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C E L E B R AT I N G H E R I TA G E , FA R M A N D H E A LT H Y L I V I N G I N T H E H E A R T O F A M E R I C A

Ozark

Hills Hollows AUGUST • SEPTEMBER 2015

20

King of the Hill

Slinging mud and having fun at Rush Springs Ranch

30

Artisan Dairies in the Ozarks Sources of local milk and cheese

FREE MAGAZINE

46

Down to the Core Apple recipes and more!

August • September 2015 | 1


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*Purchase or& lease any new (previously untitled) Subaru and receive a complimentary factory scheduled maintenance plan for 2 years or 24,000 miles (whichever comes first.) 2 | OZARK Hills Hollows See Subaru Added Security Maintenance Plan for intervals, coverages, and limitations. Customer must take delivery before 12-31-2015 and reside within the promotional area.


Find the perfect gift you knowshe will love The holidays are just around the corner...

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417-847-2195

August • September 2015 | 3


Quality furniture coupled with decor that will intrigue and inspire. Well made furniture brings warmth to your home. The rich colors and natural, exposed wood grains bridge the gap between furniture and art.

Complimentary lighting,

distinctive decor and finishing touches help you create the

ambiance you’ve dreamed of. Local craftsman, Matt Hudgins, along with his wife, Heather, invite you to visit their store in Cassville. You will find Matt’s creative style blended perfectly with his skilled attention to detail. Matt only uses the finest reclaimed and milled wood. Unique Cross Grains furniture is crafted using superior hardware and the most durable finishes for quality that will last for years to come.

Custom orders available on furniture, lighting and linens. Let us find or make what you’re looking for.

www.mh-customwoodworks.com 805 Main Street | Cassville, Missouri | 417-847-7658 4 |

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Hills&Hollows

Q UA L I T Y R U S T I C F U R N I T U R E , L I G


Check out our selection of one-of-a-kind lighting fixtures made with reclaimed and repurposed finds.

Local photographer CHRISTINA LEACH has canvasmounted prints available for sale featuring beautiful images from all over the country

LI GHTING AND DECOR

August • September 2015 | 5


Ozark

Hills Hollows

CELEBRATING HERITAGE, FARM AND HEALTHY LIVING IN THE HEART OF AMERICA

Our hope is to provide a window into the lifestyle, passions and beauty of the people and activities that are going on all around the Ozark communities we live in. Our publication is widely available for FREE throughout southwest Missouri and northwest Arkansas. Please enjoy our August • September issue -- and if you want to support us, please do so by advertising! NORTHWEST ARKANSAS Brenda Majors ozarkhhmktg@gmail.com 479-715-9721

SOUTHWEST MISSOURI Rob Lotufo ozarkhillsandhollows@gmail.com 417-652-3083

Our readers are your customers! Ozark

Hills Hollows Celebrating Heritage, Farm and Healthy Living in the Heart of America PUBLISHER Rob Lotufo ozarkhillsandhollows@gmail.com EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Sherry Leverich ozarkhheditor@gmail.com DESIGN AND PRODUCTION Veronica Zucca ozarkhhart@gmail.com

WRITERS AND PHOTOGRAPHIC CONTRIBUTORS Katrina Hine Layne Sleeth Kim Mobley Jerry Dean Amanda Reese Nahshon Bishop Kayla Branstetter Stan Fine PROOF EDITOR Barbara Warren ADVERTISING ozarkhillsandhollows@gmail.com 417-652-3083

FACEBOOK Ozark Hills and Hollows Magazine TWITTER @ozarkhillhollow INSTAGRAM ozarkhillsandhollowsmagazine ONLINE www.issuu.com/ozarkhillsandhollows

www.ozarkhillsandhollows.com

Ozark Hills and Hollows is published bi-monthly by Exeter Press. In the pages of Ozark Hills and Hollows magazine, we hope to capture the spirit of country living in our beautiful region. Please feel free to contact any of our staff with comments and questions, and pass along any story subjects or ideas to our editor at ozarkhheditor@gmail.com. Exeter Press, P.O. Box 214, Exeter, MO 65647 6 |

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Inside:

AUGUST • SEPTEMBER 2015

FEATURES: 20

King of the Hill Slinging mud at Rush Springs Ranch

26

Buying Your Groceries Connecting with community gardens

30

Artisan Dairies in the Ozarks Sources of local milk and cheese

40

Ozark Mountain Carver Turning wood into art

50

Our Amish Neighbors The establishment of a new community

PLUS: 24

Chasin’ That Neon Rainbow Trendy kicks for fall

29

Delight Your Feathered Friends Birdbath basics

46

Down to the Core Apple recipes and more

54

The Dirty Secrets of Fall Gardening Taking advantage of the growing season

56

That Enduring Pioneer Spirit A journey to the Ozark frontier, part 2

IN EVERY ISSUE: 12

A Horsewoman’s Journey I’ll show you the way

14

Gear & Gadgets A midsummer night’s camp gadgets

16

4 Flies For dog days in the Ozarks

17

Talk To Me Plain A Amish fish story

COVER:

18

It’s late summer in the Ozarks and the abundant rain has kept our farmers busy dotting the landscape with hay for the upcoming winter months. PHOTO BY ROB LOTUFO

28

Backroads & Byways Adventure and history

Among the Wildflowers Nature’s little firecracker

38

Repurposing Revolution Rock the chalk

44

Good For You Vim with vinegar August • September 2015 | 7


About Our Contributors: Kim McCully-Mobley is a local educator, writer, self-described gypsy and storyteller with a home-based project dubbed The Ozarkian Spirit. The essence of this project is anchored in keeping the stories, legends, lore and history of the Ozarks region alive for the generations to come. She makes her home in Barry County on the Mobley Chicken Ranch with her husband, Al. She is always looking for that next adventure on the backroads and byways.

Kayla Branstetter is a born and raised Ozarkian is an avid traveler and local educator who loves spending time with her family, reading literature, and running trails. She lives on a beef and chicken farm with her husband Chris and daughter, Berlin. Many reasons she enjoys living in the Ozarks centers on the culture, the friendly people and the beauty of each season.

Beckie Peterson was born and raised in the Wheaton area, and is admittedly a small town girl. She enjoys her job in customer service, along with writing freelance and blogging. She admits to always carrying a pen and paper in case she needs to jot down thoughts and ideas to write later. She has three children, two at home and one in Nebraska, where she enjoys going to visit her two grand-daughters. Beckie spends her free time in church activities, gardening and baking.

Nahshon Bishop grew up in southwest Missouri around small family farms. Since the age of nine he has been working for Bishop’s Lawn Care and Landscaping. In 2011 Shon graduated from College of the Ozarks with a degree in Horticultural. He has been working for Lincoln University Cooperative Extension in the Southwest Region of Missouri since 2011. Currently, he is the Small Farm Specialist for the Innovative Small Farmers Outreach Program (ISFOP) which serves southern Missouri counties. Shon also owns and operates Bishop Gardens L.L.C with his wife Heather, which sells early season tomatoes and strawberries, as well as cut flowers to the public.

Katrina Hine is originally a flat-lander from Kansas who has come to love the charm of the Ozarks. After high school she worked on two different ranches in Colorado, and then came back to Kansas to work on a commercial dairy. She married a Kansas farmboy who was in the Air Force and moved to New Mexico. Upon returning back to Kansas she completed her degree in Gerontology and worked for many years coordinating and advocating for senior citizens and persons with disabilities. Now in Missouri, she and her husband, Randall, have two daughters and one son – who currently serves in the USAF. They have five grandchildren and expect number six in June. 8 |

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A NOTE FROM THE PUBLISHER

Y

ou know that line from the “Oklahoma” musical, “Oh what a beautiful morning,” where the corn is as high as an elephant’s eye? We’ve had so much rain and sunshine in the Ozarks this summer, I keep watching the corn fields, wondering if it will ever stop growing. It seems like the grass needs cutting every two days. My Herb garden is a jungle, and the weeds in the pasture seem to be on steroids. We have to take the good with the bad here on the farm. We had a bumper crop of tomatoes this year, but we lost more than half of them to bugs, mold and excess water. We finally have a tub in the bathroom that has no chicks, ducks or guineas living in it. The ducks are big and fat, the chicks are full grown hens, and the guineas are almost ready to go out on bug patrol. My little herd of meat goats is doing well,and my guard Pyrenees dog, Fluffy, is adapting very well to her role. Our calves and cows are fat and happy, and so is our bull. Dog Days are here, and it seems everything is moving a little slower. Soon school will be back in session, and it seems like summer just started. Thanks for visiting our magazine, we hope we can inspire you to find time to enjoy some gardening, fishing, four-wheeling, or visiting a local dairy. Try some fresh artisan cheese, or one of our tasty apple recipes. We try to appreciate our blessings every day. From our family to yours, best wishes for a great, late summer! Robert Lotufo Publisher, Exeter Press

Oh, What a Beautiful Mornin’ LYRIC BY OSCAR HAMMERSTEIN II

There’s a bright golden haze on the meadow, There’s a bright golden haze on the meadow, The corn is as high as an elephant’s eye, An’ it looks like its climbin’ clear up to the sky. Oh what a beautiful morning, Oh what a beautiful day, I’ve got a wonderful feeling, Everything’s going my way. All the cattle are standing like statues, All the cattle are standing like statues, They don’t turn their heads as they see me ride by. But a little brown mav’rick is winking her eye. All the sounds of the earth are like music, All the sounds of the earth are like music, The breeze is so busy it don’t miss a tree, And an ol’ Weepin’ Willer is laughin’ at me.

August • September 2015 | 9


About Our Contributors: Layne Sleeth is a barista and writer with a fondness for the outdoors. When she isn’t making coffee or snapping pictures, she enjoys camping, reading, and gardening. Layne dwells in northwest Arkansas with her husband, Brian, two mischievous pups, and two pretentious cats.

Amanda Reese has spent most of her life training and teaching with horses. She has also studied journalism and is currently working on two books centered around her love of horses and God. When she is not riding or writing, Amanda enjoys spending time with her husband and two daughters on their farm.

Jesse Woodrow lives on a small farm in southwest Missouri, where he enjoys building things, gardening and spending time outdoors. He chronicles his miniadventures in hunting, fishing and self-sufficient living through writing and photography. He loves to cook, eat and visit with friends. His current passions include establishing a Boer goat herd, training a couple of nutty Beagle pups and renovating a forty acre cattle ranch and home.

Veronica Zucca has been an Ozarks resident for 10 years, moving from the sandy city of Virginia Beach, Va. She and her husband raise their two children in a quiet hollow in Southwest Missouri. When she’s not working as a freelance graphic designer, she enjoys time with her family -- taking in everything the beautiful Ozarks has to offer.

Sherry Leverich is a native Ozarkian. Born in northwest Arkansas and raised in southwest Missouri, Sherry grew up on a dairy farm where she developed a love for agriculture and all things outdoors. She writes, farms and gardens on a small homestead with her husband and three sons, and raises produce for a local farmers market with her mom.

Mary Lowry, originally from California, has made her home in the Ozarks for nearly 30 years. She lives on a small farm, which she loves, with her husband, and two teenagers – and is still learning to garden. She graduated Summa Cum Laude in dietetics from MSU, is a R.D., L.D. and a massage therapist. She has a passion for nutrition, and encouraging others and herself to heal and be whole – body, mind and spirit. 10 |

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Forester Farmer’s Market® is butcher-shop quality chicken – a healthy, wholesome chicken that is rare in today’s marketplace. Our nutritious, hometown quality will take you back to a time when chicken was chicken.

Blazing Chicken Marinade

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BY FORESTER FARMER’S MARKET

1 cup soy sauce 1/2 cup Worcestershire sauce 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil 1 tablespoon black pepper 2 tablespoons onion powder 1 tablespoon garlic powder 2 tablespoons salt

1/3 cup lemon juice 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper 1/2 cup wine vinegar 3/4 cup brown sugar 2 tablespoons dry mustard 6 Boneless, Skinless Forester Farmer’s Market chicken breasts

Combine all ingredients except chicken breasts. Add chicken breasts to marinade mixture and marinate chicken breasts in the refrigerator for 2 to 4 hours before grilling. Preheat grill. Place chicken breasts on the grill and cook until chicken is opaque in center, flipping twice during cooking, about 15 minutes total. Find more great recipes at www.foresterfarmersmarket.com

Why Forester? ALL NATURAL

RAISED WITH NO ANTIBIOTICS – EVER NEVER FED ANIMAL BY-PRODUCTS NO ADDED HORMONES OR STEROIDS CAGE-FREE

My goal is to provide your family the same quality chic ken that Ma cooked for Dad. Trea t your family to chicken that’s chic ken. Dr. Ed Fryar, Foun der

foresterfarmersmarket.com August • September 2015 | 11


Amanda’s photography wardrobe compliments of Race Bros.

A Horsewoman’s Journey BY AMANDA REESE

“I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you.” Psalm 32:8

M

I’ll Show You the Way W

hen a person handles or rides a horse, they become the trainer. It’s up to a trainer to instill right actions and behaviors in a horse. Human influence can teach a horse either good or bad behavior.

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OZARK

Hills&Hollows

About ten years ago, an old reining mare was brought to me for training. The owners were fed up with the mare’s bad attitude. The first time I walked into the pen to evaluate the horse she lunged at me, ringing her tail, with her ears pinned and baring her teeth while snapping them. Although a little surprised by the horse’s reaction, I determined to find the cause of the mare’s aggression. After spending a few days working the horse, my training partner and I discovered the problem. She was cinchy. Her owners caused the saddling process to be uncomfortable by tightening the girth too tight, too quickly.

While instructing the owners on how to properly tighten the girth, we saw how the mare’s aggression had developed. When either one of the owners tightened the cinch the mare would fling her head at them. Then in fear, they would step away from her. The owners reinforced bad behavior and taught the horse to be aggressive. In the future, the owners agreed to tighten the girth correctly and respond appropriately to aggressive behavior by teaching the mare to yield to their pressure verses the owners yielding to the mare’s pressure. They were shocked to see the influence they’d had on their horse.

The Right Way

Similar to how a horse is easily taught good or bad behaviors, people can also be easily influenced in either good or bad ways. Some people are influenced by the not-sogood things of this world; others seek Jesus Christ as the Rock of their salvation and the way to sanctification. They choose Him to be the greatest influence of their lives. To choose Jesus Christ is to put your hope in something solid and consistent. The things of this world are ever changing. What is okay today, changes tomorrow. What was wrong yesterday is okay today. But in reference to Jesus, the Bible says, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” Hebrews 13:8. At one point in my life, I was insecure. Everything I hoped in let me down; nothing was solid. Friendships failed, dreams seemed unreachable and I didn’t know I was loved, truly loved. When I came to Christ, He began influencing me and transforming me into His likeness. I discovered His love, dreamed again and friendships flourished. I also learned to spend time in prayer talking to Him and reading the His Word, the Bible. Looking back at the mare becoming aggressive due to poor handling and training, reminds me that the world and the people in it don’t always know how to handle me, but God does. God knows how to righteously influence me and meet my needs. My greatest need being Jesus Christ.

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August • September 2015 | 13

417-847-2137 • Junction Hwy 37 & 76 • Cassville, MO


GEAR&GADGETS

s t h g i N r e m m MidsuGADGETS ACAMPING ’

BY JESSE WOODROW

COOL GEAR BIOLITE CAMPSTOVE

GROWERS CUP PORTABLE COFFEE

Leave your fuel canister at home – you can cook your camp meals and charge your gadgets at the same time with this camp stove. This is easily the most praised outdoor gadget on the market today. The stove operates completely off-grid, producing heat with a combustion chamber and insulated chimney method. Just collect a pile of twigs, pine cones or slivers of wood collected at your campsite. Jets circulate air through the chamber to gasify the wood for clean combustion that boils a liter of water in 4.5 minutes. No outlet in your neck of the woods? No problem. The stove’s thermoelectric generator transfers heat to electricity to charge (albeit slowly) your gadgets via a USB port.

Don’t take up valuable backpack space with a bulky cafetière – pack a few of these nifty 24g pouches instead. Simply pour a half-liter of boiling water on to the slow-roasted beans in the bag, and adjust your brewing time to taste. For maximum slurping satisfaction, drink while staring wistfully at some rolling hills.

SOLAR MONKEY CHARGER

LEATHERMAN TREAD 25 tools you wear on your wrist. This has to be the hottest new gadget released in a long time that doesn’t involve electricity, fuel or fancy connectivity. Instead, the Tread just puts 25 different tools on your wrist in the world’s first wearable multi-tool. Whether you’re a builder, a wildcamper, a bushcrafter or even just a bit of a kit fanatic, this is 2015’s must-have gadget. 14 |

OZARK

Hills&Hollows

Strap this bad boy on your backpack, let it soak up the rays, and within 12 hours the two solar panels will have enough juice to power up any of your mobile devices. This ecofriendly portable solar charger utilizes advanced solar technology to charge even in low-light or cloudy conditions, making sure that you will never be without much needed power.

BRUNTON’S WOW CAMP LANTERN It’s all about versatility and usability with this lightweight WOW works as well as a small lantern with a 40-lumen output – enough to light a small area for cooking or playing cards. The flexible legs act as a tripod for the lantern, and magnetic feet even allow you to mount it on the hood of your car. Plus, quickly pop off the legs and the WOW doubles as a flashlight. Time for a family photo? The removable legs also work as a small tripod for your point-and-shoot.


HOME GROWN CAMPING HACKS COTTON PADS DIPPED IN WAX BECOME INSTANT CAMPFIRE STARTERS

BASICS Use a hammock. Better yet, the light-weight Kammok Roo. Not only is sleeping above the ground a very good deterrent for insects and other crawlers, but some people (you’ll never know until you try one) also have a better sleeping position in one, as opposed to a hard surface. It’s main attractions are the very small weight class and the highly water resistant material. Use a Burnie Disposable Grill when you’re after convenience. Simply light the bundled wick with the match and watch it burn with no lighter fluid or other chemicals necessary. Just lay down any fish or meat you’re cooking on top (you can also add your own grate on top if you like).You can use this disposable grill to start a setup-free campfire, without having to go through the usual hunter-gatherer ritual that starting one requires. It comes in two sizes: large (weighs 5.5 pounds and burns out in 2.5 hours) and medium (weighs 3 pounds and burns out in 1.5 hours). Hydrapak’s new Stash Collapsible Bottle is crazy ingenious! It is super durable, collapses into itself when not in use (by twisting it) and comes in 2 sizes, 750 ml and 1 L. When you think about it, instead of carrying an empty, full-sized 25-ounce bottle around on your hike versus sliding a disc in your pocket, the Stash’s advantage is clear. When not in use, the hard molded top and bottom can be collapsed together for storage. A traveler’s dream when every inch of space matters. Chances are there are no showers where you are going, but that doesn’t mean you can’t stay clean. Add up to 2.6 gallons of water to the Sea to Summit Pocket Shower, let the sun heat up the pouch, then hang the pouch from a tree or post. Voila! You have yourself a warm shower in the middle of nowhere. The pocket shower zips into a 3-inch by 6-inch pouch and only weighs 4.25 ounces.

SURVIVAL LIFESAVER WATER FILTRATION BOTTLE A man’s gotta stay hydrated, and Lifesaver takes the stress out of finding a fresh water source. The filtration system removes all of the microbiological waterborne pathogens from any water source in about a minute.

FIRESTAR FIRE PISTON A good fire starter is essential, and the American-made FireStar is one of the easiest to use. The piston utilizes compression and friction to light tinder, allowing you to get a fire going anywhere you venture.

This one ain’t much of a technological advancement – and yet, it has helped me plenty of times. Carrying a few dozen of these on you takes so little space and makes fire starting an easier process, especially when in locations where tinder or light material isn’t available (or when all these are wet from a previous or ongoing rain). Here’s how to build a variation of these firestarters: instead of leaving them perfectly flat, cut strips on the outside, and arranging the petals outwards and upwards. Each cotton pad should last anywhere from 2 minutes to 10 minutes, depending on the wax used and outdoor conditions.

SMALL WATER BOTTLE OF USED MOTOR OIL This is my secret fire starting weapon. It’s not so flammable as to be dangerous, but drizzle a little of this “Texas tea” on your less-than-dry fire startings, and you’ll be surprised at how your success rate increases. Just keep the cap on tight, and you might want to store it in a ziplock bag for insurance purposes.

PLASTIC STORAGE BAGS ARE AN ESSENTIAL I keep one for my toilet paper, one for matches, and one for my pipe tobacco stash. You can use them for spices, ID, cash or whatever else you’d really like to keep dry. Heck, just keep a couple of empty ones, for “just in case”.

NEVER LOSE YOUR KEYS IN WATER WITH A DIY CORK KEY-RING Remember that time when you lost your keys in the ocean or river? Never again with this ingenious hack. All you need is a ready-made loop screw (or manufacture your own with the proper tools) small screw eye (local hardware store), a small key-chain ring (we all have a few around the house or in our toolbox), and a wine bottle cork. If you have a lot of keys, do remember to use two corks or they won’t stay afloat. August • September 2015 | 15


4 FLIES

for Dog Days in the Ozarks BY JESSE WOODROW

D

og Days are here again. The aquatic insects have had their day, and fishing is getting tougher. I have picked three terrestrials and an attractor to talk about. Terrestrials are insects that live, eat and breed on land. They fall out of trees, get picked up by the wind, or just by mishap end up in moving water. There they are – helpless, and a good snack for a lazy old summer trout. If you get skunked with your hopper, June bug and ant imitations, try the trusty muddler. It’s a jack of all trades, a sub-surface dweller, and an all round hero for a hot day of hard fishing. Tie one on, and have at it. Keep your waders dry, and your line in the water.

MUDDLER MINNOW The Muddler Minnow is an old fly that seems to have fallen out of favor with most modern fly fishers, but it is a great baitfish imitation and is worthy of a spot in your fly box. It originated in 1937, to imitate the slimy sculpin. The versatility of the Muddler Minnow stems from this pattern’s ability to mimic a variety of aquatic and terrestrial forage, ranging from sculpins, to leeches, to grasshoppers, crickets, spent mayflies, emerging green drakes, stonefly nymphs, mice, tadpoles, dace, shiners, chubs, and other “minnows,” along with a host of other creatures. It’s a versatile standby.

JUNE BUG Just because. June bugs are prolific in the Ozarks at this time of year, and it only seems right to dangle a fat one in front of your favorite hungry brownie. It’s like the iridescent green “Little Debbie” cake of terrestrial flies.

HOPPER The Hopper imitates adult short-horned grasshoppers (sub-order Caelifera) of which there are 1000s of individual species. Grasshoppers frequent grassy areas adjacent to rivers and lakes, but are generally considered weak flyers. During windy conditions or when trying to cross bodies of water, they routinely land in the water and are consumed by fish. The Hopper is a generic terrestrial pattern designed to float and suggest a grasshopper that’s just fallen into the water. They are most often fished close to banks and shorelines. They have proven to be an effective summertime and fall pattern for trout, bass and panfish anywhere grasshoppers are found.

“FLYING” ANT Ants are great terrestrial choice for finicky fish. The problem I have – they are typically tiny and black, and I can’t hardly see them after they hit the surface. this parachute, or ‘flying’ variation is the cure for that. I love to see that little tuft of white bobbing on the surface, and I’m even more excited to see it get slurped up by a healthy hungry trout.

Next time you are stream-side, watch for flying swallows (see what they are chasing), shake some tall grass near the bank to see what falls in, or just check your waders and shoes for crawling critters. Whatever is “bugging” you may just be the perfect bait for the day.

If you’re in Barry County, I’m for you.

Chad Yarnall (417) 847-3399

16 |

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Bridal Registery

Talk To Me Plain

S E R V I C E AVA I L A B L E

BY LARRY ROTTMANN

Shop our huge line of home decor and gifts for the bride- and groom-to-be

An Amish Fish Story

R

ecently, while driving late one afternoon to Kansas City, on Hwy 13, I came across a unique scene in the parking lot of the Lowey City truckstop. As a fisherman myself, I was fascinated and tickled to see an Amish buggy pulled up there, with an Ascend angling kayak roped to the roof and two fishing rods tied alongside. I felt compelled to find out more about this most unusual outfit, so I stopped and waited for the buggy’s owner to return from the store, which he did shortly, while eating a snack. He was an older gentleman, dressed all in black and sporting a huge white beard. He didn’t wish to reveal his name, and as befits his religion, also declined to be photographed, but seemed pleased that I noticed and wanted to snap a photo of his cool rig. After I took the picture, we engaged in a brief conversation about fishing, and just like the typical Ozark angler, he refused to provide any details about where and how he’d been searching for fish, etc. But, all the evidence – like his current location, type of rods, choice of lures (small jigs and swimbaits in white) – seemed to indicate that he’d most probably been chasing white bass in the Osage River arm of nearby Truman Lake. And, the gentleman did reluctantly admit that he’d caught very few fish, due to muddy water and high wind. But, our brief conversation soon ended, as the frustrated fisherman headed off for his farm; after all, he explained, it was nearly milking time.

t On the Square

WHITLEY Pharmacy 101 West 8th Street

CASSVILLE, MISSOURI 417-847-2722 • 417-847-2717

About The Writer: Guest Contributor Larry Rottmann is a Missouri native, a Vietnam Veteran, a semi-retired professor of English and Journalism, a loving father and grandfather, and a totally dedicated fisherman.

August • September 2015 | 17


Backroads BY KIM MCCULLY-MOBLEY

& Byways

Adventure and History Accompany My Days Journey

T

he backroads and byways of the Ozarks provide a colorful backdrop for those wanting a little romance, a dose of adventure and some poignant history during an afternoon drive. Sometimes, if you are not paying attention, you will miss some vital landmarks. If you do not dare to strike up a few conversations with the natives, you will also miss out on some treasured stories, as well.

Kicking off our jaunt, we start at Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield, between Springfield and Republic. History tells us that 154 years ago on August 10, 1861, the Confederates boasted a short-lived victory over their Union counterparts on a hot summer day that found Union General Nathaniel Lyon mortally wounded on the field. While the Union may have been outnumbered in this battle, Lyon’s valiant efforts solidified Missouri for the Union – in a sense. His body would be taken to the Ray House, which was taken over for use that day as a makeshift hospital. His body was placed in a bed still on display at the site until it could be taken to Rolla for the long, sultry train ride back home. At the time, Springfield housed a Union arsenal, yet the state’s governor had issued an order of secession. As gun smoke and powder filled the air, tensions increased in southwest Missouri. We were definitely at a “crossroads of conflict.” Most folks had strong ties to both sides. Missouri never seceded from the Union, yet there was a definite stronghold of rebels here for a time. Guerrilla warfare resulted in tension, and vigilante activity grew for those who remained in this region. Confederate headquarters were set up for a time in both Cassville and Neosho. Abraham Lincoln excluded Missouri slaves from his Emancipation Proclamation speech – even though Missouri officially stayed with the Union. Yet one of the stars on the controversial Confederate Flag does represent the Show-Me State. No wonder I have spent parts of five decades pouring through the archives. It provides a dichotomy of thought, to say the least. Traveling east on Highway 60 and then south on Highway 39 to Jenkins, it is worth a stop for a few minutes at Madry, one of several area ghost towns no longer on most major maps. The community once housed a couple of stores and still has a 18 |

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church – where a historic marker stands to watch over the lake traffic. The marker pays honor to an extinct business, the Butterfield Overland Mail which was a stagecoach service operating for four short years, from 1857 through 1861 – the start of the Civil War. The service carried both mail and passengers to various points west. Terminals were located in Memphis, Tennessee, and St. Louis, Missouri. ESTABLISHED 1970

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Heading on south through Leann and Jenkins, the road turns back west again on Highway 248 towards Cassville. Tons of memories unfold of nearby Flat Creek, whose rippling waters also bestowed the creek’s name upon a popular band from the 1970s era. Stubblefield Access is off of 248 – going back west towards Cassville. A stone’s throw from there is the Stubblefield Family Cemetery, rich with history, faded tombstones and a few trees standing guard. Evidence of pioneer family names are on tombstones: Smith, Stubblefield, Solomon, Fare, Eubanks… symbols of faith, service and sacrifice whisper their stories in the gentle summer breeze. Some of those buried here were mustered in the 1st Arkansas Cavalry, a Union Army regiment in existence from 1862 through 1865. Jenkins Township today is quiet, with the exception of a few cars at the crossroads and some laughter from the creek banks. During the Depression and World War II years, the area was

thriving with strawberry patches, canning factories and tomato crops. Access to water was vital for those types of operations and southwest Missouri had plenty of it. Turning around and heading east towards Stone County, my head nods a quick wave as I pass the Crossroads Store on the way to Galena. Weaving through the back streets of Galena, I give a quick wink at the old road to McCord’s Bend, a favorite fishing/picnic hole from the past on the banks of James River. Today’s drive reminds me of some of my favorite stories of May Kennedy McCord, born after the Civil War in Carthage in 1880 and the queen of the hillbillies in decades past. McCord became a writer at the age of 40, but was a storyteller long before that time. Her legacy also includes roles as a radio broadcaster for KWTO – long before women held those types of positions. She sang the old mountain songs and believed Ozarks protected the sanctity of the king and queen’s English from across the big pond. McCord ended up making her home in Galena and loved the quiet tranquility of Stone County. She yearned to protect the history. She enjoyed sharing her stories. She loved being outdoors. To her, there was nothing more glorious than a pink-shaded sunset in the Ozarks. I think I would have to agree – as I wind my way back home on these backroads and byways.

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SERVICE VENDING Co. Aurora, Missouri August • September 2015 | 19


G N I K

OF THE

Slinging mud and having H C N A R S G IN R P S H S U R t a fun

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Rush Springs welcomes all riders, and all ATVs. On this race day, Josh Doud of Decatur, was gearing up for the muddy trail.

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Russell Van Elk,

Trail Boss at Rush Springs Ranch – you might say he’s a visionary, a local rock star, a man with a plan. Early on in his career, he studied environmental science in college. He realized he probably couldn’t save the entire planet, so he decided to do his best with a little 800-acre site in southwest Missouri.

Owner, Russ, with his newly acquired Tomcar Israeli utility vehicle. Whether it’s behind the scenes moving dirt to create new course features, or leading the pack through the maze of trails – Russ is a hands-on innovator.

One eventful, cold and icy night, on a zig-zag sojourn across the country – from Chicago to California, Russ Van Elk found himself broken down on the side of the road somewhere in the Ozarks. His memory is a little faded, but he reckons it was closer than farther to Pineville, Missouri. Being a city boy, it boggled his mind that everyone that came up on him stopped to help. No one left until he was fixed-up and good-to-go. “Who does that?”(one of his signature lines) was his thought, and hence began his love affair with our little slice of Ozark country. August • September 2015 | 21


Kelsey visiting with Carrie Taylor and Brandy Lauderdale before the racing begins.

He bought a large plot of land near Pineville, and started to work on his vision. He lives in Bella Vista now, but most of his days are spent in McDonald county, chasing his passion. After many years of developing the land, careful to improve and preserve the wildlife habitat, he began to speculate by building homes in the area. The downturn in the local real estate market put a damper on that venture. But, necessity being the mother of invention, Russ came up with a new plan. Horse trails, stables, riding lessons and trail rides were his next foray into using the property, while preserving the natural beauty of the land. He built cabins and campgrounds, using timber carefully harvested on site, bringing in a portable sawmill contractor to make all of his lumber. He then added ATV and Jeep Trails, starting about three years ago, and things finally began to come together. The horse business had been slow, but interest from the ATV enthusiasts began to gain momentum. On a personal note, I have been searching for a close-by outlet for my inner adrenaline junkie for a couple of years now, and I think I have found it! Rugged, scary trails, gravel pits and mud holes are just what the doctor ordered for many a weekend warrior. This sport is not for the faint of heart. Although some choose to poke along the mountainous trails in a well-appointed 22 |

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Rush Springs welcomes groups and clubs and offers discounts. The Ozark Off-Road Club is based in northwest Arkansas, have members that frequent the park trails.

Jeep or side-by-side ATV, many a young man and woman use this venue to channel their, “Road Warrior” fantasies, and throw caution to the wind. On any given weekend, you can find a wide assortment of Jeeps, rail buggies, RZRs, 3 and 4-wheelers and dirt bikes here – and a cast of colorful characters as well. There’s even a country cookin’ food truck, hosted by, “Joy’s Country Spuds,” that’s happy to feed the hungry crowd. The site has a built-in performance stage, which sometimes hosts local musicians. It’s all about the spirit of fun here, and Russ is undoubtedly the ringleader of

this circus. He has a loyal staff that keeps things in order, and joins in on the party when the job is done. One of the first people you will notice at Rush Springs Ranch is the goodwill ambassador, recreation manager and caretaker, Kelsey D’ann Parmenter. Kelsey is currently Miss Rodeo Arkansas, and she has the gleaming smile and cowgirl attitude to prove it. Kelsey is always glad to help and provide information to guests and annual members alike. She’d rather be barrel racing, or riding horses, but still she loves what she does, and is grateful to live in the beautiful surroundings of the ranch.


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As activity director for the park, Kelsey Parmenter, and her Australian Collie, Shiloh, are always on duty. This busy young lady is also the reigning Miss Rodeo Arkansas and a student at the University of Arkansas. A native of Pea Ridge, she will be competing in the Miss Rodeo America 2016 competition in Las Vegas in December.

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Kevin Taylor of Elm Springs ready to take on the Woods Trail.

Russ hosts Polaris Demo Days through Freedom Powersports, and has developed a monthly racing series, to amp up the adrenaline level a couple of notches at the park. Guests can camp in tents, campers, or cabins for a reasonable rate. Officially, the off-road park has just been here for two years, but it is gaining ground fast. It rivals older more established parks in Missouri and Arkansas, and is developing a reputation as a place where families and individuals alike can have a blast, make memories, and meet great folks. I’ll be heading back there soon, I hope to see you there too!

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WARNING: The Polaris RZR® can be hazardous to operate and is not intended for on-road use. Driver must be at least 16 years old with valid driver’s license to operate. Passengers must be at least 12 years old. Drivers and passengers should always wear helmets, eye protection, and seat belts. Always use cab nets or doors (equipped). Never engage in stunt driving, and avoid excessive speeds and sharp turns. Riding and alcohol/drugs don’t mix. All drivers should take a safety training course. Call 800-342-3764 for additional information. Check all laws before riding on trails. ©2014 Plaoris Industries Inc.

August • September 2015 | 23


Chasin’That Neon Rainbow Pull on these trendy kicks and brighten up your fall wardrobe!

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eather boots never go out of style. Here’s a collection of new boots and mocs utilizing ever-classic leather crafting with new sole and cushioning technology to give you the look you want with the everyday comfort you need.

(Boots available at all area Race Bros. locations.)

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1, 2 COWKID’S TWISTED X BOOTS

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This category is new to Twisted X. They’ve designed some cool driving mocs and casual shoes for those long drives to horse shows, stock shows, Grandma’s house, or for just “kickin around”. Kids Driving Mocs, in Brown Bomber Leather with Neon Orange accent and laces. Kids Loafer Style Driving Mocs in Brown Bomber Leather and Neon Yellow accent and laces.

3 WOMENS’S TWISTED X BOOTS For long drives, or for around the house, these women’s tan mocs with pink details are the perfect casual wear shoes. Soft lining and cushioned footbeds provide much comfort for long wear. Lace-up closure makes for snug fitting. Outsoles are durable and will help prevent slippage. Dusty Tan Cowhide with Neon Pink accent and laces and Breast Cancer Ribbon.

4 MEN’S TWISTED X BOOTS These boots feature a bomber cowhide construction and breathable air mesh lining to keep your feet feeling cool. Driving Mocs in Bomber Cowhide with brown laces

5 YOUTH TWISTED X BOOTS What a perfect way for kid ranchers to step out in style wearing these Hooey Boots with Twisted X’s popular NWS shaped toes. These boots pop with a color display of fancy orange stitching on blue shafts above cognaccolor feet. Soft mesh lining and cushioned footbeds provide much comfort for long wear. Dip openings and pull tabs make for easy pulling on. Youth Hooey Bullhide Neon Blue and Orange NWS Toe Western Boots.

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6 GIRL’S ROPER The genuine black leather boots are made with heavy distressing. The toe is embroidered with a beautiful blue butterfly. Another butterfly decorates the shaft. These boots have a popular square toe (a more feminine snipped toe) with a low 1” heel. Pair this with a cute dress or skinny jeans and a blingy button up for an on-trend look. Girl’s Sanded Black Leather with Blue Embroidered Butterfly Boot.

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7 MEN’S ARIAT FAST TIME COWBOY BOOT A classically-styled western performance boot with Ariat’s signature comfort technology and craftsmanship. Look sharp when wearing these handsomely-designed, full-grain leather boots with fancy pattern stitching details on blue hurricane shafts above coffee-color feet, with wide square toes. Dip openings and pull straps allow for easier pulling on. Men’s Cowboy Coffee Leather with Blue Detail and Wide Square Toe.

8 WOMEN’S ROPER Beautiful square toe boots are made from heavily distressed tan full-grain leather. Turquoise embroidered crosses adorn the toe and front of the shaft. Contrasting wings are underlaid with glitter accenting the cross on the shaft creating a beautiful work of art. Traditional pull straps add convenience. Coupled with a cotton dress, or dark denim jeans, these versatile boots are a high style statement. Women’s Roper Fashion Boots in Vintage Tan and Square Toe.

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www.racebros.com

August • September 2015 | 25


Buying Your Groceries Part 2 of 3

Gardens Can Connect Communities BY NAHSHON BISHOP

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ccording to the World Health Organization (WHO) by the year 2050, population on planet earth will reach the 9.5 billion mark. This is an area of concern for several reasons. One of the areas of concerns that we have been looking at through these series of short articles is food.

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effective way to connect communities With current consumption rates to each other with healthy, flavorful (roughly 2,500 calories per adult male food. The skill set needed to produce in the U.S.), an additional area of land food throughout the traditional equal to two plant earths would be Midwest growing season is a joy that needed to feed 10 billion people. The people should seek to participate in reason why this series of articles are on a regular basis. Capturing this joy being written is to provide the Hills and through manipulating life from fresh Hollows readership with insight that is tilled soil or training plant growth for both practical and powerful. your benefit is beyond the scope of this Where does food come from and small article. However, research has what does it take to get it to your plate? shown repeatedly that a “green space” Until recently, this would be considered in which neighborhoods can work and a silly question! But in today’s society play together offers a host of positive many individuals, regardless of their health benefits for individuals who are age, have no idea or knowledge about participating. the time and care it takes to produce a viable pound of edible food. There Some of the documented benefits is, however, a for community gardens include: movement currently Development of individuals who become community sweeping our leaders that would otherwise not have been involved in nation that could leadership roles. help to answer this question in Saving individuals money by producing hundreds of a sustainable dollars of nutritionally dense, flavorful food. and healthy way. Saving municipalities money by offering a place to recycle Today, we refer organic waste (leaves in the fall) when adding these to this movement materials to the growing area to enhance soil health. as “Community Gardens”. Keeping participants more physically active which will Community keep them healthier. Gardens are a cost


HOME DECOR • JEWELRY• GIFTS AND MORE!

CHALLENGES: Among the various positive aspects of community gardens, there are some challenges that need to be addressed. First, the land! The location is crucial to success and must be easily accessed throughout the growing season. Soil type should be considered as well as nutrient content; your local extension office offers assistance in these areas. Second, water. When we are consuming vegetables, it is important to understand that vegetables are composed primarily of water. While the 2015 growing season has allowed many individuals to grow without supplemental irrigation, this is not the normal environment for a typical southwest Missouri grower.

TRADITIONAL GARDEN LAYOUTS: Each community garden should have its own unique flare. Traditionally, each garden is divided evenly between the number of individuals or families that will be growing there throughout the season. Raised beds can also be a consideration for those that have mobility issues. SEASON EXTENSION: A year-round supply of fresh vegetables should be the ultimate goal of any community garden undertaking. With currently technology, with proper structures and materials in use, a year-round harvest of fresh veggies is easily within reach of those willing to invest the time and effort. Your local

extension office can be a great resource for educational materials and hands-on demonstrations in this area. MANAGEMENT: The necessary ground work for organization and labor sources should be laid early to ensure a sustainable operation. Some of the more popular models include a “garden champion” who is an individual that oversees the garden itself. Also, community work days can be organized at the outset of each spring to clean up the garden area. The labor will be comprised primarily of individuals who are growing on site but could also include local organizations like FFA, 4H and the National Honor Society (NHS) to name a few. Throughout the growing season, individuals using the space provided should be responsible for the general well-being of their respective areas. RESOURCES: Currently, a wealth of resources as well as grant monies are available to individuals or communities looking to start a community garden. Some of my favorites are listed below. MU Extension Publications: extension.missouri.edu/main/ DisplayCategory.aspx?C=1 Season Extension Publications: hightunnels.org/ Growing How-Tos: www.sare.org/ Community Garden Resources: communitygarden.org/resources/ Available Grants: agriculture.mo.gov/abd/financial/ localfoods.php

In short, a green space used for the production of food will ultimately cultivate useful lifelong skills for participating individuals. For the first time in the history of our species, we are disconnected with the energy source that keeps us, as a society moving forward. Currently, America’s largest irrigated crop is our front yards (over 30 million acres). With population climbing ever toward the 10 billion mark, a community garden movement will allow us as a nation to take a step in the right direction.

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M-F 10-5 • SAT 10-2 • CLOSED SUNDAY

200 Washington Street Purdy, Missouri 417-442-3014

MARK YOUR CALENDARS! Saturday, September 12th

Traditional Houn' Dawg Pageantry at Pate Elementary School. Starts at 1 p.m.

Saturday, October 3rd

31st Annual Aurora Auto Fest in Oak Park Activities all day long

Aurora Chamber of Commerce

121 E. Olive, Aurora, Missouri417-678-4150

www.auroramochamber.com City of Neosho Presents

FREE ION S ADMIS

2nd Annual

Big Spring Bluegrass & BBQ August 1, 2015

For more Neosho events, visit Sources cited: Articles about Organizing a Garden - American Community Garden Association. (2013, December 11). Retrieved July 9, 2015.

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August • September 2015 | 27


Among the Wildflowers

Nature' s Little Firecracker INDIAN PINK BY ROB LOTUFO

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he Indian pink is an uncommon native wildflower that grows in rich, moist woods and along stream banks in the southern United States, including Arkansas and southern Missouri. The leaves are emerald green with brilliant red flowers that flare out to reveal a bright yellow interior. This perennial blooms sporadically throughout the early and late summer. It can grow to nearly 2-foot tall and wide. Indian pink belongs to the tropical Logania family (Loganaceae). This wildflower will grow in shade, has a fairly long blooming period and is pollinated by a variety of birds, including hummingbirds. The bright red hue and tubular shape are very attractive to it’s bird pollinators. Historically, this native plant was used by the Cherokee, and other American Indians tribes, as a ritual and ceremonial herb to induce visions and foretell the future. In the past, it’s roots were used as a vermifuge (to expel intestinal worms), however, this practice has been largely discontinued because of the potentially dangerous (toxic) side-effects. Other common names of this plant are pinkroot and worm-grass. It is a long-lived perennial that brings stunning color to the summer garden. Place them along the edges of your paths in the woodland garden, where the creamy yellow blossom tips will glow in the shade like little firecrackers. In addition to giving them a sheltered, shady spot, you must provide them with rich, moist soil. Like most wildflowers, pinks don’t require fertilizer, but they do appreciate a regular application of compost. You can propagate them through division, or by gathering ripe seedheads from faded blossoms in early summer. Try to collect the seedheads before they burst. Deadheading the faded flowers of Indian pinks may prolong the blooming time. These plants are seldom bothered by insect pests, but they are bothered by plant pests – they can’t compete with weeds or aggressive garden plants, so make sure they have a space in the landscape all their own.

The name “pink” is not derived by the color of the flower, but by the serrated petals that resemble something cut by pinking sheers.

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Donnie & Tammy O’Brien, agent/owners 26 Peacock Lane, Jane, MO


Delight Your Feathered Friends

We have the area’s most unique selection of statuary. DETAIL AND QUALITY IN EVERY PIECE

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he large variety of wild birds in the Ozarks is a treasure for area birdwatchers. Birdlovers keep bird feeders, hummingbird feeders, and birdhouses in their yards to foster a bird-friendly environment. Another attraction that is sometimes overlooked – a birdbath – can encourage an even wider variety of specimens, especially in the late summer months when natural water puddles can become scarce. When looking for the ideal backyard setting for your birdbath, there are several things to consider.

LOW BRANCHES Birds love to flutter in the birdbath, then loft up to a nearby branch to clean and preen. Sitting the birdbath among trees offers the bird options for resting spots, and also a quick getaway in case of a predator sighting.

WINDOW GAZING Bird-watching is a wonderful benefit of creating a bird-friendly environment – keep it visible from your window or porch so that you can enjoy all the varieties you are going to attract!

WATER AVAILABILITY Placing the birdbath close to a water source or hose will help make it convenient to keep the bath clean and filled with fresh water.

PREDATOR PROTECTION Cats can lurk behind closely growing shrubs and plants. To increase bird safety, set the birdbath a few feet away from potential predator hiding places.

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A pedestal birdbath is a good choice, as it also helps the birds feel safe from predators. Concrete birdbaths have a rough texture, which gives birds good footing. A shallow birdbath with a gentle slope is another characteristic that birds appreciate. Ponds, fountains and water features in your yard can also double as a birdbath, especially if you can provide a shallow area. If you create a dependable water source for your backyard birds, you’ll be amazed at the new bird behavior, and bird varieties you will be able to witness.

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GARFIELD ROGERS

EUREKA SPRINGS

August • September 2015 | 29


Artisan Dairies in the Ozarks O

zark living and farming lifestyle has always included some kind of dairy. Whether it was as primary as keeping a family milk-cow, or a larger farming endeavor that included running a full dairy – drinking milk, and making butter and cheeses is interweaved throughout our agricultural history. The desire for fresh milk and cheese has come full circle, with a new generation of appreciation for the rich avor and nutritious beneďŹ ts of locally produced milk and hand-crafted cheeses.

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There is something very comforting and nurturing about a dairy farm. Most dairies are family operations, or at least began that way. The routine and time involved in keeping a dairy is a full-time commitment – it really becomes a way of life. Every morning and every night, the cows must be milked, calves must be fed, and the milk must be processed or chilled until transported. The hard work is real, but the satisfaction is great – there is something special about farm life. Most dairy farmers love sharing their passion for farming. Agritourism is a growing trend all over the country...but most Ozarkians know that farmers all around our area always love for people to visit the farm. Especially in our current busy lives, farmers are striving to make sure – whether you grow up on a farm or not – that there are opportunities to learn about where your food comes from, and have a relationship with your local farmers. Melissa Fletcher, of Edgewood Creamery in Purdy, Missouri, is especially committed to teaching her community

about farming. Since her kids were elementary students at Purdy school, she has hosted a farm visit for the first graders of Purdy school every year. Since expanding their dairy, her interest in providing farm-to-table insight is growing further. They even have a large picture-window in their store where visitors can see in full-view the processing of the milk, and cheese-making in progress. Please contact Melissa for information on touring the Fletcher dairy and Edgewood Creamery. Our dairy feature includes the story of three very committed and very different dairies currently operating in the Ozarks. They are all doing their business in their own way, but are all also providing something directly to their community. The Fletcher’s Edgewood Creamery is a fully operating dairy contracted with DFA (Dairy Farmers of America) while providing fresh, pasteurized bottled milk and cheese at their store in Purdy, Missouri. The Hillian’s, of Hillian’s Rocky Ridge Ranch, just west of Fayetteville, Arkansas, near Lake Wedington, are keeping it fresh and natural, just like their grandparents. Stan and Donna Johnson, Land of Milk and Honey Dairy, are located just across the Missouri border, in Oklahoma, a few miles directly west of Anderson. Their dairy focus is on quality Jersey milk, and a variety of cheeses.

Milk Related Terms: Conventionally available store-bought milk is typically pasteurized and homogenized. The local dairies that we are featuring have varying milk bottling and treatment methods. Each state has it’s own laws regarding the sell of farm fresh milk, and requirements for its sell. Each of our featured farmers are selling milk and milkproducts according to the laws in the state they live in. PASTEURIZED: A sanitation process in which milk is heated briefly to a temperature high enough to kill pathogens. Pasteurization is most commonly achieved with heating to 161 degrees F for 15 seconds. VAT PASTEURIZED: Milk is heated in small batches to a lower temperature for a longer time (145 degrees F for 30 minutes) and then rapidly cooled. Vat Pasteurized milk is typically unhomogenized. RAW MILK: Milk that is completely unprocessed – neither pasteurized or homogenized. HOMOGENIZED: The process of breaking down the fat globules in milk so that they stay integrated rather than separating as cream. Homogenization is a separate process from pasteurization. August • September 2015 | 31


EDGEWOOD DAIRY AND CREAMERY | 5888 Farm Road 1090 | Purdy, Mo 65734 | 417-442-3010

The Fletcher Family’s

Edgewood Creamery Naturally fed, naturally crafted, naturally good STORY AND PHOTOS BY KAYLA BRANSTETTER

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he journey to Edgewood Creamery began in 1997 when Charles and Melissa Fletcher switched from the conventional method dairy system to the rotational pasture-based system for their dairy located southwest of Washburn, Missouri. The hills and hollows of the landscape in southern Barry County led the Fletchers on a search for a more practical site with growth potential for their expansion desires. So, in 2001, the Fletchers relocated their dairy to Purdy, Missouri.

Edgewood Creamery Cheese: Soft Cheese:

The Fletcher’s 260-acre farm is set in the pastoral landscape of southwestern Missouri, where the forest meets the prairie. One-half of it is lush pasture land, which is perfect for their 350 Holstein/Jersey crossbred dairy cows to move and graze on. The other half backs up to the wooded foothills of the Ozarks. The dairy is nestled between these two landscapes, hence the name, Edgewood Dairy and Creamery. 32 |

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FARM HOUSE ORIGINAL, a sliceable cheese that takes three days to make. Melissa described the flavor as fresh and tangy and perfect for crackers or grilled cheese. THE FROMAGE BLANC, a spreadable cheese that will include varieties: Plain Jane, Milk and Honey, and other seasonal spreads, such as, the Pumpkin Spice. FRESH CHEDDAR CHEESE CURDS, perfect with crackers, fruit or to top a salad. The creamery will also offer an aged cheese line: KING’S PRAIRIE TOMME, an Alpine style cheese with a mild and nutty flavor that ages for two months. OZARK MOUNTAIN BLUE, a type of blue cheese that ages for two or three months. EDGEWOOD CHEDDAR, a cheddar cheese that takes anywhere from six months to one year to age, depending on the level of sharpness.


Bacon Feta Mac and Cheese

This new location allocated more space for the Fletchers to rotate their grass-fed herd and expand on their goals. However, it was not until a family vacation in 2013, that the family established the idea of opening and operating a creamery for the public. The Fletcher’s son, Tyler, and then fiancé, Aubrey, decided to return to the farm, and after much discussion, plans for the creamery was born, and the family moved into farmstead artisan cheese and dairy with the goal to provide the consumer with a quality product.

To this innovative family, opening the creamery proved to be more than offering fresh, consistent, safe and quality products to their consumer, but also helped with their desire to educate their consumers about agriculture. In fact, both Melissa Fletcher, the cheesemaker and owner, and Aubrey Fletcher, daughter-in-law and marketing executive, stated, “The consumer can see the cows graze, being milked, along with witnessing the products being produced.

Melissa expanded on this statement, and explained how her vision for the creamery goes beyond the typical trip to the grocery store, but an experience, and in the case of the farm and creamery, an opportunity for tourism, education, and expansion. In fact, Melissa hopes to expand their product line to local restaurants and grocery stores. The creamery will primarily provide a consistent supply of old-fashioned, fresh, quality bottled milk. Melissa describes their milk as being gently pasteurized, and non-homogenized. In non-homogenized milk, the cream that naturally exists in the milk can rise to the top. Edgewood Creamery’s store will also offer an abundance of other products from local artisans and farmers, such as chocolate, spices, candles, and honey. Edgewood Creamery is also planning on selling their products, with the exception of bottled milk, online. When I asked both Charles and Melissa the key to their success, they mentioned how the pasture based rotational grazing enhanced the quality of life they provided for both their herd and land, in addition to learning how to be innovative, taking risks, and becoming sustainable, and as Charles explained, “Bringing value back to what they are doing.” Although the Fletchers credit their success to innovation and taking risks, I believe the truth to their success centers on their passion for their dairy and their products. With this said, I encourage the community to visit the Edgewood Creamery for an experience they will want to repeat because, as the Fletchers believe, natural methods yield better taste.

3 cups (12 ounces) dry elbow macaroni 3 tablespoons butter 3 tablespoons flour 2 1/2 cups milk 1 1/3 cups (8 ounces) Feta cheese, crumbled and divided 1 1/2 cups (6 ounces) Provolone cheese, shredded Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste 8 slices bacon, fried, diced and divided Cook pasta according to package directions; drain well; set aside. Meanwhile, in medium saucepan, melt butter, whisk in flour and cook, stirring constantly, 1 minute. While whisking vigorously, slowly pour in milk and whisk until well combined. Bring mixture to gentle boil, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to low and simmer about 2 minutes, stirring frequently, until thickened. Add 2/3 cup Feta and Provolone to milk mixture; cook over low heat, stirring constantly until Provolone has melted (Feta won’t fully melt). Season mixture with salt and pepper to taste. Add drained pasta to sauce mixture and toss to coat; add 3/4 of diced bacon and toss. Pour mixture into buttered 11 x 7-inch baking dish. Sprinkle top evenly with remaining diced bacon and Feta. Move oven rack three racks below broiler and set oven to broil on high, cook macaroni under hot broiler until Feta cheese is golden brown, 1 - 3 minutes, watching closely so it doesn’t burn. Serve warm. August • September 2015 | 33


LOMAH DAIRY | 23800 S 690 Rd | Wyandotte, Ok 74370 | 918-533-7134

LOMAH Dairy

Land of Milk and Honey A dairy built on family and hard work STORY AND PHOTOS BY KATRINA HINE

For those of us who have fond memories of whirring milking machines, the scent of sweet feed and the steam rising off the bodies of warm cows, understand the best things in life require determination and hard work.

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nyone who has milked cows understands the commitment one must have for the venture. It is not for the faint of heart…early mornings and late evenings, no vacations unless you have a reliable herdsman for back-up, and a variety of herd-related dilemmas make for character building. A mile or so, give or take, from the Missouri line, following west Highway 76 from Tiff City, is a family owned dairy farm striving to uphold the rural heritage of America. Being a family owned dairy is somewhat of a novelty, considering the day and age in which we live, however, Stan and Donna Johnson are determined to instill the age-old character building blocks of work ethic, love of the land and gentleness to God’s creation in their children. The dairy fondly named LOMAH for a bible verse referring to the Land of Milk and Honey, sits conveniently on a paved road with large barns surrounded by scores of summer flowers. The Johnson’s three children, John, 18, a junior at PSU in diesel technology, Will, 16, going into his sophomore year at MSSU, planning to study pre-med, and Gracie, who is 14, attends Grand Lake Mennonite School. All three children are active in the family operation and on this day, Gracie, who cares for the calves, is raking hay, while brother, John, bales. Will would later assist hired herdsman, Brad Knepp, in milking the 70-head of Jersey cows. Another hired helper, Jonathan Tynon, helps with cheese making and milking. Stan’s first dairy experience was on his grandfather’s dairy – purchasing his first Jersey, Rosie, who was also his 4-H project. He sold milk throughout his junior and senior years of high school, and first two years of college, until he transferred to OSU to complete his degree in veterinary science. After college Stan worked for the USDA and lived in South America where he supervised the deportation of beef. From there he went to Washington D.C., only to later return to the Oklahoma farm. Donna, also a veterinarian, worked in small animal clinics in northwest Arkansas and now teaches at MSSU. They began the dairy about 12 years ago with 16 heifers in hopes of finding a way for Donna to stay home. However, as she reflects now, the current farming


situation nationwide requires someone to have outside income. In 2009, the dairy business took a hit when the price of milk fell and feed rose, forcing many farmers to sell their herds. Donna jokes, “I think there must be a genetic predisposition to be a dairy farmer…Stan just couldn’t think of selling the dairy.”

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Thinking outside the box, Stan and Donna began to think “diversify” rather than sell their beloved Jerseys, each with a name and unique personality.

So they loaded up and traveled to places like Vermont, Canada, Maine and even France to learn the art of cheese. So not only do they have raw and vat pasteurized milk, they have created a niche for some unique cheeses. Among which are Feta, Havarti, Gouda, Cheddar, soft cheese, Neufchatel, Monterey Jack, Pepper Monterey Jack, Skyr and Yoski (both similar to yogurt) and butter. The hard cheeses are waxed and last up to a year. They deliver their vat milk to markets in Tulsa, Oklahoma City and Bentonville. Folks can purchase raw milk right at the farm on an honor payment system. Stan prefers Jerseys because they tend to produce better quality milk high in protein, vitamin A, fatty acids and calcium. Ever mindful of the health conscious public, they do not confine their cows, but rather they roam nearly 200 acres of Bermuda and fescue, drinking fresh spring water from one of two natural springs that churn out roughly 1 million gallons of water daily. They rarely use antibiotics unless a cow requires it. The springs and a wood-fired boiler keep the dairy expenses down. The effort has proven successful as they load two trucks for one of two weekly runs to Tulsa. Their son, Will, takes on the wee-hour drive to deliver to stores and markets. The dairy has become quite a showplace with the addition of a new milk parlor, cheese room, coolers and two delivery trucks. Both will tell you that it is an endless job, caring for their 400-acre farm, the herd and creating high quality dairy delicacies. With

Right, up to date equipment ensures high quality milk products. Below, Jonathan labels cheese curds bound for market.

the investment of time and money, Stan and Donna hope it will pay dividends for their children’s futures. Near one barn is a flower garden that provides flowers for the Saturday farmer’s market in Bentonville, which is

where Donna and Gracie usually travel to sell their goods. The atmosphere displays charm and dedication to a true American institution, a place where commitment and hard work are building a family legacy. August • September 2015 | 35


HILLIAN’S ROCKY RIDGE RANCH | 16120 West Hwy 16 | Fayetteville, Ar 72704 | 479-200-3611

Hillian

Rocky Ridge Ranch A family that farms together, grows together STORY AND PHOTOS BY SHERRY LEVERICH

Every farm has a story and every farmer has many stories. Though the Hillian Dairy, at Hillians Rocky Ridge Ranch, has a history of family heritage that shapes their farm today – the origins of their dairy operation are a little more current.

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oung Chloe, daughter of Michael and Melinda Hillian, started the dairy when she was just five-years-old. With the support of her parents and the help of an area dairy farmer, this young 4-Her, bought, trained and showed a Holstein heifer and was hooked. “We started milking them to keep them – Chloe couldn’t part with them,” explained Melinda. The Hillians have been keeping dairy cattle for five years now, and milking for three. In retrospect, the progression of this small family from a few dairy heifers, to a operating dairy farm seems very natural. The family had moved to Michaels family farm, where he and his dad work together in a partnership beef operation. When Chloe fell in love with dairy cattle, they simply resurrected Michael’s greatgrandfather’s milk-barn which had been unused since the late ‘70s. As they continue to grow, they continue to change. They now have a little boy, Noah, who is just three, and will be showing this year in the pee-wee class. Michael does most of the milking, while Chloe keeps her heifers fed and halter trained, and they all help with

Buffalo Blue Cheese Deviled Eggs 6 hard boiled eggs 3 tablespoons plain Greek yogurt ¼ teaspoon dry mustard 2 tablespoons hot sauce, plus additional for garnish, if desired ¼ cup blue cheese, plus additional ‘for garnish, if desired salt & pepper to taste parsley and dill for garnish Peel and cut each hard boiled egg in half and place the yolks in a small bowl, and the whites on a serving plate. Add the Greek yogurt, dry mustard, hot sauce, and blue cheese, and mash together with a fork, stirring until smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Fill the egg white halves with the yolk mixture. Garnish with additional hot sauce and blue cheese, and sprigs of parsley or dill, if desired. Store in the refrigerator until ready to serve. 36 |

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all the chores. “What I love about what we do is that we are always together,” shared Melinda. Melinda’s philosophy, “We farm together, show together and are making everlasting memories,” resonates within their daily living. There is a lot to learn when starting a dairy, Michael says, “Local dairies have been a great support.” At show time, Chloe takes time to wash, clip and get the cows and heifers ready for the show-ring. “Last year she took 19 to the Washington County Fair,” shared Melinda. This growing herd has diversified and consists of several dairy breeds now, including Jersey, Ayrshire and Milking Shorthorn. Each breed has its


advantages in a dairy operation. Though showing cattle is a good learning experience for kids, and gives them an opportunity to meet other kids interested in agriculture, Chloe admits, “My favorite part is having fun and hanging out with my cows.” With the help of her mom and little brother, Chloe spends time brushing, training and playing with her heifers. One of her favorite heifers, Maggie, an Ayrshire, even allows Chloe to sit on her back. Last year, Chloe came home with the Grand Champion for Milking Shorthorn at the Arkansas State Fair in Little Rock. Like other farmers, the Hillian’s enjoy talking to others about farming, to increase awareness of where food comes from, and continue to expand their farming. Once they started producing more milk than what they could use for themselves, they added a 150-gallon refrigerated milk tank, and sell raw milk off the farm.

{ } Chloe enjoys spending time with her cows, but don’t let her fool you - it’s a lot of hard work.

“The milk-tank quickly brings the milk down to 34 degrees,” explained Michael. He has kept and maintained the dairy barn like his great-grandfather, and would like to keep it that way. Melinda says that they have had a lot of good feedback with the sell of raw milk, “A lot of people are tired of buying processed foods. In my experience – it’s been good, and we are all trying to eat as naturally as we can. Chloe used to have allergies, and it’s amazing...she hasn’t had an asthma attack in years.” The Hillians continue to become more self-sufficient. They are now raising pigs, and producing more of their own vegetables as well. They can feed the pigs un-used milk, which helps cut feed costs, and is very good for pig growth. They also trade with area farmers to get local eggs and honey. Michael is a mobile mechanic for the Washington County Road Department, and Melinda works at the school in Siloam Springs. Michael appreciates his job, and that his schedule works good with working on the farm, and Melinda enjoys having summers off with her kids. Farming is a lifestyle, and Michael says, “farming is a job you gotta love to do it.” Michael also said, “Selling the milk helps pay for the feed and the utilities.” He shares that he has fond memories of spending time on the farm with his grandpa and great-grandpa. It’s meaningful to him to share those memories with his kids, and making their own. With the diversity of breeds, Michael attended AI (Artificial Insemination) school so that he could breed the heifers and cows to desired breed bulls. “We want to grow our farm genetically,” says Michael. Melinda makes her own butter, and is beginning to learn about cheesemaking as well. In Arkansas, raw milk can only be purchased at the farm. Contact Melinda and Michael if you would like to learn more.

Morning Bread Pudding

3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar 6 tablespoons butter 12 to 15 slices brioche or Italian bread (cut into 1/2-inch thick slices and about 3 inches round) 8 eggs 1/4 cup mascarpone cheese (or softened cream cheese) 1 cup milk 1/4 teaspoon almond extract 1/4 cup coarsely chopped toasted almonds 3/4 cup fromage blanc

In a small, heavy saucepan, combine 3/4 cup sugar and butter. Place over medium low heat. Heat and stir occasionally with a wooden spoon so that it browns evenly. When it reaches a dark brown, remove from heat and pour into the base of a 9-inch glass pie dish. Swirl the caramel around the base and 1 inch up the sides of the dish. Place dish in refrigerator and chill until caramel is cold. After chilling, place heel of bread in center of dish (or two slices stacked on top of each other). Then arrange slices, standing them against one another, around center. They should fill the pie dish snugly. In a large bowl whisk together eggs, remaining 2 tablespoons sugar and mascarpone cheese, until

very smooth. Add milk and almond extract. Pour this over the bread, making sure to saturate all of it. Cover with plastic wrap and chill overnight. In the morning, take pie dish out of refrigerator and discard plastic wrap. Heat oven to 375 degrees. Bake pudding 15 minutes, then sprinkle almonds over pudding. Continue baking until moist but not wet in the center, about 20 to 30 minutes more. Remove from oven and run a knife around edge of dish, loosening bread from sides. Place a serving plate over top of dish (bottom side up), and, using potholders, invert plate. Lift off pie dish. Scrape any extra caramel from pie dish over pudding. Serve, with a healthy dollop of fromage blanc onto each plate.

August • September 2015 | 37


g n i s o p r Repu n o i t u l o Rev UCCA

ONICA Z

BY VER

ROCK the Chalk

a

A DIY trend that has made its mark on all things old and new

C

HALK PAINT: A go-to for DIYers that goes on nearly anything inside or outside - with no prepping or sanding. It covers easily, dries quickly and helps you achieve a beautiful patina that is perfect for distressing with very little time and effort.

CHALK PAINT RECIPE 3 parts Paint 1 part Plaster of Paris Water to mix

Mix plaster and a small amount of water together until you get a smooth consistency with no lumps. Pour the mixture into the paint and stir well until all of the mixture is dissolved with no lumps.

Mirror Mirror

Give an old drab mirror new color and texture. A mirror with interesting molded trim are the best choice for this project. Clean mirror frame, and lightly sand. Thoroughly remove dust and debri with brush or rag. Apply masking tape around edge of mirror where it meets the frame. Paint with one coat and allow to completely dry. Remove tape and sand textured areas of frame to expose original finish if desired for a more relic finish. 38 |

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Mason Jar Magic For a white-washed, amazingly simple distressed country looking vase for all occasions, try painting your run-of-the-mill quartsize canning jars. Paint the outside of clean canning jars. Allow to dry completely, then distress with sand paper, especially raised edges of writing. Finish by coating completely with a spray clear acrylic coating. Embellish with ribbons, or fill with flowers for an easy tabletop decoration.

a THINK OUTSIDE THE JAR

If you don’t have spare canning jars laying around, try an empty pickle or juice container. Any glass vessel will work.

4 ST E P S TO J A Z Z U P YO U R J U N K

1 I cleaned and sanded the surface. I plan on using this in a hightraffic area, so I want to ensure a strong bond to the surface.

2 I mixed my chalk paint and applied the first coat. I chose to use two shades of teal so when I distress, it will be more dynamic.

3

4 After letting the lighter coat dry, I applied the darker color.

Once the second coat dried, I did an overall light sanding to knock down any rough spots left from the brush. Then, using a heavier sandpaper, I applied distressed areas, focusing on the details around the spindles and edges.

August • September 2015 | 39


Ozark Mountain

Carver If you’ve strolled the old-timey streets of Silver Dollar City and browsed the nostalgic shops, chances are that you’ve seen the woodcarvings of Steve Smith.

STORY AND PHOTOS BY LAYNE SLEETH

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Steve is a woodcarver and the resident mantel carver at Valley Woodcarvers in Silver Dollar City. Even so, he didn’t land this gig overnight, it’s been many years in the making. Steve took up carving in the late ‘90s. He started out doing small carvings with an inexpensive set of tools, like hat boxes carved with oak leaves. One thing led to another, and Steve got into a few classes at the encouragement of his wife, Robin. At a woodcarving seminar at Silver Dollar City, he met Pete and Pam Gresham, master carvers at the well-known theme park. Steve befriended Pete, who mentored him and showed him the ropes of carving. In 2010, Steve officially joined the talent at Valley Woodcarvers. At the woodcarving

shop, there are around 40 guest carvers that do a wide range of woodworking styles. Recently, Pete semi-retired his post as the main mantel carver and handed the title to Steve. He carves mostly large pieces, mantels, and furniture-style items, but occasionally does smaller things like Bible boxes, picture frames, mirrors, and mantel brackets that support counter tops. Steve’s artwork fits right in with the rustic charm of Silver Dollar City. He does a few commission pieces a year, but mostly he stays busy with the demand of Valley Woodcarvers sales. But Steve’s newer carvings wouldn’t be quite as colorful without Robin’s skillful paint brush. Robin has been a painter in her own right for more than 20 years,


so recently, when she transitioned from canvas to wood, it all came together naturally. “Wood accepts colors differently,” notes Robin, so there was a slight learning curve. Nonetheless, her touches of color are what brings the Smith mantels to life with new dimensions and natural hues. Certain things simply can’t be carved, but can be detailed in with a paintbrush. Robin accredits some of her skill to her mentorship with Pam Gresham, who has taught Robin many different painting and staining techniques.

AFTER DABBLING IN A BIT OF EVERY CRAFT, STILL, STEVE ALWAYS KEPT COMING BACK TO WOODCARVING AS HIS OWN CREATIVE OUTLET AND PERSONAL OBSESSION. Photo by Michael Presley

Steve and Robin met in their hometown at Cassville High School years ago, and now the easy-going couple reside in their beautiful log home on pristine northwest Arkansas acreage that is home to many creatures and bountiful natural beauty. They’re living their dream as a result of steady, constant work. When Silver Dollar City’s open season rolls around each spring, Steve and Robin are constantly on the go, spending time in Branson and Bentonville from early May until Christmas. The two work full time jobs and parent two sons, Steven and Trevor, in addition to doing demos at Valley Woodcarvers. Their artistic process is a timeintensive one that encompasses everything from cutting, sanding, wood-burning, gluing, staining, applying several coats of polyurethane, and, of course, carving and painting. To authenticate the bucolic appeal of the carvings, the Smith’s finish off each mantel by “scooping” out the wood all around for a hand-hewn look that would be at home in any cabin. It’s often a family effort, as Steven and Trevor will pitch in to help scoop, stain, and transport the large pieces. A lot of thought is put into all parts of each job, from sourcing the wood all the way to creating custom August • September 2015 | 41


colors. “The finish is all in the stain and different application colors. We mix all of our own stains from oil-based colors,” says Robin. Steve adds, “It gives us things that you can’t go buy off the shelf at any old hardware store or retailer. The colors look more natural.”

Wood choice is the first and most essential part of the process. Though sometimes they use butternut and sassafras wood, basswood is Steve’s preferred carving wood because it’s at the softer end of the hardwood scale. “It’s soft enough that you can carve it and hard enough that it holds details and resists damage,” Smith remarks. Basswood is more commonly known as linden wood, and it’s extreme white color is a blank slate for carvings and stains. The even grain uniformly accepts any color stain, from cherry to oak to black walnut. 42 |

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The ornamental tree grows all over the eastern half of the U.S., but as the northern states have a shorter growing season, the wood produced there lends itself to carving. The Smith’s source their basswood from Wisconsin or upstate New York, and it has been kiln dried to 6% moisture content. The dryness of the wood is to ensure that the finished mantel won’t warp or crack if it ends up in a home in a drier climate like Arizona. There are many different styles of woodcarving, but Steve’s inclination and skill lies in relief carving. He first envisions a scene and sketches it out, lays the pattern out on the face board, then cuts away at the piece until an elaborately detailed scene emerges from the background of the white basswood. In relief carving, cutting out the negative space around the pattern is called “lowering the background.” From there, Steve carves out his shapes – though it’s not as simple as that. Oftentimes, hundreds of hours are put into each finished mantel. All in all, Steve will spend months carving painstaking details and putting it all together, and Robin will have invested days of painting and staining in one of their color mantels. Jokingly, Steve acknowledges about one of the mantels, “I think we spent 8 hours wood-burning hairs on the squirrels.” At his home

workshop, routers and other power tools simplify the process, but Steve says he can do the same quality piece and carve out the face board completely with hand tools only at Silver Dollar City. In his designs, Steve gravitates towards fall scenes, with oak leaves, acorns, and the like. The leaves appear to have the curl of slightly dry leaves rustling in the fall breeze. He admits this might be because fall is his favorite season. The oak leaf mantel and dogwood mantels are some of his bestsellers at Valley Woodcarvers. Regardless, Steve’s ultimate goal is to create something of great quality that will last for generations, yet also tell a story that links us back to traditional Ozark Mountain crafting history. His hope is that his work will transcend time. All Silver Dollar City artisans pay homage to traditional craftsmanship through their signature 1800s attire and hand tools only. Though when not at “The City”, as the Smiths refer to it, Steve will indulge in the help of modern tools to speed up the process. The point of demonstrations by craftsmen at Silver Dollar City is to show how things were done in the days of the Ozarks pioneer, when home goods and furniture were hard-earned and durable. Steve expresses that he loves sharing his craftsmanship with other people at The City. “There’s not a lot of young


people getting into woodcarving anymore. It becomes more of a lost art, and I really can’t stand to see things disappear.” He’s always been fascinated by traditional arts-- his father was a blacksmith as he was growing up. The smell of a forge burning has a fond familiarity for Steve. His mother, too, has invariably worked with her hands for as long as Steve can remember, and now she runs her own quilt shop outside of Cassville on Highway 76.

A Unique Ozarks Experience Breakfast • Lunch • Pies • Deli • Ice Cream Enamel Ware • Bulk Spices • Baked Goods And So Much More!

TDS PORTABLE BUILDINGS

www.tdsbuildings.com

EAGLE CARPORTS

www.eaglecarports.com

Yoder Built Greenhouses

YODER BUILT GREENHOUSES

www.yoderbilt.com

417-847-0333 Kelly Ewton Owner

KB&C Enterprises After dabbling in a bit of every craft, Steve always kept coming back to woodcarving as his own creative outlet and personal obsession. It’s his way of disconnecting from the fast pace of life, and focusing on the enjoyment and challenge that a new project brings. The Smiths like to encourage aspiring carvers and carving veterans alike to find a local woodcarving guild to join. “Carving at Silver Dollar City is great because you get to work with so many other carvers. There’s never a time that I go that I don’t learn something.” says Steve. As with any art, woodcarving artists learn from each other, and with each project, new skill is gained. Each summer through Christmastime, Steve and Robin can be found sharing their artistry at Valley Woodcarvers. The shop is filled to the brim with hand carved gifts, books on woodcarving, tools, and friendly woodcarvers demonstrating their craft. Find Steve Smith, Ozark Mountain Carver, online on his Facebook page: www.facebook.com/Ozark.Mtn.Carver and take a peek at what he’s been working on recently at www.facebook. com/Ozark.Mtn.Carver/photos

Monett (Hwy 60) and Cassville (Hwy 37) Locations

••• The•••

Jane Store

2980 Rains Road, Jane Missouri MON-FRI 417-226-1234

6am-5pm

Turn east at Hwy. 90 and I-49/Hwy. 71 junction, at light. East on Hwy. 90 to T in the road, turn left and head north till you see The Jane Store on the west side.

Follow. Like. Share. Join us in celebrating heritage, farm and healthy living in the heart of America.

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Hills Hollows FACEBOOK Ozark Hills and Hollows Magazine TWITTER @ozarkhillhollow INSTAGRAM ozarkhillsandhollowsmagazine ONLINE www.issuu.com/ozarkhillsandhollows

www.ozarkhillsandhollows.com August • September 2015 | 43


Apple cider vinegar

has been hailed to be a cure-all for warts, acid reflux, arthritis, gout, high blood pressure, diabetes and weight loss, as well as a flea and tick repellent for dogs and cats, a fly repellent for horses, and a nontoxic weed killer for the garden. Although there hasn’t been a lot of scientific studies to prove or disprove the many health claims, it’s use goes back hundreds and even thousand of years.

Good For You...

Vim with Vinegar

HISTORICAL CREDENCE

In 400 BC, Hippocrates, considered the father of medicine, used apple cider vinegar to clean and heal wounds. He also prescribed it mixed with honey for many ailments, including cough and colds. Roman soldiers drank a diluted vinegar and honey drink called “posca” for strength and energy. Japanese Samurai consumed something similar. Christopher Columbus sailed with barrels of vinegar on board for the prevention of scurvy. During the civil war and as late as World War I, apple cider vinegar was used to clean and disinfect wounds.

One of Mother Nature’s most perfect foods

BY MARY LOWRY

VINEGAR FACTS

Vinegar can be made from a variety of sources, including grapes, dates, coconuts, grains etc. Apple cider vinegar is made from fresh, crushed apples allowed to age. Whether you make it yourself, or buy it, the best type is made from organic apples, and is raw, unfiltered, a rich brown color, and cloudy. The presence of a cobweb like substance in the vinegar, called the “mother”, is a sign of a raw, good quality vinegar. White vinegar and clear apple cider vinegar have been heated (pasteurized), and filtered. Even though it still has

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many useful properties, this process destroys the probiotics, enzymes, and some vitamins. White vinegar doesn’t have all the health properties of raw apple cider vinegar, however, it still works wonderfully for most household uses. Either type of vinegar makes a great fruit and vegetable wash to remove pesticides and bacteria. Make a solution of 90 percent water, and 10 percent vinegar, briefly soak the produce and swish around, then rinse. I also like to remove lime deposits, and soap buildup with vinegar. Like many people in the Ozarks, our well-water is high in calcium, and so I have a spray bottle of undiluted vinegar to spray on the shower after use. It is my favorite spray for cleaning mirrors and windows. It also makes a great non-toxic disinfectant and deodorizer for countertops and floors.


INSIDE AND OUT

Apple Cider Vinegar Detox Tea

Apple cider vinegar is wonderful for the skin and hair. Unlike most soaps which tend be highly alkaline and remove the natural oils from our skin, acetic acid in ACV (apple cider vinegar) restores the natural pH of our skin which is actually slightly acidic, and this helps the skin and scalp maintain the right amount of oil, and fight off bacteria.

To make an ACV toner, mix equal parts of ACV with water. Apply with a cotton ball to remove make-up, oil and impurities. Rinse with water,but if tolerated leave on skin overnight. It will tighten and minimize pores.

For dandruff, massage this into the scalp before shampooing or mix some ACV in shampoo and wash hair. This will also help remove residue in the hair from product buildup. Keep this mix handy for sunburns also. Apple cider vinegar is the best thing I’ve found to help relieve sunburn pain, and to reduce blistering and peeling.

Apple Cider Vinegar 1 cup Hot Water Raw Honey Squeeze of Lemon

Apple cider vinegar is great not just on the body, but also taken internally. Many believe it’s solely because of a high vitamin, potassium, calcium and fiber content. ACV has some potassium and a tiny bit of calcium, but actually it’s benefits may be largely because it is high in acetic acid. This is what gives vinegar its strong odor and sour taste. Acetic acid taken before a meal can help the body digest and absorb more minerals and nutrients from the food. Heartburn, gas, bloating and indigestion are often symptoms of low stomach acid, and the ACV helps supply more acid and help stimulate more of the naturally occurring hydrochloric acid in the stomach. It may explain why vinegar goes well with greens, or why some traditions are to eat a salad with an oil and vinegar dressing at the start of the meal. Another benefit of the acetic acid (and malic acid present) in ACV is the antiseptic and antifungal properties. This may help reduce bacteria and yeast in the digestive tract. Just as acetic acid in ACV can help the pH of the skin stay slightly acidic when applied topically, it can help the pH in the body stay slightly alkaline when ingested. How can that be? ACV, similar to lemon juice, are both very acidic, but when broken down in the body into their mineral composition, they have a greater amount of alkaline minerals – like calcium, magnesium, potassium and sodium – than acidic minerals (phosphorus), and this is

why they alkalize the body. An alkaline body may help reduce calcium deposits that may cause arthritis pain and stiffness, uric acid crystal deposits in joints, that cause painful gout, and calcification of blood vessels leading to possible heart disease and high blood pressure. Studies show ACV can improve blood glucose levels in type-2 diabetics, and those with diabetic tendencies. One study found that test subjects who took 1 tablespoon of organic ACV diluted in water daily with meals, lowered the rise in blood sugar levels from that meal, and reduced fasting blood sugar level. Those tested, also had some weight loss, however, different studies don’t always confirm weight loss with ACV. If you are under a doctor’s care it is always advisable to check with your doctor first before taking ACV. It can interfere with some medications, and it is an acid so it can be harmful to certain ulcers. It’s also wise to dilute it with water first before ingesting. ACV is an acid that can wear down tooth enamel and burn the throat. Some people mix from 1 teaspoon to 2 tablespoons of the raw unpasteurized ACV, with 8 to 12 oz of water and drink before meals, and at bedtime. My favorite way is 1 tablespoon of vinegar with 2 teaspoon of raw honey in water and ice, as a pick-meup just as the Roman soldiers did (perhaps they skipped the ice). I don’t believe it is a miracle food for me, but, at least I feel like I can conquer anything with it.

WHAT’S STANDING BETWEEN YOU AND BETTER HEALTH? People who turn to Cox Monett Hospital know they’ll find a supportive, whole-person approach to care. Find the physician who’s right for you at 417/269-INFO or coxhealth.com. August • September 2015 | 45


Down to the Core

Using this year’s bountiful harvest BY SHERRY LEVERICH

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y apple trees are loaded, and I’m ready to tackle the harvest once the Jonathan’s start ripening. For the homesteader, apples are an amazingly productive and versatile crop. Not only are the fruit nutritious and sweet, they are easy to grow, produce large amounts of fruit (if a late frost doesn’t destroy buds, and bugs don’t eat them before you do), and keep remarkably well. Plus, they are easy to put by in a variety of ways, including freezing, canning, drying and even fermenting into vinegar. Most varieties start really coming into maturity by mid-September, but there are several early apples that are ready to pick in August as well. Most of the area orchards list which varieties are ripening at what times, so that you can be there to get your favorite when they start becoming available. My home-grown apples are getting hit with worms, so they aren’t going to be as easy to process, and won’t keep as well as a perfect, undamaged apple, but they are still usable for almost anything apples can be cooked and processed for. 46 |

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Whole Apple Utilization When making versatile apple sauce, the whole apple can be used, as long as it is run through a sieve to remove peel, seeds and other small particles. Whole-apple applesauce is a great way to get the benefit of using the entire apple, and the flavor is much richer with the additional flavor introduced by using the peel. I have heard that the best apple sauce is made by combining at least three apple varieties. Applesauce is made simply by washing the apples thoroughly, paring, and cooking till tender with a small amount of water. When all the apples are cooked through, it can been sent through a sieve to create a clean, consistently textured sauce. From there, the sauce can be sweetened to taste, flavored with cinnamon, (cinnamon red-hots make it tasty too!), frozen or canned. It can also be used for the base of an amazing batch of apple butter.


Apple Butter for Canning

Providing Quality Service for Over 50 Years.

10 cups prepared applesauce, unsweetened 2 cups apple cider 2 cups vinegar 2¼ cups white sugar 2¼ cups packed brown sugar 2 Tablespoons ground cinnamon 1 Tablespoon ground cloves Cook applesauce with apple cider, vinegar and with sugar and spices, stirring frequently in large non-reactive pot over medium heat. To test for doneness, remove a spoonful and hold it away from steam for 2 minutes. It is done if the butter remains mounded on the spoon. Another way to determine when the butter is cooked adequately is to spoon a small quantity onto a plate. When a rim of liquid does not separate around the edge of the butter, it is ready for canning. It will take several hours of simmering to get the apple butter to the right consistency. Fill hot into sterile half-pint or pint jars, leaving ¼-inch headspace. Clean rims and screw on rings and lids and process in a boiling waterbath canner. Half-pints and pints; 10 minutes. Quarts for 15 minutes. Yield: About 8 to 9 pints

Ozark Pudding

1 cup peeled, cored and chopped apple 1/2 cup black walnut pieces 1 egg 2/3 cup sugar 1 teaspoon vanilla

A 2012 study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that apples, as well as pears and blueberries, were linked with a lower risk of developing type-2 diabetes because of a class of antioxidants, anthocyanins, that are also responsible for red, purple and blue colors in fruits and veggies.

1/3 cup flour 1/4 teaspoon salt 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda butter to grease pie pan whipped cream for topping

Beat egg with sugar and vanilla until blended. In a small bowl, mix together flour, salt and baking powder. Blend dry ingredients into egg mixture. Stir in apples and walnuts and pour mixture into a well butter pie plate. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Pudding will fall slightly as it cools. Best served with fresh whipped cream.

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Apple Peel

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hether you use an automatic apple peeler, or peel every apple by hand, there’s going to be a lot of peel. What can you do with it? There is a lot of possibilities! The peel contains natural pectin which makes it a perfect choice for jelly. Go ahead and throw the cores in there too! One component of an apple’s peel (which AP P L E P E E L J E L LY also has most of the fiber) is something In a saucepan, bring 4 cups of called ursolic acid, which was linked to a apple peels and cores and 5 cups lower risk of obesity, and weight loss. of water to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer uncovered for 20 minutes. Pour through a jelly bag. Measure the juice. Return 2 cups of juice to the saucepan. Add 1 1/2 cups of sugar and 1 Tablespoon of lemon juice. Return to a boil, stirring frequently. Take pan off the heat and pour into two, 6-ounce jelly jars previously sterilized. Skim foam from top, seal and store in the refrigerator or process in a boiling water-bath canner.

Apple Cider Vinegar Using Peels and Cores Ingredients per quart: apple peels, cores and any browning/discolored flesh from pesticide-free apples (approx 6 large apples per quart jar) 1 quart-sized jar 1 canning ring, or a rubber band coffee filter 2-1/2 Tablespoons granulated sugar 2-1/2 cups water, boiled and allowed to cool

DR I E D AP P L E P E E L Dredge peels immediately in a weak salt-water solution, or lemon juice and dry on a cookie sheet at low temperature in the oven, or in a dehydrator. Sprinkle with cinnamon if desired. Eat plain, or chop and add to muffins, cookies or other baked goods. AP P L E C I DE R V IN E GA R There are a lot of recipes for making home-made apple cider vinegar at home. It is an interesting process, but like all recipes that involve fermenting, it’s important to be safe and clean to ensure a pure endproduct. Contact your local University Extension for more recipes on safe preservation, but here is a simple apple peel ACV recipe. E AT T HE M R AW ! One medium-sized apple contains about four grams of fiber. Some of that is in the form of pectin, a type of soluble fiber that has been linked to lower levels of LDL or “bad” cholesterol. AN YT HI NG L E F T ? F E E D T H E C RIT T ERS! Of course many animals enjoy apple peels and cores as a treat. Rabbits, goats and other herbivores will love any extras you might have. Chickens like to eat through the remains as well. Though there are varying views... the consensus still maintains that apple seeds are not safe to eat, so don’t feel bad about throwing the seeds in the trash!

Apples also contain the following important nutrients: VITAMIN C - A powerful natural antioxidant capable of blocking some of the damage caused by free radicals, as well as boosting the body’s resistance against infectious agents. B-COMPLEX VITAMINS (riboflavin, thiamin, and vitamin B-6) - These vitamins are key in maintaining red blood cells and the nervous system in good health. DIETARY FIBER - A diet high in fiber can help prevent the development of certain diseases and may help prevent the amount of bad cholesterol in your blood from rising. PHYTONUTRIENTS - Apples are rich in polyphenolic compounds – these phytonutrients help protect the body from the detrimental effects of free radicals. MINERALS such as calcium, potassium, and phosphorus. 48 |

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Place apple peels, cores and/or any browning or discolored flesh in a quart-sized glass jar, filling no more than 3/4 full. There needs to be enough room for the apples to expand after absorbing liquid, and room for the apples to be completely submerged. Add 2 Tablespoons of sugar and 2 cups of filtered water to the jar so that the apples should be completely submerged in water. This is important, as mold can grow on any portions of apples that are not submerged and ruin your batch of vinegar. If necessary, you can add a lid of another jar with weights on top to keep the apples submerged. The sugar is used to help feed the fermentation and while optional, it helps to speed up the process. Stir the apples, sugar and water and cover with a coffee filter. Secure with a canning band, or a rubber band. Allow apples to sit in a warm, dark place for 2 weeks. After 2 weeks, you might notice some fizz or some bubbles. That’s good. Strain out the apples. Cover the apple cider vinegar again with a coffee filter and canning band and allow to continue to sit. The vinegar may become cloudy or a SCOBY could form on the top, both of which are normal. Taste the vinegar once a week until it’s your liking. You can stop the fermentation process by replacing the coffee filter with a canning lid and storing it in the refrigerator. It’s now ready for use in any recipe for apple cider vinegar.


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Our Amish Neighbors A SMALL TOWN IN SOUTHWEST MISSOURI IS WELCOMING A GROWING AMISH COMMUNITY STORY AND PHOTOGRAPHY BY BECKIE PETERSON

New yellow signs are popping up along the highways all over the county, reminding people to “Share the Road” with horse and buggies. Over the past three years several Amish families have moved into the area, in a community that stretches from Rocky Comfort to Longview, Missouri. There are currently 17 families in the community. Several of them have started businesses, and more are popping up all the time. 50 |

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STOPPING TO SMELL THE FLOWERS Joe Miller is the owner of Lil Dutchy’s Greenhouse in Simco. He moved here with his family in March of 2013 from Westville, Oklahoma. Originally from Wisconsin, Joe moved south with his family to get away from the cold winters. “We came here from Oklahoma, because there wasn’t any Amish communities there,” Joe stated. Joe was originally a farmer, but after a major back surgery he was unable to continue farming and decided to open a greenhouse. “My son in Wisconsin has five greenhouses,” Joe said. “I’ve always liked to work in the soil. This is as close as I will get to still farming.” Joe starts his plants in late January to early February, and opens the greenhouse for business the first of April. Since the Amish do not use electricity, they are very good at figuring out alternate sources of power. Joe warms his greenhouse to an average 70 degrees using a unique double-barrel wood stove. Fans powered by solar panels circulate the heat, and when the temperatures get to a very cold temperature, there are propane wall heaters to make up the difference. The cash register is also powered from the solar panel. In the spring Joe sells flowers, hanging baskets and a large variety of garden plants, from tomatoes, to squash, to peppers. He also sells seed potatoes and onion sets. He plans to start a second round of fall crop plants, and also mums.

ENJOYING THE FRUITS OF THEIR LABORS As drivers go along Highway 76 through Rocky Comfort they will see a sign that advertises Rocky Acres Produce Stand. This business is owned by Joe Borntreger. He moved here with his wife and 12 children in 2014 from Centerville, Iowa. He has made his living with carpentry, but had different plans when he moved to Missouri. “I wanted to try to raise produce, to do something to eventually stay home and

not do carpentry work.” Joe bought 8 acres of land, and turned two-and-a-half acres of it into a garden. The remaining pasture is quartered off for their ponies. Joe’s sons raise, break and sell a variety of ponies. “It was harder to have a business in Iowa,” he stated. “There are more people here, and the people are more down to earth. There has been a lot of interest in buying fresh produce as people are wanting to know where their food comes from.” He added


that he uses no chemicals on the plants, and when it is necessary to spray, they use only organic products. His produce stand will offer a wide variety of produce as the seasons permit. Joe added that the Amish in Iowa had problems with people not being accepting, and with people being in a rush and getting bothered by the Amish buggies. He shared that this was not the case here. “Our neighbors have been very good to us and accept us really well. It’s great being here.” Joe’s wife also does baking, and they set up a stand in Wheaton at the intersection of Highway 86 and Main Street. There are pies, cookies, bread, cinnamon rolls and sticky buns for sale each Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. The bake-stand opens in April, and this year they hope to keep it going until Christmas. Joe also stated that they will be featuring Cashew Crunch candy, and hope to add more candies as they are able. Joe added that they would be happy to take special orders on baking. They also have baked goods booths at the Steam-O-Rama Steam Engine Show, and the Pumpkin Days, both in Republic, Missouri, each fall. Feeding a Family on a Budget Juanita Mullett is the owner of Ozarks Country Store on U Highway outside of Rocky Comfort. She and her husband and eight children moved here a year ago from Wisconsin. “We were renting up there, but wanted something on our own – and we had family down here,” Juanita said. Their small grocery store specializes in bulk sales and they have an extensive array of baking supplies, and spices. There are fifty pound bags of flour and sugar, as well as smaller quantities. The entire little store is run without electricity, the refrigeration is propane powered, and the cash register runs on a battery. “We decided to settle here because there was already an established community.” Juanita added. She went on to say that the majority of her business is non-Amish, and she is getting new customers regularly. Her husband has started a saw mill, cutting ties for local pallet mills, and doing custom cutting. They are currently using logs from their own property but are hoping to expand out as things progress. “We really like it here,” Juanita stated. “The people are very welcoming, and respectful.”

A QUILTERS HAVEN Maynard and Erma Yoder moved to the area from Mt. Vernon, Missouri in July 2014, but are originally from Minnesota and Wisconsin. “We moved here as a change for the kids, and the kids wanted more hunting,” Erma shared. They have nine children, all still at home. They were also attracted to the area because of the established community. Erma moved her fabric shop with her, and has set it up in her garage. “Most of my customers are Amish, but once in a while I get someone wanting quilting supplies. Erma carries a full range of sewing notions, and a large selection of fabric, mostly polyester, in Amish colors. She does carry cotton blends for quilting, solid colors only, baby knits and heavier materials for blankets. There is also a selection of small gift items, Amish hats, books, German Bibles and small toys. In the back of the shop is a quilt that Erma works on in her spare time. “There is so much to do, there isn’t a lot of time for quilting,” she stated. She and her husband have a small herd of five cows that they milk daily. They have a few neighbors who purchase milk from them, but are interested in finding more people wanting fresh milk. They also August • September 2015 | 51


own 47 goats they milk by hand to fill a contract they have with Meyersberg, a national goat’s milk wholesaler. In addition Maynard has a saw mill, at which he cuts lumber to build pallets, and specializes in uncommon sized pallets. When asked if she has ever experienced anyone being unkind or getting upset at their slow moving buggies, Erma was quick to respond, “No, everyone has been friendly, and very accepting of us. If we are respectful, they will be also.”

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SMALL TOWN CRAFTSMAN Indian Creek Leather, owned by Simon Brenneman, is located in an old chicken house. Simon moved here three years ago from Louisburg, Kentucky. Of his 13 children, three are still at home. His reasons for moving here are simple. “The main reason we chose this area was the climate, the soil and it’s a good grass country.” Indian Creek Leather specializes in making tack, repairing saddles and making belts. Simon also does special orders such as tool pouches. He originally started his leather business in Kentucky in 1988, and explained that most of his business in non-Amish, with saddles and other tack. It was a trade he learned from his father, who had a leather shop in Pennsylvania. “There was no real community when we moved here,” Simon said. “We were one of the first to come here.” He added that in the time they have lived here, they have had a few problems with cars spooking their horses, but mostly with motorcyclists who may not realize they are scaring the horses as they pass. “Most people are very respectful of our beliefs and ways of life,” Simon added.


AMAZING SADDLES Just behind the leather shop, Simon’s son Alvin Brenneman owns Brenneman’s Saddlery. He specializes in custom made saddles. Alvin moved here two years ago from Kentucky with his wife and eight children. He has been working in the saddle business since 2004, and is basically self-taught. He began working for his dad in the leather shop repairing saddles, and learned to build them. “I came here looking for better farming opportunities,” Alvin said. Currently he does custom grazing, but within the next year plans to start a dairy herd. He averages making about 25 saddles per year. “Each saddle takes approximately one week to make, if it is a basic saddle.” Alvin said. He also has the tools to do custom tooling on the saddles and added, “If there is lots of tooling to be done, it takes up to three weeks.” He went on to add that he uses sheep wool for the under pad of the saddles.

The Amish are Anabaptist in faith. They speak only German at home, and most children learn English as their second language. They have church services every other Sunday, and rotate services from home to home. Off service Sundays are spent as family time, resting, reading the Bible, visiting churches in other communities, or visiting others in the community. The buggies are used for local travel, but for long distances, they employ non-Amish “taxi drivers”. All the families agreed that this area is beautiful, and the people they have met have been respectful and friendly. They welcome anyone to come to their places of business and shop, look around or just stop in to say hello. “My plans are to stay here,” Alvin said. “This is a great place to live.”

BRENNEMAN SADDLE SHOP 617 Val Road, Rocky Comfort 417-628-3652 Alvin Brenneman, owner

INDIAN CREEK LEATHER 521 Val Road, Rocky Comfort West on 76, North on Val Road ½ mile on left. 417-628-3906 Simon Brenneman, owner

YODER’S FABRIC SHOP (and fresh milk) West on 76 past Rocky Comfort, North on Woodchuck Road, go ½ mile, then East on Harvest Road, 1st house on left. 417-652-7096 Maynard Yoder, owner

ROCKY ACRES PRODUCE 528 College St. Rocky Comfort 417-652-3319 Joe Borntreger, owner

LIL DUTCHY’S GREENHOUSE 456 Thor Road, Simco West on 76, then South on Thor Road ¼ mile. Joe Miller, owner August • September 2015 | 53


The Dirty Secrets of Fall Gardening BY KIM MCCULLY-MOBLEY

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Taking advantage of the final days of the growing season While avid gardeners throughout the Ozarks are wrapping up their summer crops, those with true green thumbs are just now gearing up for another round of blooming perennials, as well as a bounty of green beans, lettuce, carrots, squash, radishes, turnips and pumpkins. While most plants should be brought indoors when temperatures dip below 50 degrees, autumn in the Ozarks often provides ample conditions for another round of colorful flowers and vegetables to suit your needs and desires through that first frost.

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A local panel of experts shared their insights about a few of their “secrets.” Kelly McGowan, a native of Arkansas, is a horticulture educator with Greene County’s University Extension office in Springfield. Doyle Ferguson, co-owner of Aurora Greenhouse Floral & Gifts, spends a great deal of time on landscaping projects throughout the Ozarks and is a master gardener. Rebecca DeRuyter makes her home in rural Verona, where she launched her gardening efforts as a youngster in 4-H. She is also a master gardener.


Some of the tips and advice offered by our panel include: Be sure to take the time to carry out some “cleanup” efforts to get ready for the fall gardening season. Remove spent plants and other debris – where insects and disease can wreak havoc on your plants.

McGowan says October 15th is the average frost date for the Ozarks. However, residents who have lived here a few years know that temperatures can dip down low in early October or wait until early November. Mother Nature in the Ozarks is a bit fickle.

Remember plants are just like people, they need to be fed and watered appropriately in order to grow and remain healthy. Topdressing with manure and compost will keep them happy. Just be careful not to overdo it. Mulch your flower gardens and vegetable beds. Mulch helps hold in needed moisture as the ground begins to dry up in the early fall. A good mulch will also help reduce the weeds in your gardens. Take the time to do some spring planning. Fall is the opportune time to plant bulbs, like daffodils, hyacinths, irises and lilies. In turn, it is also a great time to plant ornamental trees, shrubs and bushes. Gardeners also need to take the time to do away with their leaves and debris once the fall season is over. You want to eliminate hiding places for rodents, insects and bugs wanting warmer cover over the winter months.

Kelly McGowan Greene County University Extension Horticulture Educator

“Transplants that are four to six inches tall can be planted in the garden around midAugust. If you prefer to start these plants from seeds, they should be started four to six weeks before this time. Whichever method you prefer, don’t pass up the opportunity to have a fall vegetable garden. Some cool season vegetables, like carrots, actually develop a sweeter flavor as the temperatures gets colder,” McGowan maintains.

Ferguson reiterated the importance of eliminating leafy ground cover when the fall harvest is complete. “Disease, insects, spiders and rodents spend the winter in the protective cover of those leaf piles. Rake them up, haul them off, burn them or compost them, it’s your choice. Just do not let them lay there until spring,” he states, adding, “You might want to use a mild insecticide or insecticidal soap before bringing any plants indoors for the winter.” DeRuyter says she loves spending time on the farm and getting creative with her gardens. Time, attention, color and fun are words she uses when talking about one of her numerous hobbies. “Don’t forget if you plant in the fall you don’t want to fertilize too much. These plants need to set in and go to sleep soon – so don’t overstimulate and push them into new growth,” she explained. All three growers urge would-be gardeners to communicate with each other about tips, tricks and advice for successful gardening adventures in the Ozarks. Horticulture classes are often offered through University Extension and a variety of articles are archived on extension websites. Those interested are urge to dig in, do your research and have fun. Gardening in any form can become a life-long passion. But being successful at it is not for the faint of heart. Perhaps the “dirtiest” secret of all is that “getting dirty” can be hard work.

Doyle Ferguson Master Gardener August • September 2015 | 55


That Enduring Pioneer Spirit BY STAN FINE

We continue Stan’s story of his family’s transplant into the Ozarks. To read the first part of his story, refer to part one in the June – July issue of Ozark Hills and Hollows. With the journey from Colorado to Missouri in 1911 long behind them, the Hagerman’s found themselves well settled in the southwest Missouri community of Noel.

Stan Fine is a resident of McDonald County in Missouri. Born in Long Beach California, he spent his childhood in the west, but went to high school in St. Louis. He then married his high school sweetheart, Robin. There they raised their two sons, David (who passed away with cancer in 2006) and Rob. Stan was a Detective Lieutenant in a St. Louis suburb and attained a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice Management, and a Master of Science in Administration. He retired in 2006 and he and Robin moved to Noel. Robin passed away, due to cancer, in 2013 after 46 years of marriage. Stan now plays golf, substitute teaches, and writes, especially in the wee morning hours.

Photo of me, age 11 or 12, with my grandfather Floyd Fine, the Noel City Marshal, standing near Shadow Lake in Noel, taken around 1960.

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n 1923 Phoebe Hagerman married Floyd Fine of Pineville, and left the farm. Sister, Rosalyn, was twentyfour years old then, and was teaching at a school in Southwest City. When classes were over for the day and she returned to the farm she still had chores to take care of. Life for the three was good until 1929. That was the year of the great stock market crash. Pheobe and Rosalyn’s parents, Samuel and Mary, had entrusted almost all of the family’s money to a small Arkansas bank, and overnight it was gone. The family struggled but survived and from that point on Samuel refused to have any dealings with banks.

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Samuel grew and sold vegetables and the milk that came from dairy cows and he would occasionally take on odd jobs. Mary was happy and known to be an excellent cook. Sunday was baking day and the aroma of Mary’s wheat bread filled the house, and floated out of the open kitchen window into the yard where Rosalyn fed the chickens. In 1930 Samuel became ill and rather suddenly succumbed to the sickness and died. Samuel was buried not far from the farm in Lee Cemetery situated in Checks Corner, Arkansas. Samuel was the first of the Hagerman’s to find a peaceful resting place there.

Photo of a painting ma de of the Hagerman farm hou se.

Mary and Rosalyn kept the farm running with some occasional help from Mary’s brother, Robert, but Robert was busy trying to earn a living from his small forty acre farm. Rosalyn left her position at the school and devoted herself completely to the farm, and to her mother. The Hagerman story was told to me over many years by Rosalyn. I believe she


saw that I was naturally inquisitive and she knew I was someone who wanted to hear the story of the Hagerman’s, and the story of Rosalyn. Sometimes Rosalyn would talk about a single event while during other conversations she would talk about events that took place over months or even years. Of course the more I prodded her, the more she opened up and shared aspects of her life. The last time I saw Rosalyn I asked why she never married. She paused and I detected what must be described as a look of regret that came over her face. She was now in her nineties and age had transformed her appearance dramatically. Her voice was frail and it cracked as she spoke. Rosalyn stared directly into my eyes and somewhat somberly declared it was time she finished imparting to me the story of her life. It was as if she was passing to me the only thing she had left to give. About a year before Samuel passed away Rosalyn met a young man, his name was Sydney. Sydney’s family lived on a farm not far from the Hagerman land. Sydney and Rosalyn spent time together and over time became close, but then Samuel died and that changed everything. Sydney wanted to leave rural Missouri and the farm life behind. He wanted to go on adventures and see the world and wanted Rosalyn to go with him. Rosalyn knew her mother needed her help on the farm, especially after the death of her father, and Mary was not in good health at that time. Rosalyn knew her duty rested at home with her mother so she said goodbye to Sydney. After the passage of time Rosalyn received a letter from Sydney. The letter was written in a tone that would be more often written by a friend or distant relative. Sydney wrote that he was living in Chicago. He wrote about the large city, the people there and how different it was from the farming communities in Missouri. Rosalyn gave up her one chance for adventure and a life with Sydney because of her responsibilities at home. Rosalyn continued to help her mom with the farm and life was good. Rosalyn’s nephews and nieces occasionally visited the farm and it was nice to see happy young faces and hear children’s voices. The children were between five and nine years old and enjoyed the Ozark

hills, woods and streams. On Saturday afternoons Rosalyn would start the old Ford Model T and drive all the children to Southwest City where the Nichol’s Brothers and Queens Stores held raffles for prizes and store coupons. One Saturday in particular was especially memorable. All the children were excited because Rosalyn promised to take them to town where the streets would be filled with people, and to the drug store and the soda fountain within. The children piled into the Model T and Rosalyn started the engine. The old Ford drove down the dusty dirt roads until it came to a steep grade. The car started up the hill but the car would not go any farther. Some of the children talked about getting out and walking up the incline, but Rosalyn had another idea. Rosalyn knew gasoline was sent to the engine by gravity so she turned the car around and backed up the hill. The girls whole-heartedly believed that Rosalyn had more knowledge than anyone else in the entire world and for her no obstacle was insurmountable. Once parked outside the store everyone leaped from the old car, pushed against each other as they squeezed through the doorway, found barstool seats at the soda fountain’s counter and ordered their favorite soda or phosphate. Wild Cherry Phosphates were the most popular drinks that hot July day in 1939. Uncle Robert’s health took a downward turn and he could no longer live alone on his tract of land, and in 1942 he moved in with his son’s family. Robert’s condition continued to worsen and he passed away in 1943. The original cabin now stood empty for a time and it and the forty acres it rested on were eventually sold in 1976. Rosalyn and Mary stayed on the farm after Robert’s death because that was their home, as it had been the home for Samuel and Phoebe. Mary’s health began to deteriorate a few years after her brother’s death. Her memory was leaving her and she could not be left unattended and sometimes didn’t recognize Rosalyn. In 1949 Rosalyn and Mary moved to Noel where they shared a room that had been added to Phoebe and her husband’s house. I’m told I was taken to Noel when I was merely a few months old, so Mary could see her new great grandson. They

say Mary picked me up, rocked me in her arms and gently stroked my red hair as she spoke softly to me. Mary died several months later in 1950. Later that same year Rosalyn sold the family farm. Rosalyn continued to live in the room added to the house in Noel for many years. Rosalyn and Phoebe were always sisters and best friends. For years they were involved in various business ventures and for some time owned and operated a florist business. Rosalyn’s sister, Phoebe died in 1975 and was buried in the Noel cemetery alongside her husband Floyd. Rosalyn continued to live in the Noel house for the remainder of her life. She lived an independent and full life. Rosalyn had the respect, friendship and love of the people she knew, and she showed compassion and caring for those around her. She was well known for her sense of fairness. Rosalyn never lost the pioneer spirit she brought from Colorado to Missouri in 1911. During my last visit to Rosalyn’s home I asked her if she ever regretted her decision not to marry Sydney and leave the farm to which she replied, “Not really. I often imagined what our life would have been like. I suppose we would have lived in a big city and Sydney would have been a successful business man and I would have taken care of our children. I’m certain we would have been happy, and lived a long life filled with wonderful experiences. But, although a piece of my heart left with Sydney I believe my duty was to stay on the farm and care for mama.” I never spoke to Rosalyn again, and I regret that as I now realize I have so many more unanswered questions that only she can answer. The saga of Samuel and Mary with their daughters, Phoebe and Rosalyn Hagerman, who traveled from Colorado to Missouri came to an end on July 6, 1994 with the death of Rosalyn. She was laid to rest alongside Samuel, Mary and Uncle Robert in Lee Cemetery. The pioneering family with the unwavering faith that a better life awaited them in Missouri was once again together. Rosalyn had a presence on this earth for over ninety-five years. She bequeathed to me $500.00, several pieces of old and cherished glassware and the inheritance I cherish most, the story of her life. I now respectfully share that story with each of you. August • September 2015 | 57


Celebrating Heritage, Farm and Healthy Living in the Heart of America

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Ozark Hills & Hollows August September 2015  

Celebrating heritage, farm and healthy living in the heart of America.

Ozark Hills & Hollows August September 2015  

Celebrating heritage, farm and healthy living in the heart of America.

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