story

6 Word Story
“For sale: baby shoes, never worn.” Written by Ernest Hemingway because he was challenged to create a six-word story. Try to write your story in 6 words or less. “The beginning, the end,” by our grand daughter Evvy. Her long story is “The beginning, the middle, the end.”

“Farm settled, families grow, memories fade” is a short story that describes our first farm family. The farm prospered, as did the whole fruit growing area. Henry and Sarah had 9 children (Grant died as an infant, George at almost 2 and Mary at age 18). The family was very active in helping establish and lead their local government, church and school. Henry was an active church member: 1865 Conservative U. B. Church Bd of Trustees (meetings held in Buys and later Hadaway Schools), 1877 superintendent of Sunday School (Attendance 48), and in 1880 helped build the first East Casco Methodist Church at 64th and 107th. He was Republican in polities and cast his first vote for Abraham Lincoln. Henry served as Casco Township Treasurer 1869-75 and Supervisor 1877-78. His great-great-great-grand son Allan is now serving as the Township supervisor.

Henry secured considerable land in the county and worked as a carpenter in addition to running the Maple Ridge Fruit Farm. The original 100-acre farm was divided among the children with William Albert receiving 60 acres and the family home site. Sarah died in 1884 and Henry married Henrietta Warfield and moved to her farm in section 35. William Albert married Alta May Usher in 1886. The family farm torch had been passed for the first time. Henry out lived his second wife and spent some winters in Florida with the William Albert family. Henry died on September 3, 1917 at the home of his son Charles at the age of 82.

At The Farm (August 3, 2009)

The peach harvest is well underway. Allan is busy loading wholesale orders. First was the PF-1s then Rising Star. Redhaven peaches and nectarines will be ripe starting the weekend of August 8-9. By the weekend of August 15-16 pears, paula red apples and purple plums will be starting. If you are planning to do u-pick fruit be sure to visit the farm website, click on u-pick coupon and print it out for 10% off.

In spite of the coldest July on record, the fruit is only ripening a week or so later than "normal." The photo below was taken in July. Or was it January? I can not remember.

Remember - eat your fruit!