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P.O. Box 425 Mars, Pa. 16046
President & Publisher
Laura Lyn Arnold
Publisher Emeritus & Contributor Marion Swanson Piotrowski
Executive Editor Janice Lane Palko
Managing Editor/Public Relations Coordinator Paula M. Green Paula@northernconnectionmag.com Marketing & Account Executive Mary L. Simpson
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Paula M. Green Janice Lane Palko Sofya Stearns
Northern Connection is published twelve times a year by Swanson Publishing, LLC (P.O. Box 425, Mars, PA 16046, 724-940-2444) and is distributed free of charge to the northern suburbs of Pittsburgh. Subscription can be purchased from the publisher at $25 for one year.
The mission of the Swanson Publishing, LLC is to connect the northern suburbs of Pittsburgh by publishing the area’s finest community publication, Northern Connection. The publication is dedicated to the people, communities, educational, religious, travel, and recreational needs of the area. The contents of Northern Connection magazine may not be reproduced or copied in whole or in part without written permission from the publisher. Northern Connection magazine reserves the right to refuse editorial or advertisements that do not meet the standards of this publication.
Let’s Table ItBy Janice Lane Palko
When a new year begins, I like to take stock of my life and see where I can make some improvements. One thing I’d like to change is how I eat. During the lockdown when we had much more time at home, my family and I found ourselves for lack of something to do, setting the table and eating Sunday dinner in our dining room.
When I was growing up, we always ate dinner at a table, and I was often asked to set the table. I still use the mnemonic device I learned as a little girl to set the table. I remember that the knife (who is the dad) and the spoon (his kid) go on the right because he’s taking her for a walk while the mom (the fork) stays at home on the left and cooks. Sundays, back then when there were blue laws, laws that prohibited some commercial operations from being open on Sunday, many families gathered for dinner on Sundays.
I don’t know if it was the advent of TV dinners or if our lives became too hectic, but our family dinner has eroded over time. When my kids were small, we all sat down at our kitchen table, but as they grew older and had more after school activities, our dinner hour degraded. I, and the rest of my family, have gotten into the habit of eating in front of the TV or eating while I’m standing or eating while I’m doing something else.
According to the Family Dinner Project, there are many benefits from eating together and not just avoiding spilling food down the front of your shirt. In an April 2020 interview
by the Harvard School of Education with the executive director of the Family Dinner Project, Anne Fishel, stated:
There have been more than 20 years of dozens of studies that document that family dinners are great for the body, the physical health, the brains and academic performance, and the spirit or the mental health, and in terms of nutrition, cardiovascular health is better in teens, there’s lower fat and sugar and salt in home cooked meals even if you don’t try that hard, there’s more fruit, and fiber, and vegetables, and protein in home cooked meals, and lower calories. Kids who grow up having family dinners, when they’re on their own tend to eat more healthily and to have lower rates of obesity. Then the mental health benefits are just incredible. Regular family dinners are associated with lower rates of depression, anxiety, and substance abuse, and eating disorders, and tobacco use, and early teenage pregnancy, and higher rates of resilience and higher self-esteem.
Who knew that something as simple as sitting down to eat together can be so beneficial? When we traveled in the Holy Land last fall, we witnessed how both Jews and Muslims there placed a high priority on dining together as a family. Though they live in political tension, overall, they seemed more relaxed as people. Perhaps this is one reason why.
So, this year, I’m going to make an effort to eat while sitting at a table and to take the time on Sundays to set the table and dine civilly. n
The Turn Club Features New Award-Winning ChefBy Janice Lane Palko
“I’ve been cooking since I was a child,” said Pamela Delaude, The Turn Club in Cranberry Township’s new 5-star chef. Delaude grew up in Lima, Peru, where cooking was second nature to her. Her grandfather was a chef, and she has Italian ancestry and spent time in Italy cooking there. .
“Iwent to college and studied business, but cooking is really where my heart is. I traveled all over Italy picking up the regional cuisines,” said Delaude.
She came to the United States 14 years ago and attended Pierpont Community and Technical College in Fairmont, West Virginia, graduating with honors in both Culinary Arts and Baking & Pastry. During her training, she won numerous awards and went on to compete in community events, judging others in culinary contests or teaching other students.
Nemacolin Woodlands is one of the many places where she’s delighted diners with her culinary creations. She came to Pittsburgh last year and worked at several restaurants as an Executive Chef. She recently consulted on setting up The Turn Club’s kitchen. It was through this opportunity that she came to know Jay Sebes, managing partner of The Turn Club.
The Turn Club is the new indoor golf, dining and entertainment experience in Cranberry Twp. Located at 1298 Freedom Road, The Turn Club opened July 29. The new 12,000-square-foot complex has a full-service bar and restaurant, including a large patio for outdoor dining, six golf simulation bays, six-hole putting green and onsite instruction for beginners as well as for those wanting to elevate their play.
“The turn” is a term golfers use to note the end of the front nine holes and their making “the turn” to the back nine. Traditionally, it’s at “the turn” where golfers meet, have a drink or a bite to eat, before carrying on with their round,” said Sebes, managing partner of The Turn Club. “That’s the atmosphere we offer—one of camaraderie, fun, food and drink and golf!”
Many places offer food, drink and fun, but The Turn Club has turned that up a notch with the addition of Delaude in the kitchen. “When I create a dish, I emphasize using fresh, quality ingredients that are locally sourced. No matter where I’ve traveled in the world and cooked, that is the difference between good food and excellent food,” said Delaude, who also takes into consideration presentation, color and texture in her dishes.
In the spirit of “the turn” where people meet to drink and have a bite to eat, The Turn Club is not just for those who love golf, but also for everyone, especially those that love a good meal. “I want to show my roots and different cultures in my cooking. I like mixing cuisines and creating unique dishes. For instance, our tacos are not your average ones. Ours are set apart with radish, Peruvian onion salsa, and Chipotle aioli,” said Delaude.
Some may describe The Turn Club’s menu as “country club fare,” but Delaude said it features all those favorite menu items but created in ways to tantalize the taste buds.
“We also try to accommodate food allergies. We have gluten-free options, and vegan options. I even have vegan cheese. My philosophy is if somebody wants something special, and I have the ingredients on hand, I’ll make it for them.”
“When someone comes to The Turn Club to eat, it is my goal to make them feel comfortable, like they are in my home and part of the family. I love creating dishes and cooking, and I invite everyone to come to The Turn Club and be happy!” said Delaude. n
Farewell, Franco Rest in PeaceBy Paula Green
Hang onto your hats; here come the Steelers out of the huddle. Twenty-two seconds remaining. It’s down to one big play, fourth down and 10 yards to go. Terry Bradshaw at the controls. And Bradshaw… running out of the pocket, looking for somebody to throw to, fires it downfield, and there’s a collision! And it’s caught out of the air!
The ball is pulled in by Franco Harris! Harris is going for a touchdown for Pittsburgh! Harris is going…five seconds left on the clock. Franco Harris pulled in the football; I don’t even know where he came from!— Jack Fleming, on the Steelers radio broadcast
Aah, the Immaculate Reception. By now we all know that Franco Harris was the running back who scored this miraculous touchdown on December 23, 1972, at Three Rivers Stadium in Pittsburgh. The renowned touchdown is No. 1 on the “NFL 100 Greatest” ranking of the top 100 Plays in NFL history.
Fifty years later, we are still talking about it. On December 24, 2022, a celebration took place at Acrisure Stadium, where the “Immaculate Reception” was commemorated and Franco Harris had his number 32 jersey officially retired. Sadly, Franco was missing from the celebration. Harris passed away four days prior to the event. His sudden, untimely death stunned fans, who loved him. And he loved them right back.
The Steelers acquired Harris in the first round of the 1972 NFL Draft, the 13th overall pick out of Penn State. He went on to play 12 successful years with the Steelers. He was named rookie of the year in 1972 and Super Bowl MVP in 1975. Harris was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1990. Many feel that his Immaculate Reception play was the spark that launched the Steeler’s Dynasty.
But as great as Harris was on the field, he was equally a champion off the field. Harris was on the board of the Pittsburgh Public School’s Pittsburgh Promise. Two of his numerous charity drives were supporting the LIHEAP power support programs in Pittsburgh and collaborating with the Franciscan Sisters of the Poor Foundation in New York City. He was also involved with Special Olympics and The Glimmer of Hope, a Western Pennsylvania breast cancer foundation.
Despite his sudden passing, the beautiful memories of Franco will live on through his legacy as a Steeler and humanitarian. May he rest in peace! n
Sources: americanfootballdatabase.fandom.com/wiki/Immaculate_Reception, kidadl.com/famouspeople-facts/franco-harris
Providence Heights Alpha Students Help North Hills Community Outreach with Their Baby Jesus’ Birthday Celebration
Students at Providence Heights Alpha School celebrated the birth of Baby Jesus on Wednesday, December 21. As part of the school’s focus on sharing and giving back to the community during December, Baby Jesus’s Birthday Celebration kicked off with students preparing 100 care packages for North Hills Community Outreach (NHCO). This nonprofit organization addresses the needs of people in crisis, hardship, and poverty. Younger students were paired with their middle school “buddies” to fill the packages.
The birthday celebration, which the 8th-grade students organized, included a prayer service and culminated with the entire student body singing traditional Christmas carols to the Sisters of Divine Providence outside their new residence. For decades, Baby Jesus’s Birthday Celebration has been an annual event that promotes servant leadership among the students and reinforces Alpha School’s commitment to serving the community.
Providence Heights Alpha School is an independent, private, Catholic, co-educational school for PreK through 8th-grade students. Alpha School was founded in 1926 and is sponsored by the Sisters of Divine Providence and located on the Sister’s historic 40-acre campus in McCandless Township. For more information on Providence Heights Alpha School, visit https://www.alphaschool.org/ or call (412) 366-4455. n
Cranberry Township 55+ Club meets 1:00 p.m. the 2nd Tuesday of the month at the Cranberry Township Municipal Center. Members must be residents of Cranberry Township. The Club features activities, social opportunities, and visits to nearby points of interest. For info, contact Bill at (724) 776-1933.
The Cranberry Chapter of Am Spirit Business Connections meets in Cranberry on Wednesday mornings from 7:15-8:30 am at Marty’s Suburban Bar & Grill. (also via Zoom) Currently looking for new members to join the group. For more information please contact Mike 724-612-7844 rentit@ general-rental-center.com.
Free Educational Seminars, Using Trusts to Protect Your Estate For Future Generations, 1 p.m., Jan. 19; Pigeons Heroes, 11 a.m., Feb. 14; The Importance of Early Estate Planning when Diagnosed with Degenerative Diseases, 1 p.m.,
Feb. 16; The History of North Park, 11 a.m., Feb. 28, The Legacy Theatre. For details, visit TheLegacyLineup.com.
Free Matinee Movies on Mondays, 2 p.m., Jan. 9, Emma; Jan. 16, no movie MLK; Jan. 23, Harriet; Jan. 30, Midway, at the Legacy Theatre at Cumberland Crossing in McCandless Twp. For details, visit TheLegacyLineup.com.
Kelly Strayhorn Theatre Events: January 16, The Audacity to Believe, an MLK day Celebration. The Alloy School Open House kicks off February 4 with a free survey of KST’s weekly dance classes, followed by an eight-week class session and celebratory Let’s Move! Family Dance Party! For details, visit kelly-strayhorn.org.
Northland Library, has numerous events scheduled for January. For a complete list of events, visit www.northlandlibrary.org or call (412) 366-8100.
UPMC Passavant Hospital Auxiliary Membership Opportunities, are you looking for a stimulating opportunity for social interaction with other dedicated people in support of our community hospitals UPMC Passavant McCandless and Cranberry? Join the Passavant Hospital Auxiliary’s long tradition of caring. The Auxiliary meets the 2nd Monday of each month, 10 a.m., Sept. through June. New members are welcome. For info, contact Nicole Kaib at (412) 748-6640 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Vintage Market is a non-profit store in Shaler that benefits The Blessing Board. Open every 10 a.m.- 3 p.m. Th/F/Sat in the Shaler Plaza, 880 Butler St. and Rt. 8 (look for the gray door between RiteAid & Planet Fitness).
Women’s Business Network has meetings scheduled in January at various times and locations. For a details list, visit www.wbninc.com.
Agora Cyber Charter School Offers Continuous Education for PA Students Grade K-12
Agora Cyber Charter School, an online public school established in 2005, has delivered an uninterrupted education to Pennsylvania students grades kindergarten through 12th for the last 16 years. The continuous educational choices begin with kindergarten and extend to graduation from the 12th grade.
Agora Stands Alone
A rigorous curriculum is delivered to all Agora students in real-time by PA-certified teachers. Live classroom instruction provides students with an engaging education, while going to public school in the safety and comfort of their homes. Deciding which educational opportunity best fits a child’s needs is crucial, and Agora has spent over 16 years ensuring their online educational model allows each student’s needs to be met.
Agora teachers incorporate a variety of options to differentiate and work with the range of skill levels that exist within the classroom. We believe that a student succeeds best when there is a strong partnership between home and school—one that thrives on communication. It is Agora’s vision to assist students in becoming lifelong learners.
Agora’s enrichment programs span throughout all grades with the National Honor Society chapters available for grades 4 to 12. Elementary and Middle School have Advanced Learners Programs, High School has 19 AP courses and 14 honor courses. Agora’s student-driven programs and curriculums are designed to provide all students with the best educational options which will meet their individual needs.
Twenty-eight percent of Agora students have an IEP. Upon enrollment the student’s IEP is immediately implemented, a review of the special education documents and
curriculum-based measures are then completed, following those processes a meeting with the family is conducted and the IEP is adapted to cyber education. Specially designed instruction and a standards-based curriculum are delivered by qualified staff to meet the educational, emotional, and physical needs of all students.
Unique to Agora are 83 family coaches who are the first point of contact to welcome the families to Agora and online learning. We refer to the family coaches as boots on the ground, as they are regionally located throughout the state. They are the liaison between the school and the family and provide an extra layer of support to the student for a successful educational experience. The family coach also organizes social opportunities for the students, during the last year this was done online.
Sixteen years of perfecting online cyber education has allowed Agora to offer robust schooling to any child in Pennsylvania who desires it, no matter the circumstances. Upon enrollment, each student receives a laptop, printer and all resource materials needed for online success. It takes a village to educate a student, at Agora from your first contact with the Enrollment Concierge, to the orientation and school advisers, principals, teachers, family coaches, we all rally around your student with you, as an essential support, for a successful cyber education. n
Elementary school principal Jansen Hornbake states “Agora’s elementary program builds a strong foundation of skills as students transition from learning to read to reading to learn. The students develop a deep conceptual understanding of math skills that lay the groundwork to success in their later years of schooling. Students who begin their journey here at Agora are able to shine as this learning progression continues through each school year.”
Students in kindergarten through grade 2 will be assigned one teacher for all core subjects. However, in grades 3 to 5, students will work with a team of teachers who each teach a specific core subject. Agora elementary teachers use their talents to develop and execute engaging, academically challenging lessons to meet the diverse needs of the learners in the classroom. Agora teachers and staff work alongside students and Learning Coaches to develop warm, caring learning environments where students can take academic risks in a safe space. It is our goal each day to help students achieve their potential.
Agora’s middle school is the grade span in which youngsters are most transformed throughout their academic career. They enter middle school as children and leave as young adults. Bridget Kozar, middle school principal states “We help students become independent with their learning and take responsibility for their education, as they continue to find their unique strengths and encourage them to flourish as they move towards high school.”
In middle school, Agora students are offered a standards-based curriculum in four core content areas: history, science, math and ELA. In addition, students may have the opportunity to participate in teacher-led electives of music, art and physical education. Agora’s goal is to prepare students for life beyond the classroom, so middle school students are exposed to a career-readiness course as well as a computer-literacy course.
The high school team has designed courses and instruction to engage the 21st-century learner with multiple units, lessons, and activities that allow for differentiation, practice, exploration, and assessment of learned skills. Parents can easily support their students by accessing the student calendar, which clearly illustrates assignments, due dates and grades in one easy-to-use tool designed to improve student focus.
Agora’s high school credit-based program values a well-rounded individual and believes that students who study the arts as well as history, mathematics, science and language arts have the best chance to be competitive members of their community after graduation. Agora students are offered a variety of career paths to post-secondary life. In addition to the core subjects, students have the option of choosing from 80 electives, 19 AP courses, and 14 honor courses. Destinations Career Academy offers industry-relevant pathways in Healthcare, Business and Information Technology and are complementary courses to the traditional high school program. “At Agora, we support your student in charting a new course. Whether it is a career pathway or college prep, we have courses that will guide them on their path to success,” explains high school principal Jeff Miller. 18 Agora school counselors are on hand to assist students with their academic, social, and emotional needs, to help them navigate high school and beyond.
NortherN CoNNeC 2023 eduCatio
It’s difficult to deny that the COVID-19 pandemic changed a lot of things including education. After months of schools being closed and students learning remotely, things have gradually gone back to normal, except for one thing: most students in the U.S. fell behind in their education. Research conducted by McKinsey & Company, which studied the effects of COVID-19 on the 2020-21 school year, “found that students were on average five months behind on math and four months behind in reading. For schools with largely minority populations, students fell six months behind in math and five to six months behind in reading.”
CtioN MagaziNe’s atioN guide
And that study didn’t even consider the mental health aspects the lockdowns had on children. While this news may seem rather gloomy, our area is packed with educational institutions that are determined to help students receive a first-rate education and excel. From private, parochial, cyber and charter schools, there is an abundance of options for helping your child receive the education needed to succeed in life. In addition, our area is replete with extracurricular activities and facilities that help to enrich a child’s total education.
Northern Connection magazine, once again, is pleased to present our annual Education issue, which features some of the best schools, colleges and universities and institutions of learning in the area. n
Shady Side Academy
Inspired by its mission “to challenge students to think expansively, act ethically and lead responsibly, Shady Side Academy’s driving purpose remains the development of responsible, transformative leaders for the City of Pittsburgh and beyond.
This reason for existing was embedded at our inception, as the pioneers of the American steel industry founded a preparatory school designed to ensure next-generation leadership for what they envisioned would become the great, enduring industrial city of the 20th century.
All of the 16 boys who attended Shady Side Academy during its inaugural year in 1883 lived in the neighbor-
hood of Shady Side, blocks away from the one-room schoolhouse on Aiken Avenue that served as the very first campus.
One hundred forty years later, Shady Side Academy is the most geographically diverse school in Western Pennsylvania. Across 189 acres and four campuses, Shady Side is small enough to know, support, and care for individual learners but also large enough to offer a pro-
gram where all students can find their place to lead and succeed, often on the biggest stage and under the brightest lights.
With the combination of our intimate and highly relational teaching, coaching, and advising models, we pair the closeness typically found in independent schools with the programmatic breadth and the fulsome community scale and spirit of a large public school district.
Sit down at a lunch table on our Senior School campus located in the heart of Fox Chapel and you will meet students from local areas like Wexford, Squirrel Hill, Garfield, Aliquippa, and Mount Lebanon—states like Florida, Vermont, New Jersey, Texas, and California—and global locales including China, Nova Scotia, Columbia, India, and the UK.
In all, the Shady Side community currently features families from well over 100 zip codes, 13 states, and 9 countries. Additionally, roughly 35 languages are spoken in Shady Side Academy homes.
But such geographic diversity means more to Shady Side than facts and figures on a school brochure—it ensures the manifold perspectives that deepen the teach-
ing and learning unique to our community.
As we look ahead, Shady Side Academy has an unparalleled opportunity in our region to help students grapple in age-appropriate ways with views they do not hold themselves and to build their capacity to engage and grow through civil, open discourse and the free expression of ideas. n
Parents in Pennsylvania have the power to select the best school for their children, one that challenges and supports them. Make the most informed choice possible, because education shapes your child’s future. Join PA Cyber in celebrating National School Choice Week January 22–28 in honor of the 1.7 million Pennsylvania students who deserve the right educational fit.
A Cyber’s legacy of nearly 20,000 graduates proves that a unique online education works for many. Over the past two decades, PA Cyber has grown and evolved— right along with its students— becoming one of the largest, most experienced, and most innovative online public schools in the nation. PA Cyber students can choose live instruction or a self-paced format. They can select a class schedule to best suit their lives outside of school. And they can complete their schoolwork anywhere. PA Cyber families embrace the flexibility of allowing the school to fit the student instead of the student having to fit into the school.
If it becomes necessary to try a new school experience, consider choosing PA Cyber for your child’s education. You have a choice. For more information, visit pacyber.org or call (724) 643-1180. n
It’s quite simple. Kids are like sponges; their brains can grasp unimaginable amounts of information. The younger they start, the more they will know by the time they are off to college and into the real world.
One of the things I’m most proud about the business I have created is not just making each dish from scratch, but that I “take” all my students around the world in my classes. They learn the language of each dish’s origin, “visit” art museums and famous sites and learn the dances of that region. Why? Everything on this planet has an origin, and I love opening a window to the world for each child that comes my way.
Then we come to my favorite subject - math. A child doesn’t need to be in kindergarten or first grade to learn
Knowledge is Power! Educating a Child is Perfect Quality Time Spent!
Knowledge is power. Knowledge will take you places! The most common question I receive about my business, Izabella’s Gourmet Chow, is: how is it possible to teach three-year-olds cooking and languages?
that one cup is made of four quarters or three 1/3 cups or 2 halves.
And as we wind down from the hectic holiday season, I would like for every mom to stop and ask yourself a question. Did you have a chance to explain to your child who is the inspiration for Santa Claus? If a child is obsessed with Santa, he may as well learn that Saint Nicholas was the third-century saint who became an inspiration for the modern-day Santa Claus. Or you may want to explain that this past year on December 18, Jews celebrated the first night of Hanukkah, a celebration of lights which lasts for eight nights.
When I search for ideas that would would make my classes fascinating each month, I always search for interesting facts. Why not learn something
together? Kids are more than eager to discover something new if a parent shows an interest in it as well. A good example to start with is January. Did you know that January is a month noting Asparagus and Artichokes? January 7 is National Tempura Day. So, guess what I’ll be making with my inspired chefs? Sushi incorporating tempura with asparagus. Doesn’t that sound fun, delicious and educational? Who wouldn’t want to “travel” to Japan and learn it’s language and some culture when combined with fun and food?
Moms, incorporate education anyway you can. Book learning is not the only way. Doing things together is educational too. Learn together. Education and quality time together most definitely go hand in hand. n
help to connect others as they care for and raise the little ones in their charge.
Do you have an idea for a feature in an upcoming MOM2MOMS article or looking for more healthy tips? Feel free to send an email to me at email@example.com
School Movers & Shakers
While scoring 48 points in a 95-92 win against WPIAL 2A opponent Leechburg on Tuesday, December 13, Aquinas Academy of Pittsburgh senior Vinnie Cugini climbed from 20th to 14th rank of WPIAL all-time basketball scoring leaders. Cugini previously reached 1,000 and 2,000 points faster than any player in WPIAL history.
Three Aquinas Academy of Pittsburgh seniors have received Letters of Commendation for their performance on the 2023 National Merit Scholarship Competition.
Mary BouSamra, Samuel Buchanan, and Liam Ellis rank among approximately 34,000 Commended Students nationwide who are being recognized for their exceptional academic promise.
St. Joseph High School
Saint Joseph High School (SJHS) has named five recipients for its 2023 Spirit of Saint Joseph Awards. The 2023 honorees include: John P. (Jay) Auses, posthumously, James R. Gilboy Jr., Thomas H. Kaniecki ‘62, posthumously, Sr. Lisa Paffrath, C.D.P., ‘63, and Heather Durkac Wygonik ‘91. Saint Joseph High School will present these awards at a dinner and ceremony on May 6 at Oakmont Country Club.
Two members of Mars Area High School Girls Varsity Soccer Team were selected to join in the 2022 High School All-American Game, which was held on Saturday, Dec. 10, in Panama City Beach, Fla.
Members of Mars Area High School
Competitive Cheer Team earned second place overall at the “Battle in the ‘Burgh” cheerleading competition.
Mars Area Centennial School sixth-grader Kinley Manges received third place for her entry, “Drowning in Pollution” in the 2022 Gene Capaldi Lens on Litter Photo Contest.
Mars Area Elementary School fourth-grader Rebecca Miller earned the title of 2023 Petite Miss Dance of Pennsylvania at the Dance Masters of Pennsylvania Chapter 10 Titles Competition.
On December 13, Butler County Community College graduated the first students to earn a practical nursing certificate through a selectiveadmissions program launched one year ago. Allison Alwine, Yeng Carle, Ariel Festa, Anthony Reeves-Crouch, Kaitlyn Steighner and Delanie Toy are the first to complete the only practical nursing program in Butler County and were recognized during a ceremony in Succop Theater on BC3’s main campus in Butler Township.
Gen X Wealth PartnersBy Janice Lane Palko
“I created Gen X Wealth Partners in 2020 during the middle of the pandemic because Gen X, those who were born from 1964-1980, face enormous pressure,” said Michael Labos, CFP®, CCFS®. “People in this age group are often juggling children, their career and taking care of parents, and I find that many people sacrifice saving for retirement for their children’s education, which is not wise as well as not necessary.”
With assistance from Gen X Wealth Partners, you can prepare for your retirement and your children’s education. “The first step is to establish a foundational plan. We set a budget, examine cash flow and make sure that clients have the necessary insurance. A budget is key. Either you control your budget, or your budget will control you. Many times, when we examine cash flow, we identify waste and that can be repurposed for savings for education.”
Obviously, the sooner parents begin to save for a child’s education the better. “You can even set up a 529 education plan account before a child is born and designate you as a beneficiary and then change that to the child after it is born,” said Labos, who is one of only a few Certified College Funding Specialists in the state. In Pennsylvania 529 contributions are tax deductible and withdrawals are tax free when used for qualified educational expenses. “You can even switch funds between children, and if you don’t use the 529 account, it is treated similar to an IRA,” said Labos.
The second part of college planning is meeting with Labos once your child is a sophomore. “We develop a college budget, determining how much a family can afford for education without taking on a debt,” said Labos, who stresses that although high school counselors are adept at advising students and parents about academics—what classes to take, what college majors are appropriate—they don’t talk to parents about their finances.
“I help parents and students to structure their assets to get the most financial aid and to look good on FAFSAs,” said Labos. “And I have many tools at my disposal. I can help identify ‘diamonds in the rough’—those schools that are a great value. Many of what I call ‘name brand schools,’ those colleges and universities with high name recognition, are not generous with their aid. Generally, private schools are more generous as they have endowments and offers grants, money that doesn’t need to be repaid.”
Often, parents feel guilty if their child doesn’t go to a bigname school and that can result in the parents sacrificing sav-
ings for retirement and their child being strapped with education debt. “I help with a cost-benefit analysis. We examine expected salaries from various majors, identify value schools, and we research merit aid and maximize scholarships. In effect, I get the parents and student on the same page.”
What is even more important is Labos can help parents and students acquire more aid. “Many parents don’t realize that you can negotiate for more aid. If you apply to several schools, even ones you have no intention of attending, but receive more aid from them, you can leverage that offer to negotiate for more aid.” Labos can also advise you on when to apply and when to accept admissions.
“College planning is a process, and like anything if it’s garbage in, it’s garbage out. I love getting parents and students the best education deal possible,” said Labos, whose practice is virtual. “I work out of my home by design, and it allow me to meet you in the comfort of your home and accommodate your busy schedule.” n
For more information, visit the website at: www.genxwealthpartners.com, or contact Labos at Michael@genxwealthpartners.com or by calling (724) 237-4584.
What to Do After Graduation?By Janice Lane Palko
So, what do you plan to do after graduation? That’s a question that many high school students and their parents contemplate and possibly one that causes them much anxiety. In the wake of the COVID-19 epidemic with remote classes, soaring educational costs, and a sluggish economy, many students and their parents are questioning the need to attend a traditional college and are mulling over enrolling in a vocational or technical schools.
While some students are certain that they want to attend college, students not sure what they should do may want to consider several factors. The first is the cost. According to the College Board, for 2022-23, the average published (sticker) tuition and fees for full-time students are:
• Public four-year in-state: $10,950
• Public four-year out-of-state: $28,240
• Public two-year in-district: $3,860
• Private nonprofit four-year: $39,400
Clearly, higher education is a huge investment, most likely second only to the purchase of a home. But it can be even more costly as Resume Genius states, “only 62% of students who enrolled in college in 2012 graduated with a bachelor’s degree within six years. The other 38% of students either took longer than six years to graduate or dropped out.”
“I’ve always known that I wanted to go to college after graduation, and the decision to attend a four-year university was made easy after I saw all the options and communities that I could be apart of,” said Clay McArthur, 18. “For some
people, there are inherent risks to taking on debt that often comes with higher education, but I look at attending college as an investment into my own future. There isn’t a specific road outlined for me to travel for my post-college gradua tion, but the opportunity to study something I’m passionate about and to find exactly what it is that I want to do while I continue to mature is a super enticing offer. On top of that, having the chance to attend a prestigious university is hard to pass up.”
Jay Piotrowski, 17, is a senior at Our Lady of Sacred Heart. Although he’s not sure what he’s going to do exactly after graduation, he does know that he doesn’t want to attend a tra ditional four-year college. “I’m open-minded to the trades or some sort of schooling, but ulti mately I’d like to own my own business,” said Jay. “I’d rather come out of high school and start making money and work ing my way toward my goal than come out of college four years later at 22 in a ton of debt.”
With higher education being such a large investment, like Jay, many are considering what the return will be on that investment. It is often noted that those graduates with a bachelor’s degree on average over the course of a lifetime will earn $1 million more than a worker with only a high-school education. But that is if the gradu ate finds a college-level job. And these days, that’s a big if. Research shows that 40% of college graduates are underem ployed in their first job, and two-thirds of these grads will still be underemployed five years later. At the 10-year mark, for
those workers who were underemployed at five years, threequarters of them will still be without a college-level job.
“Most of our enrollment is in degree programs (Associate/ Bachelors),” said Barry Shepard, Vice President, Marketing & Communications, Pittsburgh Technical College. “But what distinguishes PTC is that we have the right programs where the curriculum is kept current for market needs. We work with major employers on our advisory boards to ensure what PTC faculty are teaching is what is needed in the industries.”
PTC notes that it has the right blend of technical and applied learning in the right environment for its students to receive the education that allows them to hit the ground running. They also acquire real experience through an internship that is actually built into the curriculum as a required quarter.
“This all results in 93% of our graduates being placed in their field. You will often see colleges quoting placement rates, but very few actually use the phrase ‘in-field,’ and this is the most important qualifier,” said Shepard. “It means PTC graduates are being employed in the areas where they have passion. It’s the area they chose to pursue for their degrees.”
PTC offers more than 30 career-focused programs. “We like to say that PTC is where knowledge meets know-how,”
said Shepard, who notes that they enroll students right out of high school as well as a high percentage of non-traditional students aged from 19-35. “The non-traditional student is about half of our enrollment and includes transfer students, people who want to change careers, and re-entry students, among others.”
For students not sure about attending college, there are other options. For many, professional training at a trade school, technical school, or in an apprenticeship program may be a smarter choice. These students can enter the workforce earlier than those attending a four-year college or university and begin earning a living. They are trained specifically for a career, eliminating fluff courses or ones that have no relevance to their career. In addition, many high-paying jobs don’t require a degree and these industries are desperate for workers.
The key to a brighter future is self-knowledge. Many students need to resist the push to automatically attend a traditional college, and with the help of their parents, evaluate their strengths, desires, and career goals and decide what best suits their individual needs. n
WHERE KNOWLEDGE MEETS KNOW-HOW
More than 30 programs of study. Programs in technology, the trades, and frontline fields give you options. Strong academics and hands-on, project-based learning give you the best of both worlds. Grants and scholarships. Get about $17,000-$22,000 toward your associate degree.
Internships for degree-seeking students. You’ll gain real-world experience—and a competitive edge. Fact is, PTC has a 93% five-year in-field placement rate.
State-of-the-industry tools and technology. Like our new Robotics and Autonomous Engineering Technology program.
Aquinas Academy graduates are exceptionally formed young leaders who love God and neighbor. Tuition is a fraction of the cost of other elite private schools. Students benefit from a traditional curriculum with a classical emphasis and achieve among the highest SAT scores in the region.
Hit the ground running. Bottom line, you’ll leave PTC a pro—ready to excel in the workforce from day one.
Learn more at ptcollege.edu
*Showcases 2017-2021 PTC graduates. Financial aid is available to those who qualify. Visit ptcollege.edu/employmentstats to learn more. Nondiscrimination Statement: ptcollege.edu/nondiscrimination
Fleeing the Nest: Coping with the Emotions Around GraduationBy Maura Johnson
This excerpt comes from my favorite children’s book, Let Me Hold You Longer by Karen Kingsbury. There tends to be such emphasis on experiencing our childrens’ “firsts”; first word, first steps, first holidays, etc. And while these are certainly exciting and meaningful benchmarks, it’s not often we know the last time our children will ask to be picked up, need help getting ready or ask us to lie with them. As many of this year’s graduates prepare to leave home and take this first step towards adulthood, the “lasts” may seem to be everywhere.
As we find ourselves in the presence of a new year, many of us may experience January as a rather uneventful time. However, some will experience one of the most significant events in their
young lives as graduation approaches. For many teens, this is a long awaited time, with senioritis possibly in full swing and many exciting year end events on the horizon. While we look forward to celebrating and encouraging them, it’s very common to experience conflicting emotions. I often hear parents and caregivers say they can’t quite label this place between pride, happiness, nostalgia and sadness. I encourage families to consider how this may be its own grieving process, one where feelings can coexist and change rapidly.
How might grieving look during this time? While it’s an individual process, experiencing episodes of tearfulness, a sense of time escaping us, looking back on old photos/longing for earlier days and fears about their future are often all part of this journey. The confusion often arises as we are feeling all of this mixed with a swelling sense of pride and excitement for what lies ahead of them. I often have parents/caregivers tell me in session that they are upset with themselves for feeling anything but happiness for their child. Please know that you can be absolutely thrilled for them, while also grieving for what has passed. Accepting and allowing feelings often results in less struggle, as well as increasing our confidence that we can cope through it.
While this may be quickly approaching, there are still opportunities to maximize the time you have. I often encourage parents/ caregivers to engage with their support network and really talk about how difficult this may be for them. Talk to your teen about what excites them about this transition, and also what fears or concerns they may have. Grow your bond through these talks and notice the relationship taking its first steps towards an adult one. Expect that you may be very emotional when that time comes and that is completely okay. You are definitely not alone and so much else lies ahead. n
Maura Johnson is a licensed clinical social worker currently in practice at Cranberry Psychological Center. She is a certified perinatal mental health provider, as well as a contributing staff member with Postpartum Support International. While her primary focus is treating PMADs, she also treats a variety of conditions and clients of all ages. She resides in the Pittsburgh area with her husband, Brendan, daughter, Sloane, and dog, Max.
“Long ago you came to me, A miracle of firsts: First Smiles and teeth and baby steps, A sunbeam on the burst. But one day you will move away And leave me to your past, And I will be left thinking of A lifetime of your lasts…”
–Karen Kingsbury, Author
Pittsburgh Technical College
Technical and applied learning is a key element in preparing students for the demands they will face on the job. At Pittsburgh Technical College, we’re proud of our hands-on approach to learning that results in consistent infield placement rates, with a five-year average of 93%* from 2016-2020.
Our new Robotics and Autonomous Engineering Technology program is no exception. Developed in partnership with Aurora Innovation, LLC, a leader in autonomous driving innovation, students benefit from a multidisciplinary approach that provides them with real-world experience customizing and maintaining robotic systems as they train to become the service engineer technicians’ employers are seeking. n
*Showcases 2017-2021 PTC graduates. Financial aid is available to those who qualify. Visit ptcollege.edu/employmentstats to learn more. Nondiscrimination Statement: ptcollege.edu/nondiscrimination
Friend or Foe for Your Health?By Belinda Burchick, RPh, BPharm
January truly kicks off the snowy weather in the Pittsburgh area, which presents with about 45 days of snowfall and accumulation of over 12 inches for the winter season. The prediction for this season is that it will be colder than normal with more than average snowfall. Most of the snow accumulation will be between January and early March.
Some of you travel south to get away from the snow, while others travel north to embrace more snow. Snowfall can bring health benefits and have a positive effect on your mental health, but it comes with a warning label.
Below is a short list of why snow can be your friend or foe:
Freshly fallen snow brings a sound of silence, creating a calm which is beneficial to your health. Studies have shown that snow can absorb up to 60% of sound. Next time it snows, dress up warm, go outside and stand in the snow to experience this relaxing and magical feeling.
Snow can amplify the sounds in nature, such as the creaking of trees. Studies have shown that sounds of nature awaken the parts of your brain that send signals of calm and relaxation to your body.
Snow sports have many positive effects. Studies have shown that exercise in general puts a positive spin on your mood. Being active in nature, especially with the beauty of snow, takes you to the next level of happiness and makes you feel more alive.
Overall, being outside in nature during the snowy season is correlated with contentment and positivity. On the flipside, snow and wintery weather can present some health hazards.
Overexertion in the snow with activities such as snow shoveling may lead to a heart attack in some people. Colder temperatures can raise your blood pressure and constrict the coronary arteries, so exertion with shoveling can lead to a health hazard for your heart. The Pennsylvania Department of Health website provides information on how to remove snow safely, such as, shoveling in shifts instead of all at once. It recommends drinking water to prevent dehydration and pushing snow instead of lifting it.
Snow can cause you to slip and fall, causing physical injury. For seniors, it could mean a fractured hip. Use extra caution while walking, and make sure to use a de-icer on your sidewalk and driveway.
Staying outside in very cold temperatures can cause frostbite if you do not have areas of skin covered such as fingers.
Driving on wintery roads can lead
to accidents causing physical injury. Take caution and wait until roads are de-iced before traveling.
Snow is here, so now is the time to get prepared to go outside. Just a little bit of snow can inhibit your ability to get around, which can have implications for your health.
Keep up on the daily weather advisories, dress warm, keep extra clothing and blankets in your car, and don’t forget to bring any medical devices with you.
If you are prepared for cold, snowy weather, you will find Joy in this winter season.
Snow is simply magical. Embrace it with caution.
Take care. n
To our first year of mending hearts.
AHN Wexford Hospital opened its doors last September, bringing advanced heart care to the North Hills.
From the latest diagnostic testing to minimally invasive procedures, our top-ranked cardiologists offer lifesaving heart care, close to home. See the AHN difference at ahn.org/wexford.
Roberto Clemente Honored for Military Service and Pittsburgh Steelers Pay Tribute to Local VeteransBy Paula Green
When you hear Roberto Clemente’s name, you think of greatness and how he was a phenomenal baseball player. While he was a member of the Pittsburgh Pirates, Clemente had impressive statistics – 3,000 hits, 240 home runs and a lifetime batting average of .317. In addition, he was a two-time World Series champion (1960 and 1971). Clemente won the National League’s Most Valuable Player (MVP) award in 1966 and the World Series MVP in 1971. Every year from 1961 to 1972, he won a Gold Glove. Clemente led the National League in hitting in 1961, 1964, 1965 and 1967.
Clemente was also heavily involved in charity work in Latin America and Caribbean countries. Sadly, he died doing humanitarian work. On December 31, 1972, eight days after a massive earthquake hit Managua, Nicaragua, Clemente was en route to deliver aid to the victims when his plane crashed, resulting in his death at the age of 38.
Fifty years later, this man is still hailed as a hero and was recently honored for his military service. Clemente enlisted in the United States Marine Corps Reserve in 1958 following the baseball season. He spent six months on active duty at Parris Island, South Carolina, and Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. Clemente was one of seven in his platoon to be promoted to private first class.
In all, he spent six years in the military as an infantryman.
Clemente was honored on October 5 by The Veterans Channel and The American Legion United States Marine Corps Post 726 from Bethel Park. Clemente’s sons Luiz and Roberto Jr. were on hand as their late father was honored for his military service. Joe Billetdeaux, director of Alumni Affairs, Promotions, and Licensing for the Pittsburgh Pirates, helped coordinate the presentation. Also on hand were Carl Truss and Lexi Kamphaus of the Veterans Channel, who served as co-presenters of the award. Master Sergeant Chuck Burrow and members of Pittsburgh’s American Legion USMC South Hills Detachment 726 from Bethel Park also served as presenters.
Truss was also part of another special military tribute, but the Pittsburgh Steelers held this one. In November, the NFL team had a special armed services event in which a select group of veterans was honored with a military banner. Truss was presented with a sign that paid tribute to his years of service in the U.S. State Marine Corps.
Truss expressed his gratitude to the team. “What an honor! This has left me speechless. Several armed forces veterans and I attended the Pittsburgh Steelers Military Veterans event and were given these posters in honor of our military service. Not only that, but a copy of these same posters is also now hanging on the lamp posts located on Art Rooney Boulevard. I am speechless and extremely humbled by this!”
Northern Connection magazine salutes Roberto Clemente, Carl Truss, and the other military veterans honored by the Pittsburgh Steelers. Thank you for your service! n
Sources : news.va.gov, robertoclementefoundation.com
Happy Chinese New Year!By Rothrock’s Kung Fu & Tai Chi
Emperor Huang Ti introduced the concept of a chronological record of years in the 61st year of his reign. The twelve animals of the zodiac comprise one 60-year cycle. We have now entered the 78th cycle since its conception in the year 2637 B.C.
According to legend, Buddha, the founder of Buddhism, summoned all the animals to him before he died. Only twelve animals responded to the summons. He named a year after each animal in order of their appearance: Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Sheep, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, and Boar.
Each animal corresponds to the five elements that constitute the universe: metal, water, wood, fire, and earth. They are also charged negatively or positively in accordance with the principle of the Yin and Yang. The Rat, Tiger, Dragon, Horse, Monkey, and Dog are positive; while the Ox, Rabbit, Snake, Sheep, Rooster, and Boar are negative.
The Chinese believe that the animal sign under which you are born constitutes your disposition. They believe the animal hides in your heart.
Chinese New Year falls between the end of January and the end of February… just around the corner. This
year, Chinese New Year starts on January 22.
A Rabbit year is a placid year, very much welcomed and needed after the ferocious year of the Tiger. We should go off to some quiet spot to lick our wounds and get some rest after all the battles of the previous years.
Money can be made without much labor. Our lifestyle will be languid and leisurely as we allow ourselves the luxuriousness we have always craved for. It should be a temperate year with an unhurried pace. For once, it may seem possible for us to be carefree and happy without too many annoyances.
A person born in the year of the Rabbit possesses one of the most fortunate of the twelve signs. The Rabbit or Hare as he is referred to in Chinese mythology is the emblem of longevity and is said to derive his essence from the moon.
The Rabbit symbolizes good manners, sound council, kindness and sensitivity to beauty. His soft speech and graceful and nimble ways embody all the desirable traits of a successful diplomat or seasoned politician.
But he is also inclined to be moody. At such times, he appears detached from his environment or indifferent to people. n
Trivia 23By Paula Green
Welcome to 2023! In honor of the New Year, we will look at the significance of the number 23. Let’s start with the Bible; Psalm 23 is a sacred prayer, and the King James version starts, “The Lord is my shepherd. I shall not want.” In Numerology, the Angel Number 23 possesses a message of peace, comfort, belonging and positive energy.
The “Birthday Paradox” states that a group of 23 random people is the lowest number, where there will be a probability of at least 50% that two people will share a birthday. The number 23 is the smallest prime number with consecutive digits, and when you add the two together you get another prime number (5). Did you know that the fear of the number 23 is called Duotriophobia?
The Earth’s axis has an estimated tilt of around 23.5 degrees, which allows our planet to have its seasons. It takes 23 seconds for blood to circulate the body. A 23-sided shape is called an icosakaitrigon.
Some great inventions have occurred on this magical number. On May 23, 1785, Benjamin Franklin announced his invention of bifocals. On March 23, 1836, the coin press was created, and on September 23, 1879, the audio phone, an early hearing aid, was invented.
The 23rd Amendment of the U.S. Constitution permits citizens of Washington, D.C., the right to vote in presidential elections. Benjamin Harrison was the 23rd President of the United States. His wife, Caroline, was a key figure in the Daughters of the American Revolution.
Of course, the number 23 has been donned by famous athletes. In basketball, Chicago Bulls superstar Michael Jordan and Los Angeles Lakers LeBron James sported that number. NFL players that showcased 23 were Troy Vincent, Patrick Surtain, Joe Haden, David Whitsell, and Brig Owens. In hockey there was Bob Nystrom, Eddie Shack, and Bob Gainey who took to the ice wearing 23. Baseball had Ryne Sandberg, Don Mattingly, Dave Justice, Kirk Gibson, David Freese, and Bobby Bonilla, who batted their way, exhibiting 23 on their jersey.
An American slang phrase used in the early 20th century, 23-Skidoo, means “Let’s get out of here as fast as we can!” Since we have run through all things 23, we must now figure our way through this numerical query. So, get set to don those thinking caps because it’s time to get a little trivial.
1. Who was the author of the Psalm 23?
2. Each parent contributes 23 of these to the start of human life.
3. What is the 23rd letter of the alphabet?
4. This U. S. state was the 23rd one admitted to the Union in 1820.
5. Which summer day is the most common date to spot a UFO every year?
6. Name the famous English playwright who was born on and also died on April 23.
7. At one time, this former NBA player wore 23. His name is Ron Artest but in 2011 he legally changed it to this?
8. There have been two cinematic hit films surrounding the number 23; in 1998 there was 23, and in 2007 this movie was released.
9. Who was the 23rd Vice President who served under Grover Cleveland’s first administration?
10. The youngest golfer to win the Masters, was this gentleman and he did so at the age of 23.
11. A seafood restaurant located in San Francisco, Virginia Beach and Ocean City, Maryland.
12. Which former Pittsburgh Steeler wore the number 23 from 1971-1980?
13. On June 26, 2001, this Pirates manager (whose uniform number was 23) was so upset over a call at first base that he ripped the base out of the ground and walked off with it.
14. She’s a fictional superhero appearing in Marvel Comics commonly associated with the X-Men, and her code name is Wolverine.
15. What was the date of the “greatest NFL play of all time –The Immaculate Reception?” n
Sources: biblegateway.com/passage, www.gospelchops.com/23-angelnumber-meaning/, www.braingle.com/trivia/quiz.php?id=7171, www.thefactsite.com/number-twenty-three-facts/, www.ranker.com, https://flurrysports.org/23-days-until-nfl-kickoff-best-players-to-wear-23-in-nfl-history/, listafterlist.com/top-23-facts-about-the-number-23/ Answers: 1. King David 2. chromosomes 3. W 4. Maine 5. July 23 6. William Shakespeare 7. Metta World Peace 8. The Number 23 9. Adlai Stevenson 10. Jack Nicklaus 11. Pier 23 12. Mike Wagner 13. Lloyd McClendon 14. X-23 15. December 23, 1972
Planning for Another Farming SeasonBy Ron Eichner
Hey folks, January is not only the start of a new year, but it’s also the time of year when most farmers are planning for another season of farming answering the how, what, where, and why. Most farms may look quiet, serene and tranquil during winter, but trust me. They’re still putting in genuinely long days.
January 1 is New Year’s Day, and it comes 11 days after the start of winter. It also is a holiday or festival observed throughout most of the world. A quick tip, one way to keep all your goals and resolutions is don’t make any! January 6 is the feast of the Epiphany, commonly known as the Three Kings Day, which happens to be 12 days after Christmas and commences and it commemorates the Three Wisemen visiting Baby Jesus. January 7 is Orthodox Christmas. The Orthodox churches did not accept the Gregorian calendar and continued to follow the old Julian calendar. Therefore, some also call the holiday Old Christmas Day. January 9 is National Law Enforcement Day, a day to thank our police officers who protect our communities, and was founded in 2015. Wear the color blue for the day to demonstrate your appreciation. January 16 is Martin Luther King Jr. Day. It is observed on the third Monday of January each year; some people confuse this day with his birthday on January 15. Also, January 16 is National Nothing Day, which has been observed every year since 1975.
I have had a few customers ask me if I have heard of the 32-work week and what I thought about it. In two average days on the farm, one can easily have 32 hours in and still have five more days to finish the work week. If you get a chance, since the federal government is the largest employer in the United States, look at H.R. 4728 – 117th Congress (2021-2022). 32-hour, four-day work week. What about a 40-hour, four-day work week? I have read people can get more work done in a 32-hour week than in a five-day, 40-hour work week. Recently, our government paid people to stay home and even paid farmers not to work on their farms.
The push for a four-day workweek is because of the stress and anxiety in the workplace. What is needed is an extra day off each week. With three days off, some folks can work part-time at businesses that need help. Many retire from their careers and pick up part-time work to fill the void left from their first chapter of working life. A great quote is, “If you realize meaning in your work, you tend to be more satisfied in life.”
Much to the surprise of some, we are made in God’s image. And we are made to work, and work is an expression of obedience to God, a way to honor Him by fulfilling the assignment. Work is not the enemy, and businesses are not the enemy. The real enemy is failure to see our goals as a service for our family, friends and communities. Maybe we need to seek to change the things that interfere with the joy work can bring us all.
January on the farms is a time to focus on planning the next farm season, looking at seed books for purchasing vegetables, flowers and herb seeds, and looking over the planting schedules for greenhouses and vegetable production. Farms with orchards are pruning their fruit trees. Mother Nature is our silent partner in
all that a farmer does, and Mother Nature can be good with nice seasonal weather and timely rains for the crops or deal farms with droughts, and frosts throughout the spring or early in the fall, cutting the season short. The adversities of farming - it can be bad from time to time, but good times are what we work for.
Diversification on the farm can balance the ups and downs; it can also increase the workload throughout the year. Often the seasons overlap, and it easily makes for long days. A farmer’s work week isn’t how to get an extra day off each week, it’s how to balance it all out throughout each month.
Our area family farmers share one trait: we are here to support our community and need community support. My family and I wish you and your family and friends a Blessed and Happy New Year. You are welcome to stop by Eichner’s Whole Farm and Greenhouses at 285 Richard Road, Wexford, and get “the rest of the story.” n