June 26, 2014
She purrs like a kitten — a 32-year-old kitten, that is. This 1982 Honda Express moped has a new life on our farm, transporting our kids down country roads and back and forth to farm chores.
V. bought this moped while in college and tooled around Kansas State University on it and then back in our small town after college. It sat for a while and, with a little work, it’s back on the road again.
A quick online search shows there are many similar models still on the roads or stored away in need of work.
A bit of background from Wikipedia:
The Honda motorcycle corp. of Japan released the Honda Express (NC50) to the North American market in 1977. This new bike was designed to enter the large market for scooters that developed following the 1973 oil crisis. As such it came with a fuel-efficient single-cylinder two-stroke engine. It was also designed to be simple to operate, as many owners would be inexperienced with or intimidated by larger, more complex motorcycles. Honda accomplished this by using a fully automatic transmission and a small oil pump to self-mix the Express’s oil and fuel, thus eliminating the need for premixing.
Its retro blue and tiny, electronic horn make this one fun, vintage ride.
May 26, 2014
I’ve been away from this blog for awhile — busy and happy doing ag advocacy work for American Agri-Women. I’m VP of communications for 2014-2015 and our group has lots going on. I wanted to finally share an editorial I wrote for Ag Day, way back on March 25, to personally kick off AAW’s “Call to Power” Membership Drive. The campaign wraps up on May 31.
Anyone is welcome to join. Our members include farmers and ranchers as well as those who work in agri-business or those who are just interested in supporting agriculture.
Thanks for taking a read! Happy Memorial Day, too!
March 16, 2014
Join Kansas Agri-Women’s ‘Call to Power’
Calling all farm, ranch and agribusiness women — and any woman interested in learning more about where and how their food is produced. On behalf of Kansas Agri-Women, I invite you to join our “Call to Power,” a statewide effort to spread the word about our organization.
Kansas Agri-Women was formed in 1973 and is an affiliate of American Agri-Women (AAW). AAW is the nation’s largest coalition of farm, ranch and agribusiness women. Our mission: We are a force for truth, a reasoned, non-partisan voice for the agricultural community to the public.
Why is this important? Today, people are as many as five generations removed from the family farm. This disconnect from agriculture has led to many misconceptions and even suspicions about how food is produced.
It’s the responsibility of those of us more closely connected to food production to bridge the gap to consumers, elected officials and policy-makers and share how we produce food on our operations. I’m proud to be part of a fourth-generation farm family, growing wheat south of Cheney. We work hard to be responsible stewards of the land and contribute to a safe and reliable food supply.
I’m also thankful to be part of Kansas Agri-Women and American Agri-Women and join with other women who share this commitment. I leave every meeting more inspired and more committed to advocating for agriculture.
The “Call to Power,” is more than a slogan. It’s one of AAW’s most important documents. It was developed by Sr. Thomas More Bertels (1918-2000). Sr. Bertels was a long-time advocate for women in agriculture. She wrote, “The most important task facing farm entrepreneurs today is capturing a significant degree of influence over the policy-making function as it relates to food, feed, fiber, forest products and flora.” Sr. Bertels also described power as the one thing North American farmers and ranchers can’t produce.
Join us as we tackle this most important task. Go here to learn more about Kansas Agri-Women, www.ksagriwomen.org. And, to share an interesting fact in celebration of Ag Day on March 25: Did you know that one Kansas farmer feeds 155 people plus you?
Member of Kansas Agri-Women
Vice President of Communications for American Agri-Women
March 17, 2014
It’s Monday and I can’t complain about how the day is going. Still, I wish I was here instead, walking the deer trails along Sand Creek with Cesar. Most times, I’m with V. or the kids. This time, a solo trek + dog.
Cesar scares most of the wildlife away, but I love watching him jump, meander, sniff, run and swim.
There is less time for woods-walking once summer begins, so hoping to get lots of exploring in before then.
February 10, 2014
February 5, 2014
January 31, 2014
“I smell smoke.” That was the calm observation of our son, which catapulted our family into a grass fire fighting frenzy.
It was about 10 p.m. on Wednesday when we looked outside to see our farmyard ablaze. We learned later that a cord to a heater in a stock water tank shorted out, sending a spark into the nearby dry grass. The fire came up from the south behind our red barn and, because of the wind, went around it and then back north toward our house.
The 911 operator gave this advice: “Do not try to put it out yourself,” which we had to ignore. We live 10 miles from the nearest small town and rely on a volunteer fire department. I can’t imagine what we would have lost if we followed that sound advice.
So, we threw on boots and winter coats and rushed outside. My family was nothing short of amazing. V. hooked up hoses in the dark and started spraying water near the barn. He then set up our daughter with a hose by the house. Our son grabbed the fire extinguisher and worked the fire around the house propane tank. I went over to another structure, which has another hydrant, and began tossing out buckets of water. We then gathered west of the house to stomp out fire heading toward a row of trees.
The constant wind kept the fire moving, but the grass was short. That meant we could just follow the fire line and stomp along the way.
The fire crew arrived with just a few feet of fire left and they helped survey the area in the dark, looking for embers that could spark back up. We were thankful to see them!
We came in the house, stunned, around midnight, showered and tried to sleep. The wee hours of the night included many trips to the window, hoping we hadn’t missed any sparks.
It was chilling to look at the burn pattern the next day. I don’t know how we managed to avoid damage to structures. I think it was a matter of minutes — 10 minutes later and the red barn could have been in trouble.
Now, we breathe deeply, replace fire extinguishers and hope spring comes early and greens up our farmyard.