Meter tampering 101.
Henry County REMC’s
Indiana's wineries continue pivoting to COVID challenges
from the editor
Counting the days until spring Some of my fondest memories have been of my silliest moments. I’m not one to laugh readily; my funny bone needs to be seriously tickled to bring on the chuckles. But I’m convinced that a good belly laugh is a powerful, restorative thing. It lifts your mood and the moods of those around you. It gives you a different perspective on things, sometimes when you need that perspective the most. And it just plain feels good! So, when I found out about a completely random, totally outrageous, February “holiday” (I use that term loosely!) that will surely inspire laughter from me and those around me, I just had to share it! It’s called Hoodie Hoo Day and it’s meant to be celebrated every Feb. 20 in the Northern Hemisphere. I’ve never seen it actually being celebrated though — and, believe me, Hoodie Hoo revelers would be quite conspicuous! To acknowledge this special day, you must go outside at noon on Feb. 20, wave your hands over your head and yell “Hoodie Hoo!” Why? Because by Feb. 20 you’re probably sick of winter. And if you, indeed, have had enough of the snow and the cold, and don’t care if an embarrassing video of you happens to show up on someone’s social media account, you may want to hearken spring with a hearty shout — just because. Your Hoodie Hoo outburst only has to last a moment. After you let out your wintertime frustrations, you can head back inside and enjoy your midday meal. But if you catch yourself smiling or giggling that afternoon, you know “Hoos” to blame! And I can guarantee you, that mood-lifting experience will give you just the boost you need to help you through the cloudiest of days.
EMILY SCHILLING Editor email@example.com
On the menu: June issue: Berries, deadline April 1. July issue: Beans, deadline April 1. If we publish your recipe on our food pages, we’ll send you a $10 gift card.
Giveaway: Enter to win a Satek Winery prize bundle and one of Jack Spaulding’s books. Visit indianaconnection.org/talk-to-us/contests. Entry deadline for giveaways: Feb. 26.
Three ways to contact us: To send us recipes, photos, event listings, letters
and entries for gift drawings, please use the forms on our website indianaconnection.org; email firstname.lastname@example.org; or send to Indiana Connection, 8888 Keystone Crossing, Suite 1600, Indianapolis, IN 46240-4606.
VOLUME 70 • NUMBER 8 ISSN 0745-4651 • USPS 262-340 Published monthly by Indiana Electric Cooperatives Indiana Connection is for and about members of Indiana’s locally-owned, not-for-profit electric cooperatives. It helps consumers use electricity safely and efficiently; understand energy issues; connect with their co-op; and celebrate life in Indiana. Over 304,000 residents and businesses receive the magazine as part of their electric co-op membership. CONTACT US: 8888 Keystone Crossing, Suite 1600 Indianapolis, IN 46240-4606 317-487-2220 email@example.com IndianaConnection.org INDIANA ELECTRIC COOPERATIVES OFFICERS: Walter Hunter President Randy Kleaving Vice President Steve McMichael Secretary/Treasurer John Gasstrom CEO EDITORIAL STAFF: Emily Schilling Editor Richard George Biever Senior Editor Holly Huffman Communication Support Specialist Ellie Schuler Senior Creative Services Specialist Taylor Maranion Creative Services Specialist Stacey Holton Director of Creative Services Mandy Barth Vice President of Communication ADVERTISING: American MainStreet Publications Cheryl Solomon, local ad representative; 512-441-5200; amp.coop Crosshair Media 502-216-8537; crosshairmedia.net Paid advertisements are not endorsements by any electric cooperative or this publication. UNSOLICITED MATERIAL: Indiana Connection does not use unsolicited freelance manuscripts or photographs and assumes no responsibility for the safe‑keeping or return of unsolicited material. SUBSCRIPTIONS: $12 for individuals not subscribing through participating REMCs/RECs. CHANGE OF ADDRESS: If you receive Indiana Connection through your electric co-op membership, report address changes to your local co-op. POSTAGE: Periodicals postage paid at Indianapolis, Ind., and at additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send change of address to: Indiana Connection, 8888 Keystone Crossing, Suite 1600, Indianapolis, IN 46240-4606. Include key number. No portion of Indiana Connection may be reproduced without permission of the editor.
insights 03 FROM THE EDITOR 05 CO-OP NEWS Energy news and information from your electric cooperative. 10 ENERGY Your electric co-op is plugged into support statewide — and beyond. 11 INSIGHTS
12 GRASSROOTS How a bill becomes a law. 13 COUNTY OF THE MONTH Spotlighting Jackson County. 14 INDIANA EATS Cerulean Restaurant the spot for Valentine’s Day dinners under the stars. 15 FOOD Going bananas.
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backyard cooperative career 17 COVER STORY Vineyards at Valentine’s: Indiana’s wineries continue pivoting to COVID challenges. 21 SAFETY Common reasons for power outages. 22 BACKYARD Here’s the scoop on pokeweed.
23 RECALLS 24 H OOSIER ENERGY/ WABASH VALLEY NEWS 25 OUTDOORS Jack Spaulding recalls early possum hunting days. 26 C OOPERATIVE CAREER Professional progression: Keeping the meters running.
On the cover Indiana’s wineries, like all locally-owned food and entertainment businesses, have had to do a lot of pivoting and dancing around measures to keep customers and employees safe during the COVID pandemic. Valentine’s Day is yet the latest “holiday” they’ve had to work through. Here is how they are coping with COVID and looking to a brighter 2021. PHOTO BY TAYLOR MARANION
METER TAMPERING 101 Why can’t I just pull my meter? www.hcremc.com CONTACT US 800-248-8413 Fax: 765-529-1667 OFFICE HOURS 7:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., Monday – Friday STREET ADDRESS 3400 S. State Road 3 New Castle, IN 47362 MAILING ADDRESS P.O. Box D New Castle, IN 47362 A night deposit box is available 24 hours a day. EMAIL firstname.lastname@example.org SERVICE INTERRUPTIONS To report a power outage, please call 800-248-8413, day or night. MISSION STATEMENT The mission of Henry County REMC is to provide reliable, safe and cost-competitive electrical service to enhance the lives of our members and the communities we serve. BILL DUE DATES Bills mailed Jan. 11 are due Jan. 28. Bills mailed Jan. 15 are due Feb. 3. Bills mailed Jan. 29 are due Feb. 17.y.
Know what’s below. Call 811 before you dig!
LIKE US ON FACEBOOK www.facebook.com/ HenryCountyREMC FOLLOW US ON TWITTER www.twitter.com/ HenryCountyREMC
First and foremost, safety is top priority! Tampering with a meter is extremely dangerous. According to the Cooperative Research Network, a division of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, power surging through a compromised meter can cause an electrical catastrophe. In many cases, removing the meter does not disconnect power as some may assume. A short circuit could produce an arc flash bright enough to cause blindness and powerful enough to launch fragments of shrapnel-like, red-hot debris. Serious injury or death from electrocution, explosion or fire often results from meter tampering.
electrician to pull the meter. Only trained HCREMC personnel wearing protective clothing should work on meters. HCREMC personnel will pull the meter for you during business hours at no cost to you. Removing or damaging a meter seal or meter will result in a costly charge for tampering. Even with tamper alarms in place, theft can still happen. Please let us know if you suspect meter tampering. Call us at 800-2488413 to report possible theft of service. All information can be given anonymously.
SHANNON THOM CEO
Meter tampering also means doing anything that causes the electric meter on your property to run slower or not at all. It also includes anything that is used to divert electricity around the electric meter. Tampering with a meter is an indicator of theft. In the event of theft of electricity, all the remaining members of HCREMC must pay for the loss. Meter tamper alarms are received at the office if a meter is tampered with. To proactively address safety and theft, HCREMC dispatches crews immediately. If you are looking to upgrade the electrical service in your home, or even to fix a pressing problem, please note that you need to contact HCREMC before an electrician does the work. Do not pull the meter yourself or allow an FEBRUARY 2021
Tree trimming planned in 2021 Much like 2020, HCREMC plans to perform extensive vegetation management work in 2021 that aggressively takes aim at reliability problems caused by trees. While our crews and contractors will address hot spots throughout our territory, the areas supplied by our Spiceland and Harrisburg substations will be the circuits primarily focused on this year. A crew foreman will attempt to contact members and property owners as the crews systematically move down the lines trimming and removing trees impacting the right-of-way.
UNPLANNED OUTAGE QUANTITY BY CAUSE 39% trees 21% animals 16% public 14% unknown 7% lightning and wind 2% transmission (Duke, Hoosier) 1% other TRANSMISSION OUTAGES: Outages under this category are experienced upstream through our connections with Hoosier Energy and Duke Energy lines. Although these outages are rare, they normally impact the most member-consumers at once. TREES: Your HCREMC has made significant improvements in recent years. However, trees continue to remain the top cause of outages. We continue to put resources toward tree trimming. You can help, too! Plant any new trees away from power lines. Visit www.arborday.org/trees/ righttreeandplace for details about tree planting. LIGHTNING, ICE AND WIND: Mother Nature can wreak havoc on our system. By using precise stringing charts when running line and increasing lightning arrestors, we can limit
possible damage/outages on the REMC electrical system.
free publications available from HCREMC 2021 student art calendars, almanac calendars and festival guides are in. They can be picked up in the HCREMC drive through Monday through Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Cooperative Calendar of Student Art 20 21
Cover art by kinderg arten Lily Jones, division winner
ANIMALS: It is not uncommon that a raccoon, bird, squirrel or even snake may trespass on our electrical system. We have and will continue to use bushing covers and other critter guards in problem areas of our system to deter animals and prevent outages. PUBLIC: Vehicle crashes are the most common cause for outage in this category. Additional causes include digging into, dropping a tree into or running a crop duster into power lines. It is important to be mindful of overhead and underground power lines and keep your distance. OTHER: Other causes for outages can include attachments to our poles like cable or telephone equipment, which may cause an outage for the REMC.
23RD ANNUA L SHOWC
ASE OF AWARD -WINN Produ ced
ING WORK S BY INDIAN
by HCREM C
A STUDE NTS
Cover art by Lily Jones, kinderg division winnerarten
Scenic Almanac Calendar
Indiana Festival Guide
Energy audits available for local farms and rural businesses
LOCAL SCHOLARSHIPS AVAILABLE Deadline approaching! Through Operation Round Up
WHAT IS AN ENERGY AUDIT?
funding, HCREMC offers six, one-
Detailed look at the equipment using energy at a property and how much energy is being consumed by each on an annual basis.
eligible high school level seniors.
WHY SHOULD YOU HAVE AN ENERGY AUDIT? Energy audits help prioritize where improvements should be made for the best return on investment at your operation. Energy audits can typically help you find potential incentives (rebates, USDA grants, etc.) available for the various improvements. At the end of the day, audits assist in finding ways to save energy and money, improving your bottom line.
IS AN ENERGY AUDIT RIGHT FOR ME?
time, $1,000 scholarship awards to (This includes home-schooled students.) Three males and three females are selected annually to receive the award. Candidates must have a parent or guardian living in the HCREMC service territory and carry a 3.0 GPA
Many people find great value in an energy audit. If you are not sure, please call your local electric cooperative to discuss the specifics to your operation. Cooperative staff will help determine if an energy audit is right for you and will help you meet your energy consumption goals.
or higher through the first semester
HOW MUCH WILL AN ENERGY AUDIT COST?
Up board are NOT eligible to apply.
A USDA grant will be paying for 75% of the cost of the energy audit. Audit cost vary depending on the type of facility, size, etc. Average cost range between $2,000-$6,000. Your operation will be responsible for the additional 25% of the audit cost. This cost share model provides opportunity for greater scope and potential savings in the energy audit process.
The 2021 application is now
WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I AM INTERESTED? Your electric cooperative will assist in the collection of historical electric energy use information for the last two-three years. You will also need to collect your additional energy consumption information such as LP or natural gas. You will also need to be available to walk the energy advisor around your site and discuss your operations, equipment run time, etc. A site visit will take approximately between 90 minutes to three hours depending on the site.
of their senior year. Children of employees or directors of the HCREMC and the Operation Round
available. Download an application at hcremc.com/content/remcscholarship-award.
Application deadline is March 19.
WHEN WILL I RECEIVE MY RESULTS REPORT? Reports are completed within 30 days of the site visit, unless we are missing information needed to complete the report. We will continue to stay in contact with you and your operation on any necessary information. Contact Lara at 765-422-1119 for more info. FEBRUARY 2021
PARTS of a POLE Primary conductors are often on top the pole or crossarms and carry 7,200 volts of electricity from a substation.
A crossarm holds the wires up on the pole.
Neutral conductors are located at various places on the pole or crossarms and acts as a line back to the substation and balances out the amount of electricity or load on the system.
Insulators prevent energized wires from coming in contact with each other or the utility pole.
Cutouts act like a fuse and open when there is a problem with the line or a section of it. Lightning arrestors protect the pole and equipment from lightning strikes.
Transformers convert higher voltage electricity carried by primary wires and lowers the voltage for customer use.
The secondary conductor carries the lower voltage electricity after it passes through the transformer.
A ground wire runs the entire length of the pole. It directs any electricity on the pole safely into the earth.
Guy wires are often required to hold the various tensions and stresses placed on a pole.
Your electric co-op is plugged into support — statewide and beyond When several Hendricks Power Cooperative members contacted Energy Advisor Steve Hite for recommendations about contractors outside of that cooperative’s service territory, he didn’t know the answers. But he knew where to go to find them. He asked the energy advisors at nearby electric cooperatives for recommendations in their areas and then shared those suggestions with members. This is one example of “Cooperation Among Cooperatives,” which is one of the Seven Cooperative Principles that guide how electric cooperatives operate. It’s the cooperative difference: together, we can collaborate and work to better serve our members so that everyone benefits.
“I’m obviously very fortunate to have some energy advisors to talk with when I have a question or concern,” Hite said. “I appreciate the whole co-op mentality. It’s just a really good setting.” We receive a variety of questions from residential members, ranging from high bill complaints to new service or even questions about particular programs or calculating appliances’ energy use. When we don’t immediately know the answer to a question, we frequently reach out to our counterparts who may be more knowledgeable on specific topics or situations. “It’s like that across the board with all of the co-ops,” said Jake Taylor, energy advisor at LaGrange County
REMC. “It seems like pretty much everybody supports each other. Our energy advisors are pretty great, and they all have individual talents.” We also work with Indiana Electric Cooperatives, the organization that serves the 38 electric cooperatives in the state. IEC organizes ongoing training and events for electric co-op employees, including energy advisors. That provides us with an opportunity to meet and discuss recent events, and learn about new technology and tools that can help us support our members. We even have opportunities to meet and interact with energy advisors and employees across the U.S. through message boards and email lists organized by National Rural
Electrc Cooperative Association, our national organization that serves electric cooperatives. All of this support means that your local electric cooperative is also part of a much larger national network of support – one committed to providing the strongest support possible to the members we serve. “I think it makes us a lot stronger when we cooperate,” Hite said. “It’s a different way of working.”
by Jeremy Montgomery Energy Advisor Parke County REMC
CALENDAR CONTEST DEADLINE NEXT MONTH Indiana students who have a penchant for drawing, painting and collage have until March 19 to enter the Cooperative Calendar of Student Art contest to illustrate the 2022 wall calender. First place winners in grade divisions kindergarten through grade 12 will receive $200 each. Their winning artworks will illustrate the calendar’s
ORDER YOUR 2021 CALENDAR TODAY! Please send ______ copy (copies) of the Cooperative Calendar of Student Art 2021 at $6 each to: Name:
cover and the 12 months of the year. One “artist of the year” will also be selected and will earn an
additional $100. In addition, the judges will select honorable mention winners whose artwork will also
City, State and ZIP:
appear in the calendar. They will receive $75 each. The contest is open to Indiana public, private or home-schooled students. They must be in grades kindergarten through 12th grade during the 2020-21 school year. A complete set of rules and required entry forms are available at
Price includes shipping and Indiana sales tax. Make check payable to “Indiana Electric Cooperatives.” Send this completed form and a check to Indiana Connection Calendar; 8888 Keystone Crossing, Suite 1600; Indianapolis, IN 46240. Some electric co-ops have free calendars available for pickup in their offices. Contact them directly for more information.
indianaconnection.org/for-youth/art-contest. FEBRUARY 2021
HOW A BILL BECOMES A LAW Understanding this process is an essential component of grassroots advocacy and civic engagement. While the process can be quite complex, when boiled down there are seven basic steps that lead to a bill becoming a law. There needs to be an idea. The idea is written down by a member of Congress, either a senator or representative, and is submitted as a bill.
upon by the presiding officer, the entire chamber can then offer amendments to the bill and vote on the passage of the bill and/or any new amendments.
The bill will be introduced to the legislative body in which it was written (either the Senate or House of Representatives). Then, the speaker of the house and the president pro tempore (or vice president/lieutenant governor) can assign the bill to a committee.
If successfully passed out by the chamber, the bill then goes to the other chamber. For example, bills that originate in the Senate are passed to the House of Representatives, and vice versa for bills that originate in the House of Representatives. Once in the opposite chamber, the bills go through a very similar process of committee assignment. The new committee then decides which of the remaining bills will be heard, and then begins the same process of research, discussion, amendments, etc. If the bill is voted upon and passed out of committee, it (with any new amendments that were also voted upon), it goes back to the full chamber. The full chamber can again propose new amendments and vote on the bill.
Once in committee, the chairman of the committee decides which bills will receive public hearings and which ones will not. Members of the committee will research, discuss and offer amendments (or changes) to the bill. The public will also have a chance to testify on the bill and its proposed amendments. The chairman can then decide whether to offer the bill and/or amendments for vote by the whole committee. If passed out of committee, the bill and any amendments also passed go back to the entire chamber.
The new bill (with any passed amendments) goes back to its originating chamber (either the Senate or House of Representatives). If called
If both the Senate and House of Representatives have voted to pass the bill, then they must work out any difference between the two versions. For example, if the second chamber passed the bill with any new amendments, then the first chamber
must also pass those new amendments. Both chambers must vote out the exact same bill. If it passes, it goes to the president (federal level) or governor (state level). Finally, the president or governor then considers the bill. He or she can approve the bill and sign it into law, or veto the bill, stopping it from becoming a law.
It is important to note most bills never become a law. There are several ways to stop a bill, and the vast majority will stop before they can become a law. And, if a bill is lucky enough to get to the final stages and becomes a law, it often looks very different from the time it was introduced. Many times, amendments are added to change the bill and the law actually passed looks quite different from the bill that was introduced. As you can see, this process is quite complex, which is why it is so important to have people like you ready as grassroots advocates. Your voice is incredibly important and may need to be called upon at any of these stages.
Jackson County Jackson County was not named
after the President Andrew Jackson
— contrary to popular perception.
Rather, it was named in honor of
Gen. Andrew Jackson, the hero of
the Battle of New Orleans at the
end of the War of 1812. Obviously,
the same person — but different
staple in the
Jackson County was formed in 1816, even before Indiana became
1980s and 1990s.
a state, and long before Jackson
became the seventh president in
That some rowdy behavior and individuals should emerge from a county named for the fiery populist Jackson, who pushed individual
PHO TO PRO VI DED BY M ARSHALL M EM O RI ES PHO TO G RAPHY
John Mellencamp, who famously sang about his small town roots back in the 1980s, adorns this downtown mural in his hometown of Seymour.
accomplished painter and helped start and has supported Jackson County’s Southern Indiana Center for the Arts.
liberty while bending convention
Mellencamp’s Jackson County
and rules, is apropos.
past come alive with an audio
Jackson County was the site of the first recorded train robbery of a moving train in the United States. On Oct. 6, 1866, the Reno Gang robbed an Ohio and Mississippi Railway train, making off with over $10,000. Popular musician John Mellencamp, whose 1984 hit song about his fights with authority (“but authority always wins”), was born and grew up in Seymour. Mellencamp, who was first given the stage name of “Cougar” when he started cutting records in the 1970s, dropped the Madison Avenue name as his catchy songs
driving tour, created by the Jackson County Visitor Center. “The Roots of An American Rocker” offers a glimpse of Mellencamp that most people have never seen. The CD features stops at many of John’s old stomping grounds and a
y t n u Co acts F FOUNDED: 1816
NAMED FOR: Gen. Andrew Jackson, hero of the Battle of New Orleans against the British in the War of 1812, who later became the seventh president of the United States. POPULATION: 44,111 (2018 estimate) COUNTY SEAT: Brownstown
detailed map of Seymour. The county is also home to the
fishing, hiking, photography and
Muscatatuck National Wildlife
Refuge, a refuge to provide resting
The 18,000-acre Jackson-
and feeding areas for waterfowl
Washington State Forest and
during their annual migrations.
Starve-Hollow State Recreation
The refuge is on 7,724 acres. In
Area offer some of the best
addition to wildlife viewing, the
camping and outdoor recreational
refuge provides opportunities for
opportunities in southern Indiana.
Left: The Winona roll is just one of the specialty rolls on the Cerulean Restaurant’s inspired sushi menu. Smoked salmon, black tobiko, cream cheese and red pepper tempura make this roll a feast for the eyes — and the palate.
PAN-ASIAN CUISINE … AND IGLOOS?
Right: Wintertime outdoor dining is warm and cozy in one of Cerulean Restaurant’s igloos. Book an igloo for a Valentine’s Day dinner under the stars.
Cerulean Restaurant the spot for Valentine’s Day dinners under the stars BY J E NNI F E R BA R G ER Nestled in the heart of the Village of
herbs and veggies. The dining area
That’s an easy question: Valentine’s
Winona, overlooking the Winona Lake
delights the senses under white
Day dinner under the stars, in a
canal, you’ll find Cerulean Restaurant,
lights and there’s a buzzing bar
private glowing igloo, with superlative
home to superlative sushi, bountiful
with knowledgeable and friendly
sushi, bountiful bento boxes, and
bento boxes, and delectable desserts
bartenders. Throughout the warmer
that will tantalize your taste buds.
months of the year, there is live
Get a load of some of these desserts:
music, and on most nights, you'll find
crème brulee bread pudding,
a casual, no-rush atmosphere there
chocolate pralines crunch, blood
that lends itself to long conversations
orange sorbet. (#dontmindifido)
and big laughs.
The atmosphere at Cerulean is
Why are we talking about the Garden
perfect, with quiet and private high-
in February? Because the Garden got
back booths lining the walls. Cerulean
a serious upgrade this winter.
is a Valentine’s Day favorite — and the ideal spot for a quiet dinner out with friends.
IGLOOS! Adorable, cozy, warm, and glowing igloos. You can enjoy an amazing meal under the stars, or in
Please don’t take my word for it; you’ve got to give Cerulean a try. You won’t regret it. Jennifer Barger is manager of marketing and communication at Kosciusko REMC in Warsaw.
However, if you’re more of a social
the snow, for that matter, without
butterfly, you might want to walk
sacrificing comfort or social distance.
1101 E. Canal St. Winona Lake
However, you've got to reserve the
right past the quiet booths and head out to the Garden.
igloos. So, call ahead – what would be
The Garden is everything you’re
sweeter than Valentine’s Day dinner
imagining: An outdoor courtyard,
under the stars?
lined with boxes of home-grown
Bananas WE’RE WILD ABOUT THESE A-‘PEELING’ RECIPES
BANANA CRUMB MUFFINS Patricia Hall, New Salisbury, Indiana Topping: ½ cup all-purpose flour
1½ cups all-purpose flour 1 t. baking soda
¼ cup sugar
1 t. baking powder
1 t. cinnamon
½ t. salt
4 T. butter, room temperature
3 large ripe bananas, mashed ¾ cup sugar 1 egg, slightly beaten
Mix together topping ingredients and set aside while you prepare the muffin batter. For the muffins: In a large bowl, combine dry ingredients and set aside. In another bowl, combine the bananas, sugar, egg and melted butter. Mix well. Stir the dry ingredients just until moistened. Fill muffin cups ⅔ full. Do not use paper muffin cups. Using hands, arrange coarse pea-size crumbs of the topping over the muffin batter. Bake at 375 F for 18-20 minutes. Cool in pan for 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack.
Cook’s note: These freeze well in individual freezer bags. Take them out of the freezer the night before for a quick breakfast in the morning.
⅓ cup melted butter FEBRUARY 2021
BANANA BARS Pam Spinner, Derby, Indiana 1½ cups sugar 1 cup sour cream ½ cup butter, softened 2 eggs 1¾ cups (3 or 4) ripe bananas, mashed 2 t. vanilla extract 2 cups all-purpose (or wheat) flour 1 t. baking soda ¾ t. salt ½ cup chopped pecans (optional) Frosting: 1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese, softened ½ cup butter, softened 2 t. vanilla extract 3¾ to 4 cups confectioners’ sugar
Grease and flour a 15 X 10-inch jelly roll pan.Preheat oven to 375 F. In a large bowl, mix together sugar, sour cream, butter and eggs until they are creamy. Next, blend in bananas and vanilla extract. Add flour, baking soda, salt and blend them for 1 minute. Stir in pecans if desired. Spread the batter evenly into your pan. Bake for 20 -25 minutes until golden brown.When cooled completely, frost and cut. Yield: 36 bars. Cook’s note: These store great in the fridge. I have also frozen some of them
GENEVA’S BANANA OATMEAL COOKIES Glenda Ferguson, Paoli, Indiana ¾ cup butter, softened 1 egg, beaten 1 cup mashed bananas 1½ cups flour ½ cup sugar 1 cup brown sugar ½ t. baking soda 1 t.salt ¼ t. nutmeg ¾ t. cinnamon 3 cups oatmeal ½ cup nuts, optional Mix butter, egg and bananas together. Add the flour, sugars, soda, salt and spices. Stir in the oatmeal a little at a time. Drop onto a greased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 F for 10-12 minutes until cookies are browned around the edges. Yield: 3½ dozen cookies. Cook’s Notes: The cookies spread out a bit when baking, so allow space in between the drops of batter. Instead of adding nuts, I like to add mini-chocolate chips, so that there is a little taste of chocolate with the banana and oatmeal.
for later. FO O D PREPARED BY I NDI ANA CO NNECT I O N S TA FF PHO TO S BY TAYLO R MA RA NI O N
A new vintage for Satek Winery sleeps under the January snow at Nob Hill Vineyard in Clear Lake in far northeasternmost corner of Indiana. PHOTO PROVIDED BY KAY AND RON KUMMER
Valentine’s Indiana's wineries continue pivoting to COVID challenges
BY RICHARD G. BIEVER
get out,” said Shane Christ, the
Valentine’s Day has always meant
Rural Indiana has seen an
Though COVID has continued the
wine industry in the past 30 years.
wining and dining, dancing and romancing. But this year, the continuing cloud of COVID-19 has kept Cupid on the q.t. Leave it to Indiana’s enterprising wineries and vineyards to keep the crafted potables Hoosiers have come to love accessible and a part of this Feb. 14 or any special occasion,
winemaker at Satek Winery in
public hibernation into 2021, he noted, “There’s a lot of things we can do that do not require social gathering.”
Flourish extraordinary growth in the state’s This form of agritourism gets folks out into the Indiana countryside to enjoy the fruits of the vines and the
“Folks are finding ways to travel and
handcrafted labors of love.
get out, and wineries seem to be a
There are now over 120 wineries and
great outlet,” said Jill Blume, enology specialist with the Purdue Wine Grape
vineyards dotting the state. Thirty years ago, there were nine. Those
despite the pandemic.
Team which supports the wineries.
“In the past, we have always looked
“Some of these wineries are remote
jobs. Indiana’s wine production in
and a little hard to find,” she added.
2018 exceeded 2.4 million gallons (12
“So, it’s a little adventure in that sense.
million bottles) and was ranked 11th
It’s a fun country drive, and I think a lot
of people are ready to get some air.”
continued on page 18
to Valentine’s Day as one of the first ‘holidays’ where people unearth themselves from their house after a long winter and are anxious to
wineries provide almost 4,000 full-time
continued from page 17
WINE INDUSTRY ECONOMIC IMPACT
$95 million Indiana wine sold
continued from page 17 Eight wine trails, mapped out from Indiana’s southern shores of Lake Michigan to the northern banks of the Ohio River and almost everywhere in between, provide Indiana’s 630,000 annual “wine tourists” conveniently charted routes. Indiana’s wineries serve up vast varieties of fermentations from whites to reds, sweets to dries, and traditional grapes to any number of fruits and combinations. While for the past year social media has been filled with running jokes alluding to wine’s ability to see
$94 million tourism expenditures $603 million total economic impact 2.4 million gallons produced
many of us through such things as quarantines, social distancing,
$590,000 vineyard revenue
parents traumatized), the real spirit
“During the summer, the wineries
of Indiana’s wineries isn’t what’s
were a lot better able to pivot and seat
consumed. Rather, Indiana’s wineries
people and keep everyone socially
and vineyards are really about
distanced from each other. The
celebrating friendship, family and life’s
traditional model where you walk in,
good times together — very often in
stand at the bar and taste two or three
the beautiful rural settings.
samples and then make a purchase is
“We are really proud of that winery is,” said Rachel Gibson, executive director of the Indiana Winery and Vineyard Association.
SOURCE: 2018 DATA FROM THE INDIANA WINE GRAPE COUNCIL
no longer a viable model while we’re fighting COVID,” Gibson said. “In a lot of cases, people have had to rethink their tasting rooms altogether to figure out seating areas and so on.”
“When you visit a winery, in most
Wineries have had to be creative
cases, you’re looking at the vineyard;
maintaining and growing their
you’re seeing where the grapes are
customer base during COVID,
she said. “As an industry, we’ve
all small businesses, especially in the entertainment, food and tourism industries — has left many wineries
3,900 full-time jobs
Visit indianaconnection. org/talk-to-us/contests.
has kept the kids at home and some
The pandemic — as it has on most
$120 million paid wages
two wine glasses, a jar of chocolate sauce and a gift certificate to Satek Winery.
school closures and e-learning (that
agritourism element of what a farm
600 grapebearing acres
ENTER TO WIN
struggling. Wine bars and tasting
actually done pretty well. These are entrepreneurs. They’ve all figured out a different niche and a different business model and a different product they’re offering.”
rooms had to close or reduced
Wineries started offering curbside
capacity, and many special popular
sales and free delivery of online
annual events were canceled.
orders. Some offer virtual wine tasting
in which a customer buys a “wine-
The winery isn’t
sampling kit” at the winery, then goes
home and logs into Zoom for the
years in 2021, like
virtual tasting experience with the
Satek, nor even 20
months. It opened
Wineries that have developed relationships with wholesalers and are able to sell their products beyond their tasting rooms have certainly been more insulated during the pandemic, noted Christ, who is the president of the winery and vineyard association. “If you look at the sales of your liquor stores and grocery stores … that’s what’s really been the lifeline to a lot of wineries.
15, 2020, and is celebrating two months in business this Valentine’s Day. Owner and one of its winemakers Adam Brockman, a chiropractor by day at his next door Complete Wellness Center, has turned his hobby into a
Day, wineries are preparing special
traditional events, like pairings of wines and chocolates, were still scheduled at many of the state’s wineries. But, as with most things during this time, interested readers are
PHO TO PRO VI DED BY BO TTO M O F THE BARREL WI NERY
its doors Dec.
For special events, like Valentine’s boxes of selected wines. Some
Adam Brockman and Megan Harth opened Bottom of the Barrel Winery on Main Street in Tell City, next to his wellness center, just before Christmas.
Opening a new establishment during a socioeconomic hardship might not be ideal, but for Brockman, it’s become
works for Valentine’s Day that would include wine and chocolates.
an unlikely business plan. The
Bottom of the Barrel’s roots sprung
39-year-old Perry County native
from the building itself — which once
opened his first clinic across the river
housed a dry cleaning business —
Satek, which celebrates 20 years in
in Hawesville, Kentucky, in 2008
that Brockman bought about a year
business in 2021, will continue one
— during the great recession. “It’s
and a half ago. “The building needed
item that’s related to Valentine’s Day
something we’ve been through before,
a lot of repairs done,” he said, “so I
that Christ says has developed a “cult
and we’ve been able to build our
had been asked if they could drop a
following” in recent years. That’s its
clinic system.” (Brockman, who is also
dumpster in my clinic parking lot.” He
chocolate sauce. The sauce, which is
a doctor of naturopathic medicine,
ended up buying the building.
about 5% alcohol, is specially made for
has clinics in Evansville; Hartford,
Satek by a chocolatier in California’s
Kentucky; and Santa Rosa Beach,
He and fiancée Megan Harth, a nurse
Napa Valley using Satek wines. “It’s a
Florida, as well.)
always encouraged to visit the local wineries’ websites for latest details.
nice little gift item,” Christ said.
Fruition Down state from Satek, about as far down state as you can go without driving into the Ohio River at the bottom of the state, is Bottom of the Barrel Winery in downtown Tell City.
practitioner at his clinic, then asked themselves what would they want to
The winery on Main Street opened
see in town. “It was just like a lightbulb
with limited hours before Christmas to
clicked when we came up with the idea.”
allow holiday shopping. It then hosted
Two other wineries were already
a special New Year’s Eve gathering for a limited number of couples that included a bottle of wine and a meat and cheese board. He said a similar limited gathering for couples is in the
in Perry County. One, Winzerwald Winery, was 25 miles up the road along I-64; the other, Blue Heron, sits
continued on page 20 FEBRUARY 2021
continued from page 19 in the hills directly above the Ohio River at Rocky Point. Brockman said Bottom of the Barrel will join Blue Heron on the Hoosier Wine Trail that connects wineries along the river. “Our winery and theirs will really be able to play off of each other. You can come to Perry County, and you can see the beauty where Blue Heron is, and you can come here and have a little bit of a different atmosphere — like a big city vibe in a small town.” The name they chose for their winery, Brockman said, sums up their attitude: “Have fun; don’t take yourself, or the wine, too seriously; and make it through anything thrown your way.”
P H OTO B Y TAY LOR MARANI O N
the artifacts left behind. The cleaning
not to judge the wine under the 2020
chemicals, of course, and most of the
label by the memories.
old equipment were long gone. But before gutting the entire building down to its brick walls, they found clothing,
“One bright spot of 2020 was our growing year. Our summer was really hot; it was really dry; and it was really
Brockman and another winemaking
still in the plastic garment bags, that
hobbyist crafted Bottom of the Barrel’s
customers never claimed — including
wines with professional vintner Gary
wedding dresses. “That would be
Humphrey, who owned and operated
good for bachelorette parties,” he
River City Winery for over 10 years
quipped. “You can also come pick out
“Though the yields were about
upriver in New Albany. Humphrey
the same as a typical year, the
is on the board of the Indiana Wine Grape Council and produced the “Wine of the Year” at the 2012 Indy International Wine Competition.
He said originally, they hoped to have the winery open for the city’s annual Schweizer Fest in August. But when the festival was greatly pared down
long; and that proved to be one of the better growing years for producing fruit,” he said.
concentration of the flavors in the grapes was much higher, and the fruit chemistry was ideal,” he explained. “I am expecting some outstanding wines throughout the state.”
Brockman noted he intends to
because of COVID, they decided to
eventually create a vineyard on land
take a little more time with the wines
With the new vintage and the hope
he owns on the outskirts of Tell City.
and preparation. He did want to
COVID subsides soon, Christ predicts,
But for now, the grapes and apples
make sure they opened before the
“It’s going to be a great summer to
used to make their wines came from
end of the year. “I just thought it was
get out of the house. It’s going to be a
Indiana and Michigan. “The tanks
important to give people something
great summer to go visit. It’s going to
came from Italy,” he added. “We were
that we can look forward to; 2020
be a great summer to catch back up
fortunate that we ordered them before
wasn’t a great year, but 2021 is
with your friends and go out to dinner.”
COVID hit, otherwise we probably still
something we can look forward to.”
And along with catching up and dining,
wouldn’t have them.” Keeping in line with thoughts of Valentine’s Day and romance, one interesting thing about putting the winery in a building once occupied by a dry cleaner, Brockman noted, was
Forward Shane Christ at Satek noted another thing wine lovers can especially look forward to this entire coming year is
there’s sure to be some wining, and maybe a little dancing and romancing.
Richard G. Biever is senior editor of Indiana Connection.
the 2020 vintage. The year itself might be best forgotten, but Christ advises
For more information on Indiana’s wineries and trails, visit IndianaConnection.org.
power outages Common causes of Power outages are never convenient. Sometimes, it’s no mystery why we are left in the dark, like when lightning and thunder rattle windows and walls. Other times, an outage may come out of the blue. The length of time it takes to restore power will vary by the cause. Most electric cooperatives attempt to share outage information through social media platforms. Here are some of the most common causes your cooperative might be facing.
WEATHER The most common cause for power outages is Mother Nature. A heavy build-up of ice and snow on power lines, poles and equipment can bring them down. Wind also causes widespread damage. High winds following a heavy ice storm can be particularly devastating. Extremely hot weather can cause power lines to sag into vegetation and can also cause unusually high demand that can overburden transformers and other electrical equipment causing them to fail. Lightning strikes can cause major damage to electrical equipment, transmission towers, wires and poles.
If the lights go out in the middle of a thunderstorm, lightning is probably the culprit.
TREES During high winds, snow and ice, tree limbs can snap or entire trees can topple onto power lines.
ACCIDENTS A vehicle hitting a utility pole can break the pole and knock lines from their overhead perch. Excavation work can disturb buried electric service lines causing an outage. Always call 811 before any gardening or digging project.
PLANNED OUTAGES If an electric cooperative is performing maintenance or upgrading its equipment, it may need to temporarily turn off the power. The cooperative will usually try to notify consumers. This is why it’s always a good idea to make sure your cooperative has updated contact information. If you experience an outage, alert your cooperative. While most co-ops have upgraded to digital systems that automatically detect outages, others still rely on notification from their customers before they come out to investigate the cause and restore power.
ANIMALS Squirrels, snakes and other small animals and birds can climb on poles and electrical equipment which may cause a short circuit or equipment to shut down.
VANDALISM People shooting at insulators and transformers is still a sad cause for power outages in rural areas. Thieves also steal copper wire and other pieces of electrical equipment. Both acts of vandalism can be extremely costly and deadly.
RESIST THE URGE TO TALK TO LINE CREWS DURING OUTAGES Stopping your car or truck on roads near electric cooperative crews is hazardous, especially when road conditions may already be treacherous with ice and snow. For safety’s sake, the best thing for you to do when you see crews working is to let them do their jobs, without distractions. It is dangerous for others to be milling around when they’re repairing lines.
B. ROSIE LERNER is the Purdue Extension consumer horticulturist and is a consumer of Tipmont REMC.
POKEWEED IS ON THE LOW END OF THE TOXICITY SCALE BY B. ROSIE LERNER
I have a lot of these plants (pictured below) growing in the field near my home. Can you identify this plant for me? And is it poisonous? I have horses and am concerned that this could make them sick.
This is a very common weed called pokeweed. It is native to much of Eastern North America, including Indiana. All parts of the pokeweed plant are poisonous, especially roots and seeds, but its toxicity is generally considered to be low.
(According to the U.S. Forest Service, young leaves and stems when properly cooked are edible and provide a good source of protein, fat and carbohydrate. Regional names for the plant include poke, poke sallet, poke salad, and pokeberry.) Pokeweed can reach up to 10 feet tall and has distinctly red stems and berries that change from green to dark purple when ripe. It is perennial from a large tap root, dying back to the ground each year. The fruits are important food for mockingbirds, northern cardinals and mourning doves which spread the seed everywhere in their droppings. So, pokeweed can poke up in many new places each year. For more information on pokeweed and its toxicity, see Purdue Extension’s Guide to Toxic Plants in Forages. www. extension.purdue. edu/extmedia/ws/ws_37_ toxicplants08.pdf
ROSIE RETIRES B. Rosie Lerner has spent her career making Indiana a more beautiful and bountiful state when it comes to flower and vegetable gardens. After 36 years, Rosie retired as the Purdue Extension consumer horticulture specialist at the end of 2020. In her role, she served two stints as the Purdue Master Gardener state coordinator; developed programs, publications, news releases and teaching materials for home gardeners; served as the horticulture liaison to the Purdue Plant & Pest Diagnostic Laboratory; and was a member of various related boards and professional organizations. And while she has retired from Purdue, she has graciously offered to continue answering gardening questions for Indiana Connection readers. So, those with questions may continue asking them through the handy online “Talk to Us” form at www.indianaconnection.org/talkto-us/ask-rosie that allows you to upload photos, too; or mailing them to: “Ask Rosie,” Indiana Connection, 8888 Keystone Crossing, Suite 1600, Indianapolis, IN 46240.
As a service to our readers and to promote electrical safety, here are some recent recall notices provided by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. Visit www.cpsc.gov/en/recalls for full details of these recalls and for notices of many more.
Yeti power supply recalled This recall involves all Yeti 25A Fast Charge power supplies with model number 98080. The power supply is an accessory to and is used for faster recharging of Goal Zero’s Yeti power stations. The connection between the power supply module and the output cord can be loose, causing the electrical connections to overheat, posing a fire hazard. The power stations were sold at Bass Pro, Cabela’s and REI stores nationwide and online at Amazon, Backcountry and GoalZero.com from April 2019 through August 2020 for about $150. The model number can be found on the first line of the specifications on the product label. The Goal Zero logo and “Yeti 25A Fast Charge” can be found on top of the power supply box. Contact Goal Zero at 888-794-6250; or go online at www.goalzero.com/productfeatures/fast-charger-recall/ and fill out a form.
Electric fireplaces can cause a real fire An electric fireplace housed in a cherry wood-colored cabinet and sold exclusively at Lowe’s stores has been recalled. Wiring connectors in the allen + roth brand 62-inch wide, 5,120-BTU infrared quartz electric fireplace can overheat, posing a fire hazard. Importer L G Sourcing has received 28 reports of overheating, fire, or smoke. Several of these incidents reportedly caused smoke damage to the surrounding area and, in one instance, smoke inhalation. The units were sold at Lowe’s stores nationwide and Lowes.com from January 2013 through April 2018 for about $700. Contact L G Sourcing, Inc. at 888-251-1019, or visit lowes.com and click on Recalls & Product Safety at the bottom of the page for more information.
Sunbeam recalls express crock The Crock-Pot 6-Quart Express Crock Multi-Cooker has been recalled. The multicooker can pressurize when the lid is not fully locked. This can cause the lid to suddenly detach while the product is in use, posing burn risks to consumers from hot food and liquids ejected from the product. Sunbeam Products has received 119 reports of lid detachment, resulting in 99 burn injuries ranging in severity from first-degree to third-degree burns. The multicooker was sold at Walmart, Target and other retail stores nationwide and online at Amazon and other online retailers from July 2017 through November 2020 for between $70 to $100. Contact Crock-Pot at 800-323-9519 , or go online at recall.crock-pot.com/ for more information.
Hoosier Energy news
HOW TRAINING CAME TO THE FOREFRONT FOR SAFE POWER DELIVERY For nearly four decades, training has helped co-op line workers build skills, focus on safety About 40 years ago, co-op leaders thought to develop a training program to ensure lineworkers had the skills and knowledge they needed to keep themselves and others safe on the job. Based on this idea, a formal training program was set into motion in 1974, and the first Hoosier Energy Apprenticeship Training and Safety (HEATS) class launched the following
ALL THE WAY TO THE TOP: Bob Richhart and Kenneth Seger (standing on the ground) provide training at the Franklin Training Center in the early 2000s.
The HEATS program has
A Hoosier Energy employee
become a cornerstone of
had a vision to turn a rural site
Hoosier Energy’s employee
west of Franklin, Indiana, into
development program, as well
a home base for both classes
as a continuing education
and physical training for the
opportunity for journeymen.
“I really can’t say enough about
Today, Chief Technology
the Franklin Training Center
Officer Bob Richhart’s
and the work our safety team
passion and vision for
does there,” Richhart said.
employee training and safety
“The facility offers in-depth
has been instrumental in
training in a safe environment
meeting the growing needs
that allows for one-on-one
of member cooperatives.
classroom and field work.”
Trapper Jack Note to readers: Jack Spaulding has just released his second full-length book. In “Coon Hunter and the Kid,” Jack shares tales of a rural Midwestern boy’s journey to manhood and the lifelong bonds and lessons learned on the hunting trail. For this month’s column, we present an excerpt.
I asked Anders, “What’s for supper?” Anders just smiled and said, “Boy, it’s something special I know you will like!” Clara opened the oven, pulled out a roasting pan and set the main course
As a young boy, I considered myself to
catch possums. Rush County was full
be an excellent outdoorsman. Truth be
of possums. Heck, sometimes Mom
known, I didn’t own a gun; I didn’t catch
would hit a couple with the car just
many fish; and I had to be the worst
getting to town.
trapper in history. One entire trapping season, all I caught was a cold. It’s depressing for a budding mountain man to know he’s being continually outsmarted by the likes of a bunch of muskrats.
The bargain I struck with Mr. Mantooth gave me renewed incentive and confidence. And, sure enough, I found I was able to outsmart possums. All I had to do was get them into a gunny sack and drop them off on Anders’
About the time I was ready to call it
porch. Soon the silver was rolling
quits, our neighbor Anderson Mantooth
in. My best week, I racked up three
asked me how my trapping career
possums. I sacked up one small one
was going. Before I could tell Anders
and two 50-centers for Anders!
the muskrats on Flatrock River had advanced degrees in trap avoidance, he said, “If you catch a possum, keep me in mind. I’ll pay you 25 cents for a small one and 50 cents for a big one.”
One day the following summer, Anders asked if I would like to eat supper with him and his wife, Clara. Being polite and always half-starved, I readily agreed, washed up, and took a seat
Eureka ... my little eyes had dollar
at the table. Clara’s kitchen always
signs for pupils! Old Anders had just
smelled good, but this evening, it
made me a rich man! I knew I could
smelled especially good.
Indiana Connection has four copies of Jack’s book to give away. To register to win one of the randomly drawn books, go to IndianaConnection.org and click on “Enter a Contest” under “Talk to Us.”
on the table. There, looking at me while swimming in a half-inch of grease was one of the 50-centers from last fall! As I recall the meal: the potatoes and corn were excellent, and the whole milk was nice and cold. As for the possum … it was good. The meat was a light yellow in color, a little stringy and greasy, and with just a few bites … very filling!
JACK SPAULDING is a syndicated state outdoors writer and a member of RushShelby Energy. Readers can email him directly at jackspaulding@ hughes.net. Jack’s first book, “The Best of Spaulding Outdoors,” a compilation of his favorite articles over 30 years is now available as a Kindle download or as a 250-page paperback from Amazon. com.
Variety is the spice of her job Top 3
responsibilities in a day: • Everyday is a new adventure. Some days I process payroll, other days I tackle business expenses, handle capital credit estate retirement packages or work with month end reports. • Verifying deposits and updating our accounting software. • Tracking receipts for the company and tool allowance expenditures for our crews, logging vacation time and processing specific accounting and human resource forms.
Chelsi Jackson Accounting & HR Assistant HCREMC
What types of jobs have you held at the cooperative? Customer service and billing representative, part-time accounting assistant. I recently accepted an accounting and human resources (HR) assistant position.
What education and training did you need to be successful in this position? My prior experiences in the customer service and billing department and the accounting department allowed me to succeed in this position. I am pursuing my degree in business administration which has given me more insight into the inner mechanisms of business.
What is the most fulfilling part of your job? I enjoy doing payroll.
What is the most challenging part of your job? It’s been challenging learning all of the things associated with this job. I started in October of 2020. The job is so varied, and there are so many different things I am responsible for. I’m still learning the ins and outs. It’s challenging, but it’s a good challenge.
What is your favorite thing about working for an electric cooperative? The smaller size of the cooperative compared to working for a large corporation. I feel more like a family member instead of just an employee number.
INTERESTED IN AN ELECTRIC CO-OP CAREER? Visit WePowerIndiana.org to learn about available careers or tell us about yourself.