Serving Mifflin County and the surrounding area.
The Valley A free newspaper dedicated to agriculture, self-reliance, frugal living, and modern homesteading. Tomorrow’s Media - A Day Early Volume 3, No. 5
The Valley, May 2012
High Tech in Big Valley On a recent trip out to the “East End” of Big Valley I was given a tour of the Harrop Farm dairy operation, and I have to tell you I was amazed. As a young boy I spent some time on a cousin’s dairy farm in New York state, just enough time to know that farmers work themselves to death just doing every day tasks. I remember the 4:00 am and 4:00 pm milkings the most. I don’t recall how many cows were in their herd, but it seemed like a lot to a 12 year old kid from suburbia. I remember the heavy cans with the suction cups coming out the top and carrying the full cans to the milk room to dump into the milk tank, and the repetition of doing this over and over until the cows were all milked. The work didn’t end there. After the cows were turned back out to pasture, there was the copious amount of manure that needed to be removed from the barn to have it ready for the next milking. Oh and when the weather was right, you would squeeze in some haying just to keep busy. Seemed to me that there wasn’t much time for anything else on a farm.
Well I am here to tell you that this farm does NOT do things even remotely close to what I did on my cousin’s dairy farm. On my appointed day I walked into the office of the dairy One of four milking robots on the Harrop dairy farm in action. barn to see Rebecca ed machinery. Beneath one of the Harrop (our “Life in the East End” working machines I could see four writer) sitting in front of a comcow legs standing there seemputer monitor studying a screen ingly oblivious to the mechanized with a bunch of circles with difharmony taking place around it. ferent color pie slices within those The cow, you see, was more incircles. Rebecca was running the terested in the treats the robot was dairy barn, milking cows, and feeding it while it first washed and processing paperwork for a milk scrubbed the underside of the cow pick up, all from the office! prior to automatically attaching How you ask? the suction cups to start the milkROBOTS! Yep, ing process. Each cow is treated those machines of as an individual by the robot who science fiction are knows each cow inside out, from here and operating how much treat it gets, to which out in Big Valley. direction it’s milk goes after milkBut far from being ing, to if it is time for a particular something scary or cow to be milked again. You see sinister, these rothe food treat quickly teaches the bots are absolutely cows to figure out that when it enmind blowing. We ters the milking stall, it gets treats. left the office and Many try to enter over and over, entered another but unless it is time, the robot will room where there not serve a treat, nor allow the The brains of the computer system that keeps everywere what looked cow to be milked. I saw a couple thing running smoothly, even if a cow shows up at 1 like dozens of of dejected cows leave the milkAM! tubes and automat- ing station and wander over to the
automated back scratcher (similar to a car wash roller mounted horizontally), which is cow activated. Rebecca told me that the cows learned very quickly how to trigger the roller and get their backs massaged and dry scrubbed. It was amazing to me watching them line up and wait for their turn. Some would finish and get back in line for another go at it. In fact, some in the herd obviously used it quite often as evidenced by the pompadors on top of their heads from con-
stant use of the horizontal brush. Cows are NOT dumb animals as some would have you believe. Cleanliness is also something high on the Harrop’s list, that was quite evident as we strolled from the milk room out into the barn among the cows. There many cows were leisurely laying around eating the fresh hay and grain laid out for them. Aisles between the stalls were clean as could be, thanks to an automatic aisle-sized squeegee that slowly worked its way up and down the aisles, scraping and funneling the manure into an underground system that sent the manure to the slurry tank without anyone having to shovel. Cows do NOT stand around in their own manure here like some places we have all seen and heard about; the Harrops run a first class dairy. After my tour, Rebecca took me to see some of their younger
Continued on page 22
An incredibly clean barn is a testament to the first class operation we have here in Big Valley.
Lighting Brush Fires in People’s Minds
The Valley, May 2012
Wayne Stottlar Has our world turned itself upside down and inside out? Things seem to be happening at an alarmingly increasing rate. Most of it caused by an arrogant, out of control, oppressive government. When our government can spend millions of your taxpayer dollars so that the USDA can fund a year long sting operation against an Amish farmer and force him out of business, something has gone awry. Armed agents have been terrorizing family farms who produce goods and services that people are willing to go out of their way to obtain. Healthy, natural food as it was intended. This does not sit well with Big Ag, who fund many of our politicians campaigns. So, using established agencies or creating new ones, the government sends out its little soldiers to terrorize and intimidate small farmers who barely make a living, let alone have funds to fight against such absurdity. I mean, think about it, the government is telling you that you are not permitted to buy something off your neighbor for your own consumption. Think about that, “Home of the Free,” “Liberty and Justice for All,” SINCE WHEN? I believe this is a multifaceted attack on our liberties. Not only is the government directing you NOT to eat healthy food, but they are also forcing you to patronize the companies that the
government supports due to contributions. These raids also have the effect of marginalizing private property rights. I seriously do not believe there is any justice left in the way government is handling these situations. I believe our founders would have felt that such times were the reason the citizenry were granted the right of protection against tyranny. To that end I would suggest small farms develop a cooperative to defend against such over-reach. It isn’t a question of if, there are small farmers and farms being attacked all across our country. These are scary times, especially for those who feel they are alone. The Valley and the Mifflin County Library plans to hold a FREE screening of the new documentary “Farmageddon” to start off a series of other free screenings to help you become informed of the problems we are facing to obtain, fresh, local, nutrient dense foods. Because of standardization in the farming practices of Big Ag, situations have been created that cause actions to be taken with detrimental effects on what you put in your mouth each day. The fuel you put into your body absolutely affects performance. We have no idea how many of you would attend a free screening of this documentary as well as others like Joel Salatin’s, “Fresh,” or even an older, but still valuable
film, “Food Inc.” So, to make sure that we secure a large enough space for everyone, if you are interested in attending a screening, please send an email to the paper email@example.com so that we can alert you as to the screening dates. We plan to have at least one before our next issue, so an email will allow us to alert you, or you can check out our Facebook page for further info. Starting with the June issue we will have a schedule to place in the paper. While I am ranting I might as well get this out too. Does anyone see the sense in the trial of Roger Clemens? He is accused of lying to Congress. Quite frankly when Congress butts its nose where it doesn’t belong, perhaps people might believe they do not deserve an honest answer. The original question was illegal and none of the government’s business to ask. Add to that fact that the first trial costs us taxpayers 1 MILLION dollars, and this trial is said to be going to 2 MILLION dollars. Does anyone else think that perhaps these guys have no clue as to what their 17 enumerated powers are? Do you think for one second they care about the expenditure of YOUR money? They are trying to make an example of as many
people as possible. This is to warn others against resistance. If you think you are beyond reach, look at what our government is doing to Patriot Ted Nugent. I am betting they went to war with the wrong hombre in this case, future events will tell us for sure. Last October I took up a new hobby, something I have been wanting to do for a long time, and like a lot of things, I always wanted to take part, and never seemed to have the time to actually go out and do it. What you ask? Metal Detecting. Stop rolling your eyes, and put your bias and baseless perceptions away for a minute. Have there been slob detectorists amongst the ranks in the past? Yep, sure enough, just like every other hobby. Today the practices have evolved to the point where we do zero permanent damage to the area we dig in. We cover all of our diggings in a way that leaves little discernable trace that we were there. Some folks call us treasure hunters, and some are, but most of us just share a common love of history. Why leave these items in the ground to corrode and disappear forever? My favorite finds are old coins, and that is the reason I detect. But, we also come across artifacts and relics of times past, that even though they have little monetary value, are still great conversation pieces. The military jacket button I found in my back yard rates right up there among my finds. Why? Because it is a pattern of button that was used from 1760-1780, long before this house was here. What were the circumstances that brought us together 230 years later?
Contact Info Editor/Publisher Wayne Stottlar Ad Designer/Co-Publisher Lynn Persing Associate Editor Colleen Swetland The Valley PO Box 41 Yeagertown, PA 17099 (717) 363-1550 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Web: www.thevalleynewspaper.com ©The Valley. All Rights Reserved.
To be sure, metal detecting isn’t for everyone, but to those that have an old property, and wonder what might be in the ground, a lot of us are more than happy to split our finds with the property owner in exchange for the chance to hunt. If this is you, give us a call and we will see about coming to your place to see what we can find. We have been working hard here at The Valley in an effort to say Thank You to our faithful readers. We are in the early stages of planning a “Community Day in The Valley.” We plan on having the writers for The Valley here for the weekend and we will also have space for our advertisers to set up to display their goods. We will have LIVE MUSIC all day long and the best part...it’s FREE. Our readers are the best and we wanted to give back, so keep August 18th open on your calendar. Stay tuned for more info. a
The Valley, May 2012
Meeting a Need From Staff Reports
Fifty Years Ago May 1962 The Sentinel announced that Frank S. Walk, Jr., principal of Lewistown High School since 1959, would remain in that position, although he tendered his resignation to the Lewistown-Granville-Rothrock Joint School Board just hours prior to the meeting that saw his letter accepted. Walk was leaving to become principal at a large suburban Pittsburgh high school, but reversed his decision and requested to be re-instated after discussions with his family and the school board’s executive committee. In an unusual move, twenty-two members of the joint board expressed their full support for Walk when each was contacted by telephone the next day. One Hundred Years ago May 1912 The Pastime Theatre (where the Downtown OIP is located today) is undergoing major improvements, according to a report in The Daily Sentinel. The venue is “one of the most modern moving picture theatres in the State. Alterations and installation of two new projectors fitted with the latest Westinghouse compense-arc lamps, causing the flickering to be
reduced to a minimum, and producing a steadier, brighter picture. The machines work alternately, one operator preparing his machine while the other shows pictures. Both machines are encased in a steel and asbestos lined booth separated from the auditorium by a 16-inch brick wall, thus insuring absolute safety to the audience in case of fire. Civil War Echoes May 1862 The Lewistown Gazette reported the Ladies Soldiers Aid Association had forwarded two more boxes to the seat of war with clothing, food, etc. for the sick and wounded. The newspaper further announced that the Second Logan Guards were near Harrisonburg, Virginia; Captain John P. Taylor’s Pennsylvania Cavalry was in the advance at Fredericksburg; and Captain Bigelow’s Belleville Fencibles were near Port Royal, South Carolina. In the personal section of the Gazette, Mr. U. M. Beck of Locke’s Mills, Armagh Township, reported there were twenty-nine snows during the winter of 1861-62 averaging four inches each.
Everyone is aware of the struggles many families are having trying to keep their bills paid and families fed. Yes, there are lots of “programs” out there that have well-intentioned missions, yet end up becoming more focused on their own existence than actually meeting their mission. This is another one of those life truisms, a lot of the time when you send your money off somewhere away, a good portion of it does not end up where the donor expects. Government programs?....that is even worse, anyone that is honest knows that every time government becomes involved, the costs become higher, and the efficiency goes out the window. Somehow it is just easier when it is others people’s money to justify the waste. On the opposite end of the spectrum here in The Valley, we have many volunteers and local organizations pitching in to bring real help to their friends and neighbors in need. These “local” groups know the people they are
helping because it is citizens of their own locale. After all, local issues are better dealt with LOCALLY. One such group is the ladies of the Milroy Methodist Church. For over two years now they have been providing clothing for area residents at their clothing pantry located at the church. The clothing pantry is held on the 1st and 3rd Saturday of the month from 9 am - 12 noon. When I was there they were in the process of packing the winter clothing up and putting out the spring and summer selections. With further hardships being faced throughout the area, the ladies decided to do even more, and last October started a food pantry just for Milroy residents. Apparently their idea was none too early, as soon they were feeding 30+ families out of the food pantry, which never seems to be full. Donations are always welcome. The food pantry is open the 3rd Thursday of each month from 9 am - 12 noon. The food pantry also accepts monetary
donations, which are then taken to area markets to purchase food for the pantry, often at discounted prices. As some of you gardeners start reaping the rewards from your own gardens, think about those who have less. Those of us who grow a lot in our gardens are always able to spare some of the surplus. Rather than letting it go to waste, why not arrange to drop some off close to the 3rd Thursday of the month. I am positive those in need would really appreciate some fresh produce. Groups or organizations that wish to donate non-perishable food can contact the church to make arrangements. If everyone pitches in, we can remain in control of our local business, once the state or Washington gets involved, it’s out of our control. Local control requires local responsibility. If we all pitch in, the ladies at Milroy Methodist Church can continue helping our neighbors in need. The church is located at 91 North Main street and their phone number is (717) 667-2838. a
Dry Conditions “Spark” Wildfire Concerns By Bill Corbin March 19-24 was Wildfire Prevention Week in Pennsylvania. Wildfire is defined as any fire that burns uncultivated fields, grass, brush or forests. Wildfires affect many things, such as wildlife and their habitats, personal property and watersheds. Pennsylvania’s peek wildfire seasons are spring and fall. In the spring (March – May) before the leaves come out the sun’s energy reaches the ground better, drying everything out. In the fall (October – November) the air is drier and the leaves fall on the forest floor. An average of 4,300 acres is burnt every year in Pennsylvania. The greatest wildfire risk occurs between 10 am and 6 pm. After the dew is evaporated and the sun is high in the sky, beating on the ground rapidly drying light fuels. Human activity causes 98% of all wildfires with the leading causes being debris burning and arson. Other causes are railroads, lightning, equipment use, and unknown causes. An individual responsible for starting a wildfire in Pennsylvania can be held accountable for suppression costs
including manpower, and equipment as well as fire suppression aircraft if utilized. This bill can easily exceed several thousands of dollars. The responsible party may also be liable for a civil or criminal suit for loss of others personal property and any injuries involved. To reduce the cause of wildfire there are simple steps that can be taken. When burning debris, use a metal container, clear an area 10 feet around the burning barrel to prevent sparks from igniting material outside the barrel, use a metal screen with ¼ inch holes as a spark arrester, have a hose and a rake nearby to quickly put out sparks, and always make sure the fire is out before walking away from the burning barrel or burning debris. Instead of burning debris consider recycling, mulching, making a wildlife habitat, and composting. Also use caution when using campfires. Campfires should remain small and be contained to a metal, stone, or other nonflammable material. Have a 10 foot area around the fire ring cleared of
any leaves, twigs, etc. Be sure to have water nearby in case of any sparks and to make sure your fire is completely out before leaving. Ashes from home heating units should be cooled with plenty of water before disposing onto the ground. Hot embers may still exist causing dry ground cover to ignite. Check the Forest Fire Danger with your local Bureau of Forestry and for local or county burn bans. It is unlawful to burn materials such as tires, plastics and building materials other than wood products. Check with your local recycling center for alternatives for these materials. If you see someone in danger of starting a wildfire, step in and make a difference. Because 9 out 10 wildfires can be prevented. “Remember, only YOU can prevent wildfires! “ Visit – www. smokeybear.com For more information contact: DCNR Bureau of Forestry – www.dcnr.state.pa.us Local Forest Fire Warden Local Fire Company a
The Valley, May 2012
Adventures in Homesteading One family’s journey from the city and modern living back to the land and self-reliance.
by Dave and Ginger Striker
A continuing series.
You know, I can spend hours watching our animals, but there is something enjoyable about watching a pig nose through soil searching for grub, tubers and other delights. Pigs are very intelligent animals and quite sanitary, which obviously flies in the face of traditional knowledge. In fact,
any time you put a group of pigs together they, in some unknown method to us, determine which areas of the paddock are to be used as a bathroom, so they do not contaminate the rest of their foraging area. I find these sorts of herd decisions to be fascinating and contrary to how pigs are commonly represented in today’s uber-sterile food production models. At this point, you may think I am trying to sell you on the benefits of pigs on the farm, well you’re right, so let me continue! When you have a family the size of ours, especially with young children, I CRINGE at the food waste we generate daily. I know, I know – make the kids sit there until they finish their meal you say? Well, that is true and we have done that plenty of times, but needless to say that doesn’t always work as kids can be as stubborn as parents! It is now my immense joy to take all of
our food waste to the pigs each morning to enjoy! Now I have the sweet knowledge that our pigs will consume all of our excess food, spoiled food and garden scraps; and in turn gain weight to become a future addition to our family’s larder. In essence, the pig has completed the circle in a lot of ways for virtually all of our farm waste. Ok, now that I have you convinced you need to go and purchase your first pig, let’s talk a about how to raise them. I always make the disclaimer, “we are no experts, but we do what we find works best for our farming philosophy and methods.” If you have read any of my previous columns, I bet you can guess this might involve something with electricity and rotational movement. That is exactly what we do. Since we don’t want medication tainting our meat, we find ways to maintain sanitation and health and one way is to keep your herds, be it pigs,
goats, cattle, or chicken flocks, on the move. By occupying new ground on a routine basis you break the parasitic cycle, which normally plagues most farm animals. In addition to proper land management, you are using your animals to do the back breaking work on your land. Often times we will let our pigs follow our cows and goats to integrate their manure into the The kids helping move the pigs in the “Pig-Bus” made soil for us. And out of livestock panels. then after the occasional issues of them getting pigs, the chickens to pick through out. In the beginning you might the remaining scraps, and give the find it advantageous to raise your final cleanse for us in eating any pigs in a hard paddock. When fly larvae. We find this multithey are ready to start moving in species approach benefits the land electrical fencing, you can train and animal health for everyone on them by stretching a strand of the farm. electrical wire across a section Pigs are extremely intelligent of the hard paddock. Ensure that animals and will respect electrical you have plenty of voltage and fencing if properly trained; howproper grounding before you start ever, while they are still young Continued on page 21 (less than 50 lbs) you will have
The Valley, May 2012
Looking out my Back Door Life on my Mifflin County Homestead by Mary Anna Chenoweth
Wrapping Things Up: Stuffed Grape Leaves When Alexander of Macedonia (sometimes called ‘the Great’, 356-323 B.C.E.) was rampaging his way through the country that would someday be known as Greece, he came to the city of Thebes, birthplace of the poet Pindar. Since Alexander was an educated fellow - thanks to his teacher Aristotle, who years before had undertaken to civilize the northern prince – he enjoyed poetry. Therefore, he respectfully allowed the natal home of the great poet to stand unscathed while his army leveled the rest of the city. He then proceeded to give like treatment to the rest of the Greek city states -except for Athens, to which Aristotle had retired (as we said, Alex was a respectful chap)- before marching off towards India and into history. Meanwhile, the surviving citizens of Thebes had crawled out of the ruins of their lives and, being human, looked around for
something to eat. An army on the march is said to act much like a swarm of locust, so there wasn’t much to find. The Thebans managed to locate a little meat (we won’t speculate on what kind) and to make it feed as many mouths as possible, they chopped it up finely with whatever else they could scavenge, wrapped the resulting mincemeat in grape leaves, cooked them, ate well and went on to rebuild their city. So says one legend surrounding the origins of the little stuffed grape leaves of Greece – dolmathes. Since wrapping bits of this and that in grape leaves – or fig leaves or mulberry leaves for that matter– is common around the Mediterranean and the Middle East the story is, no doubt, more fancy than fact. But it makes for a poignant tale and points out the ancient and worldwide culinary habit of stuffing leaves with what ever you happen to have on hand
and enjoying (?) the results, even in the worst of situations. Stuffed leaves also make for tasty fare when the times are less dire. While stuffed cabbage leaves may be more common on Mifflin County dinner tables, stuffed grape leaves are just as tasty and the main ingredient grows in wild profusion all over the area. Indeed, for centuries, the eastern United States has been noted for its’ abundance of native grapevines, so it can be argued that stuffed grape leaves are just as “American” as they are “Greek” –or, for that matter, “Lebanese” or “Armenian”. Since May is usually when downy grape leaves are beginning their years’ growth (though we’re a bit ahead of the curve this year), let’s explore yet another local resource and reclaim it for our own. Although there are hundreds of varieties, some with specific purposes, grapes (Vitis species)
are known primarily for their miraculous transformation into wine. Most folks are also familiar with their use for fresh eating and jelly making. Yet, from antiquity, these prolific and productive vines have served many other uses. The seeds can be pressed for oil and there is a type of French cheese that is traditionally coated with grape seed before they are set to age. Some grape varieties are best suited for drying into raisins. Cream of tartar, useful in a number of waysnot the least of which is as an essential ingredient in lofty, feather light biscuits- is refined from the crystals of tartaric acid that form in grape juice. In some places, vine trimmings are made into the baskets that hold subsequent grape harvests and the older heavier wood burns down into excellent coals, hot and lasting, for outdoor culinary adventures. If you’re into decorative wreathes, use grape vines to make your own. For thousands of years, grapes – both fruit and vines- have been featured in the art and literature - both secular and religious - of Europe, the Mediterranean, the Middle East and bits of Asia. This is one hardworking plant! Sometimes referred to as vine leaves, grape leaves have always been a source of food in
many countries. For years here in the United States they were widely appreciated mostly, but not exclusively, in immigrant homes. Today, the ethnic renaissance of the past few decades has placed them, stuffed and unstuffed, on most grocery store shelves. One need only look up any number of websites for directions, pop out to the store for ingredients and try something new for supper - certainly a move in the right direction. But of course we’re going to encourage you to take it a step further by gathering your own grape leaves straight from Nature’s pantry! Obviously, if you grow your own grapes you’re set! If you own any rural land in Mifflin County there’s a good possibility that wild grapes grow somewhere on the property, in which case you’re set too! Those of us who are out and about are usually QUITE familiar with wild grape vines: from alerting our quarry in hunting season by tripping over hidden vines to smiling memories of swinging on the ‘monkey vines’ of our childhood to the intoxicating and unforgettable scent of dead ripe Fox grapes (V, labrusca) floating by on a warm breeze – oh, we know our wild grape vines, all right! For those just starting out,
Continued on page 30
The Valley, May 2012
Thots on...The Abortion Mandate A Bible Study for the Lay Christian by Lydia In 2 Timothy 3.16, Paul tells us, “Every inspired scripture has its use for teaching the truth and refuting error, or for reformation of manners and discipline in right living…” [NEB*] *Unless otherwise noted, all Scriptures are quoted from the New International Version. Isaiah 59.12a,13-15 (NEB) Our acts of rebellion against thee are past counting and our sins bear witness against us;… we have rebelled and broken faith with the LORD, we have relapsed and forsaken our God; we have conceived lies in our hearts and repeated them in slanderous and treacherous words. Justice is rebuffed and flouted while righteousness stands aloof; truth stumbles in the market-place and honesty is kept out of court, and so truth is lost to sight, and whoever shuns evil is thought a madman. Please bear with me this month as I speak about something that’s on my heart. We will resume our study of Genesis in the next issue. In March, Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of Health and Human Services, announced that the department had finalized poli-
cies governing state health care exchanges under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) and that the federal government will add a $1.00 per month surcharge to every insurance premium to subsidize abortions. Just so we’re crystal clear on this, when Obamacare is fully implemented in 2014, every citizen will be required by the federal government to purchase government-approved health insurance or face a fine and/or imprisonment, and every citizen will be forced to pay a dollar-per-month surcharge to fund abortions. Will you comply? Since abortion was legalized in 1973, it is estimated that 50,000,000 — that’s 50 MILLION — abortions have been performed. We have been murdering our children at an astonishing rate. For those who have been brainwashed by our “progressive” society into thinking of an unborn child as nothing more than a disposable clump of cells, I suggest you marvel with Elizabeth, the mother of John the Baptist, as she told Mary, “As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for
God Has Always Been, “Green” by Pastor Pat Roller Even with the strange weather we have been having—really all winter and now into spring— we can be assured that Spring has finally arrived. Flowers have pushed their way from the soil to grace us with their colors and smells. The trees that surround us here in the valleys are coated with fresh sprouting green leaves. Knowing that this is one of the greatest allergy seasons does not makes us any less thankful and excited that the earth is coming to life again. And, April 22nd will find us celebrating the Earth and all that she gives us. There is a deep relationship among God, humans and the Earth. This relationship begins with God’s creation. Humankind
was given the responsibility of caring for the earth even as early as the Creation stories in Genesis 1: 27-31 and Genesis 2:15. It is humankind’s job to grow families and communities and to care for the Earth as a just ruler would care for the kingdom. Finally, these passages tell us it is our responsibility to till and keep the land. The New Testament continues this idea of humankind being good stewards of the Earth as we look at the life of Christ. Throughout his ministry, he displayed both power over and reverence for the Creation. He demonstrated his divinity as he quieted a chaotic storm and walked on water (Mar 4:35-41; Matt 14:22-
joy.” [Luke 1.44] and rejoice with David as he wrote, “…from my mother’s womb, you have been my God.” [Psalm 22.10] and meditate on the words of the Lord to Jeremiah, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart….” [Jeremiah 1.5] Now go argue with God about it. When I was in Germany, I visited the Concentration Camp Museum at Dachau. Largerthan-life-size black-and-white photographs depicted the rise of Hitler, the atrocities of the Third Reich, and the liberation of the death camps. One prisoner barracks was left standing, as was one crematorium, a testament to man’s inhumanity to man. A memorial vowed, “Never again” in five languages. As I left the main building, a German handed me a brochure that recounted Dachau’s illustrious history and insisted the citizens of Dachau could not possibly be held responsible for the atrocities that had taken place in their fine city because they’d had no idea what was going on. I found it difficult to believe that the crematoria had belched smoke day after day and no one noticed. Riding back through the city of Dachau, I found myself looking at those who would have been adults during World War II and wondering how they could have stood silently by while such atrocities occurred and how they could live with themselves. And then I won-
dered what I would have done. In 1946, Pastor Martin Niemöller said, “In Germany, they first came for the communists, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a communist. Then they came for the Jews, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Jew…. Then they came for the Catholics, and I didn’t speak up because I was a Protestant. Then they came for me — and by that time, no one was left to speak up.” Here, they’ve already come for the Catholics, demanding that the church provide their students and employees with insurance coverage that includes contraceptives and the morning-after abortion pill. Whether or not you agree with the Catholic church’s position on birth control is irrelevant. What matters is that the federal government has demanded that the church set aside its beliefs in order to comply with the government’s demands. When the church refused to comply, the Obama administration placed the Vatican on its list of criminal money launderers. While there had been some suspicious transfers in the past, the Vatican has gone to great lengths to provide transparency in its dealings, so the government’s timing seems more than a little suspicious. Will you stand with the Catholics? Or will you remain silent? Next, the government will come for you. Unless the Supreme Court overturns the
33). Jesus said, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me, and let the one who believes in me drink. As the scripture has said, ‘Out of the believer’s heart shall flow the rivers of living water’” (John 7:37-38). Going Green is the latest trend in everything from the food we eat to the places we live to the transportation we take to the products we use. With the recent explosion of media attention to the environment, one might think that protecting the Earth is a new idea. It’s not. In fact, Creation care is at the core of our Christian tradition. Martin Luther said, “God writes the Gospel not in the Bible alone, but also on trees, and in the flowers and clouds and stars.” John Calvin claimed that all of Creation praises the Creator: “For the little singing birds sang of God, the animals acclaimed him, the elements feared and the mountains resounded with him, the river and springs threw glances toward him, the grasses and the flowers smiled.” Being good stewards of
the Earth has passed to us. Not that we go without good food or abundant energy or breathable air or clean water as a sacrifice to the future. What we aim for is sustainability: Meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. As we plant, till, and harvest this year, know that being a good steward of God’s good Earth is to use, re-use, and recycle so we reach sustainability. Being good stewards of God’s good Earth is to think about and then act upon reducing our carbon footprint. Being good stewards of God’s good earth means planting trees and other plants that will provide shade and air, and abundance for us and future generations. We, therefore, enjoy God’s good Earth and make it possible for our children, grandchildren, and beyond to also enjoy God’s creation. Join with others of like minds to celebrate God’s good Earth throughout this growing season. a
individual mandate contained in Obamacare, each of you will be required to pay a monthly federal surcharge to fund abortions. Will you comply? Or will you resist? Our religious liberties are being trampled by a federal government drunk on its own power that has lost its moral compass. If you compromise your beliefs today, what will be required of you tomorrow? If you bend on this point, how will you ever be able to stand upright again? “If you have raced with men and the runners have worn you down, how then can you hope to vie with horses? If you fall headlong in easy country, how will you fare in Jordan’s dense thickets?” [Jeremiah 12.5 NEB] Things are spinning rapidly out of control. For many years, we have lived in “easy country”, but now we are running headlong toward “Jordan’s dense thickets” and unless this president is stopped, soon we will find ourselves facing some very important decisions. “Peter and the other apostles replied, ‘We must obey God rather than men!’” [Acts 5.29] Will you obey God, or will you obey men? German theologian, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, said, “Silence in the face of evil is itself evil; God will not hold us guiltless. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.” Will you remain silent? Will you comply? Or will you resist? a
“Resistance to tyranny becomes the Christian and social duty of each individual. ... Continue steadfast and, with a proper sense of your dependence on God, nobly defend those rights which heaven gave, and no man ought to take from us.” --John Hancock
The Valley, May 2012
Adventures on Our Nourishing Journey by Sue Burns
Does Sugar By Any Other Name Taste as Sweet? Temperatures are rising, the boardwalk is calling, warm weather thirsts need quenching and that DIET soda laden with artificial sweeteners is calling your name; it’s a healthy choice in the interest of obtaining a healthy weight, right? It makes perfectly good sense and it is always fun and exciting to get something, (great taste and refreshment) for nothing (zero calories). After all, our government and many respected medical professionals give artificial sweeteners their stamp of approval so who are we to question their judgement? Let me tell you who I believe we are. We are a community of savvy consumers. We are fathers, mothers, grandparents, aunts, uncles, sisters and brothers who are becoming more educated and responsible for our health. We are emerging as a generation of independent thinkers who are not buying into the sweet deception of the FDA and their profit hungry side kick, Monsanto. The up hill battle against artificial sweeteners has been raging for decades. Volumes have been written. Voices have been raised in alarm. Yet I continue to be shocked and dismayed at the number of people who choose, for what ever reason, not to listen. I heard some of this “reasoning” about two months ago from a few participants of the Mifflin/Juniata County Meltdown during their “know your numbers” meeting. It was their comments directed at my display of the number of teaspoons of sugar (17 tsp) in a 20 ounce bottle of Coke that really struck a nerve. Time and again as the evening progressed that night, I heard a variation of utterances that went something like this, “Oh my, that really is a lot of sugar. Thank goodness I only drink DIET.” When I asked if they were concerned about the amount of artificial sweeteners they were consuming, most admitted they did not know too much about
them. Except that they have no calories and are harmless. Right? The zero calories part is correct; harmless, not so much. So, what is going on? Allow me to use my Valley soapbox to unveil a portion of the sticky sweet mess that has been kicked under the artificial sweetener rug. Before I begin, let me emphasize that I fully understand that many people with type 2 diabetes have been advised by their medical doctors to use artificial sweeteners. It is not my intent to discount or suggest that you go against these recommendations. Also, for others starting out on their journey of healthy living and more mindful eating, artificial sweeteners may serve as a necessary and temporary bridge. In these circumstances you will naturally follow your health provider’s orders. Further along in this article, I list several non-caloric natural sweeteners that do not alter blood sugar levels. Please keep in mind that I advise you to discuss using these alternative choices with a medical professional before making the switch. Don’t look now but that diet soda may be increasing your waist line That said, why do we choose to consume artificial (chemical) sweeteners? I can’t speak for everyone, but here
are two responses that seem to prevail. The first allure is the zero calorie offering. After all, there are 16 whopping calories in a teaspoon of sugar. Unfortunately, research has consistently shown that people who consume diet drinks are actually more likely to gain weight. So how can a beverage with zero calories make you fat? It all comes down to the way artificial sweeteners disrupt the body’s ability to regulate caloric intake. When real foods are consumed, the digestive tract signals the brain to release chemicals that make us feel full. Artificial sweeteners do not signal the brain to release these chemicals, which means we either stay hungry or, as research has shown, actually get
hungrier. To make matters worse, artificial sweeteners negatively alter the normal balance of insulin and leptin, hormones that affect the body’s ability to maintain normal weight. This eventually makes the body resistant to these important hormones, resulting in reduced energy metabolism and fewer calories being burned. So on the one hand we have diet soda encouraging insulin and leptin resistance, which means the body will stop recognizing signals to burn fat or stop eating, and on the other hand it’s not triggering the proper brain signals to keep us from eating more. Zero calories or not, diet soda is a recipe for gaining weight. The second seduction appears
to emerge from a “low sugar” trend. All in all. I believe that is great because we are certainly a sugar dependant nation, but when we want the “best of both worlds” it comes to us at a cost, for nothing is truly free in the food industry world. In the long run, we must pay elsewhere, and that elsewhere often turns out to be our health.
Doesn’t The FDA Have To Approve? Before we examine the players in this artificial game, let’s take a look at a brief, (and tainted) history of the birth of aspartame, also known as NutraSweet. Very quickly you will see how the dots connect and believe me, your waistline was not at the forefront of its founding fathers. • Aspartame was discovered accidentally in 1965 by James M. Schlatter, a chemist working for G.D. Searle & Company. Schlatter had synthesized aspartame in the course of producing an antiulcer drug. He accidentally discovered its sweet taste when he licked his finger that had become contaminated with aspartame. • In 1975 the FDA came to the conclusion that aspartame was not a safe product so it created a public board of inquiry composed of outside experts to conduct a further investigation. • In the meantime, in 1977, the Bressler Report was created which uncovered fraud and manipulation of data by G.D.Searle. The FDA forwarded this report to the Chicago U.S. Attorney’s office for prosecution. Samuel Skinner, the U.S. attorney who led the grand jury probe,
Continued on page 11
The Valley, May 2012
Wisdom from the Kitchen, Home, and Garden Julie MacConnell
OF CONSPIRACY THEORIES AND PICKLED EGGS A weekly tradition here at Three Suns Farm is the Sunday afternoon round table. The In-Laws all find their way over and the gang of us sit out in my husband’s man-cave (the garage). Each of us has a bar stool and even though we really don’t have a round table, we do have the workbench. Over a few cold beers or a glass of wine we ponder the week’s events. Whether it be politics (local or otherwise), religion (yes, we go there) or UFO’s, hilarity usually ensues. My sister-in-law brings her iPad and we have a small computer on the counter. We endlessly surf the internet searching for the latest in wacky news or conspiracy theories and then argue about the validity of the news reports. For everything wrong that goes on in the world, my husband blames Nibiru. It’s a joke of course, but you’re getting the idea. Well one weekend my
Father-in-law was telling a story about a joint he used to frequent as a young man in Brockton. All the local boys went there to have a few beers after work and on the counter there would always be huge glass containers of pickled eggs. Nothing was better, he said, than beer and pickled eggs. Well, to be honest, the thought kind of grossed me out. I had never had pickled eggs before. The two flavors didn’t seem to go together. The more I thought about it during the following week the more I thought—Hey I’m going to surprise him. I’m going to make some! After doing some research, I found a recipe that promised to taste like the good old fashioned eggs that my Father-in-law remembered. I boiled up a dozen fresh eggs and proceeded to peel them—for over an hour! For those of you who know what a pain in
the neck it is to peel fresh hard boiled eggs, you know what I’m talking about….I dumped them in a half gallon Ball jar and boiled up the ingredients for the pickling brine. Could it really be that easy? After everything was combined, I put on a screw top type lid and put them in the refrigerator. Hmpf! We’ll see…. The “word” leaked out during the week that I had made the eggs. He was very excited. We talked a few times at work and every time he mentioned those eggs. I was going to have to try them. There was no way getting around it. Friends at work who caught wind of the experiment all cautioned me—pickled eggs seemed to cause everyone—ummmmm gastric distress? Fantastic. The next round table came about and of course that was one of the first things he mentioned.
Where’s the eggs? I went and got them with a pile of plates and forks. After much discussion of how to actually get the eggs out of the jar (the tong story is for another time) and the decision to include a salt shaker to the set up, Tom took an egg. It was like a moment from a movie—my A new tradition at the MacConnell’s Sunday Roundtable will eyes were be a jar of fresh pickled eggs. squinted 1/3 cup sugar and things seemed to move in 1 tablespoon pickling spices slow motion. Egads what if they Directions: were awful? 1. Put the peeled hardboiled Relief came as the fingers eggs in the large jar. went up and gave me the thumbs 2. Boil the remaining ingrediup, then the OK signal. “Aweents together for 5 minutes. some”….. 3. Pour over the eggs in the jar. Phew! I must admit I had a 4. Cover; leave on counter “Sam I am” moment. And I admit overnight. that I really do like pickled eggs. 5 Keeps in refrigerator for Even better was the fact that they weeks, in theory. didn’t cause me gastric distress. 6. In reality, if you love pickled I thought I would share the eggs, these will disappear. recipe with you-‘cause they really are good with beer. By the way, if you don’t like INGREDIENTS 12 hard-boiled eggs, peeled 1 large empty sterilized glass jar 4 cups vinegar 1 teaspoon salt 2 medium onions , chopped
beer, pickled eggs make really good egg salad too. a
The Valley, May 2012
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The Valley, May 2012
The Horse Scoop by Traci Hanna Yoder
Senior Moments East Gate Feed & Grain in Reedsville held their “Senior Moments” Senior Horse contest in March. The Grand Prize was 20 Free bags of Purina Senior Horse Feed. There were 16 entries telling the stories of their wonderful senior horses. We had old faithful trail partners, horses with great show careers, rescued horses given lifetime homes, and horses that learned to bond with their owners after gaining trust through time. Talk about neck and neck for several of these entries! It was narrowed down to the Top 5 for the final judging, and from those it came down to 3 entries that really stood out to all the judges.
Among the Top 5 were Cindy Aumiller’s entry of Gus the mule and Brittney Watson’s dappled grey Thoroughbred Bleu. And rounding out the top 3 with the majority of the judges… Carolyn Miller’s grey Percheron Jake, Sally Rogers’ snowflake Appaloosa Miss Cinder …and the winner was a small white pony named Snowball by Joe Boom (as told to Nancy Kraft)! Here is the story of Snowball.. One warm spring morning as Nancy, I and our three sons were working colts, we heard a truck & trailer rattle up to the barn. It was a horse trader from Colver. He came in the barn, said his howdy’s and as I and the boys were busy,
he collared Nancy to come out to his trailer. About 15 minutes later Nancy came into the barn and haltered a 15.2hh 8yr old APHA reg mare that had a show record a mile long and led her outside, another 15 minutes passed by and Nancy came leading a little grey pony white with old age back into the barn. Curious, I asked what the devil was going on? Nancy informed me she had traded my fancy paint mare for this little, old, white pony tail for tail. I was livid and explained to her that was the worst horse trade in the history of horse tradin. Our oldest daughter was then 18 months old and our horse trader friend had told Nancy that this pony would work for her to ride and drive Phone (717) 667-6556 141 Three Cent Lane when she was Toll Free (888) 567-6556 Reedsville, PA 17084 ready, which in my opinion was a long ways off. After about two hours of stomping, swearing More than just a feed store and spitting tobacco juice, I settled down
enough to check out this pony. Sure enough he was a nice quiet, gentle pony. Cheyenne, our oldest daughter, not even two yrs old yet, made her debut that fall at a horse show. Four to five days a week my father who was 75 yrs old would come to our house, hitch snowball to the cart and he and Cheyenne would go for a drive, this went on for a year until my father passed away suddenly just past Cheyenne’s third birthday. My Mother and our family knew how much Dad loved this pony and his drives with Cheyenne so much in fact that on his headstone is a picture of Josey Boom with Snowball them driving Snowball thru the meadow. they think they are the next world Through the years Snowball champions. Over the years Snowhas become a part of our famball has given rides to classrooms ily, he has carried Cheyenne on of kids from the Osceola Mills many trail rides and has won her Elementary School and Birthday a garbage bag full of ribbons and Parties at the Curwensville Dam a couple of trophies. There were State Park, and has enriched the times I was gone with the truck lives of many people. and trailer and Nancy would take Snowball will
be about 26 yrs old this year, his eye sight is failing, he’s a little stiff and slower in his movements, but when our little girls run across the yard to his pasture and call his name, his head comes up, ears perk up and a soft whinny escapes his mouth and he runs to the gate to greet them. We see hundreds of horses come and go as we are in the horse business, Cheyenne Boom atop Snowball, are they both smiling? but Snowball will be with us until he breathes his last breath. He has Cheyenne and Snowball to horse taught our family so much, I know shows in our Dodge mini van, that after all these years he taught Snowball would happily jump me that my wife did, in fact, make in the back and hang his head the BEST horse trade ever in the over the seat looking for a treat. history of horse tradin! At horse shows, Snowball had to The Boom family chose to have his potato chips and gummy donate the horse feed prize back bears, he is just like one of our to the entries of the Senior Mokids. Cheyenne is now almost ten ments contest. Entries will also years old and Snowball taught receive coupons for additional her and gave her the confidence bags of feed. East Gate Feed & to be the excellent horsewoman Grain awarded Snowball and his and rider she has become. His family with a “goodie” basket. a new job now is to take care of and create confidence, responsibility, team work, horsemanship and fun for our 4 yr old daughter Josey. Josey is enjoying riding Snowball at horseshows from Huntingdon to Williamsburg to Punxy where
The Valley, May 2012 Sugar substitutes from page 7
ended up withdrawing from the case when he entered into job discussions with Searle’s Chicago law firm, Sidley & Austin—a job he later accepted. Subsequently, the investigation stalled until the statute of limitation ran out, at which point the investigation against Searle was dropped. In 1980 the above mentioned board of inquiry unanimously rejected aspartame’s request for approval. It was stated that “aspartame was a dangerous, brain tumor causing man-made poison and the company trying to get it into the food supply was recommended for prosecution by the FDA. So one would think that the process would have ended, right? Unfortunately that was not the case. The FDA chairman who stood in the way of approval was removed from office. His replacement, Arthur Hayes Jr. was in part orchestrated by Donald Rumsfeld, (CEO of G.D. Searle), in order to allegedly get a friendly rubber stamp on the approval of what some doctors have called “an addictive excitoneurotoxic carcinogenic drug that interacts with drugs and vaccines.” But even with this new FDA Chairman, the agency still rejected aspartame for approval by a 3-2 margin. What reprehensible, bordering on criminal action, did Chairman Hayes do next? He added a sixth member to the approval board, who voted in favor of aspartame. Then, with a 3-3 tie on the issue, Chairman Hayes himself broke the deadlock with his own vote of approval for aspartame. One of Hayes’ last acts in office before he left the FDA in 1983 amid accusations that he was accepting corporate gifts for political favors, was to approve aspartame for use in beverages. Does this sound to you like a man-made synthetic chemical that should have ever been allowed into the world’s food supply? At no surprise, once allowed on the market, the aspartame industry quickly became very profitable, creating a new multi-million dollar source of funds to influence the politicians in charge of overseeing and regulating food safety. Searle and later Monsanto
(who purchased the rights to aspartame), have spent thousands of dollars influencing the politicians who have been influential to keeping aspartame on the market, despite this toxic chemical being the number one source of sideeffect complaints to the FDA, with over 10,000 complaints filed and over 91 symptoms documented that are related to its consumption. So why is aspartame still on the market? In all likelihood, it was allowed on the market and remains on the market for political and economic reasons. According to Former Senator Metzembaum, “I think the Chairman of the FDA (Hayes) wound up having some sort of economic relationship, beneficial to himself, with Searle Manufacturing, who at that time owned the rights to aspartame.” And what about Donald Rumsfeld? Did he benefit financially from the approval of aspartame? He reportedly received a $12 million bonus when he left G.D. Searle, no doubt related to his ability to gain regulatory approval for what until 1981 had been a toxic poison that caused brain tumors in laboratory rats. Are your eyebrows raised? If not, read on for a quote concerning aspartame by Lendon Smith, MD former Network Physician at NBC-TV and well-known author and pediatrician. “This noxious substance, so ubiquitous in our commercial food supply, should be recalled by the FDA and retested as a drug. As it is not classified as a drug, the manufacturers are not obligated to monitor its adverse effects! Senator Howard Metzenbaum had written a bill warning pregnant women, infants and children against ingesting aspartame, on the suspicion of its relationship to seizures, changes in brain chemistry, and adverse neurological and behavioral symptoms; as is to be expected, the bill got killed. What I found really interesting is that the US Air Force has formally warned all pilots to refrain from consuming aspartame-sweetened diet drinks, as they found them linked to grand mal seizures, vertigo, heart disease, and suicidal depressions. Aspartame interferes with the production of the calming neurotransmitter serotonin. Isn’t it really interesting that sales of the antidepressant Prozac, which encourages the production of serotonin, have gone through the roof in the last few years?” What Is Really In This Stuff? Now that we know how this
toxin has slipped into our food, lets examine its chemistry as well as that of Sucrolose and Neotame, the new kid on the block. Aspartame - Also known as NutraSweet or Equal - According to Dr. Joe Mercola MD, “Aspartame is a synthetic chemical composed of three ingredients – two amino acids and a methyl ester bond. The amino acids are phenylalanine and aspartic acid, two common components of many foods that are usually completely safe for consumption. But not in the case of aspartame. Why? Forgetting for a moment that aspartame is metabolized inside your body into both wood alcohol (a poison) and formaldehyde (which embalms tissue and is not eliminated from your body through the normal waste filtering done by your liver and kidneys), the trouble with the component parts of aspartame is one of volume. In a normal protein like meat, fish or eggs, phenylalanine and aspartic acid comprise 4-5 percent each of the total amino acid profile. This is how nature intends the human body to encounter these two amino acids and there is nothing wrong with these substances if they occur naturally in a proper balance with other amino acids. But in aspartame, the ratio of these two amino acids is 50 percent phenylalanine and 40 percent aspartic acid (with 10 percent methyl ester bond, aka wood alcohol, a known poison). In other words, on a percentage basis this is a massive quantity of two unnaturally isolated amino acids that are simply not found in this ratio in nature, bonded together by a known poison. The result of this chemical cocktail is a sweet tasting neurotoxin. As a result of its unnatural structure, your body processes the amino acids found in aspartame very differently from a steak or a piece of fish. The amino acids in aspartame literally attack your cells, even crossing the blood-brain barrier to attack your brain cells, creating a toxic cellular over stimulation, called excitotoxicity. MSG is also an excitotoxin, and works synergistically with aspartame to create even more damage to your brain cells.” Adding to this subject, Dr. Russell Blaylock shares more, “Excitotoxins have been found to dramatically promote cancer growth and metastasis. In fact, one aspartame researcher noticed that, when cancer cells were exposed to aspartame, they became more mobile.” Aspartame has had the most complaints of any food additive
available to the public. It responsible for the most serious cases of poisoning, because the body actually digests it. Aspartame should be avoided by everyone but particularly in those with neuropsychiatric concerns. It’s been linked with MS, lupus, fibromyalgia and other central nervous disorders. Possible side effects of aspartame include headaches, migraines, panic attacks, dizziness, irritability, nausea, intestinal discomfort, skin rash, and nervousness. Some researchers have linked aspartame with depression and manic episodes. It may also contribute to male infertility. Sucralose – Also known as Splenda – According to the ads, Splenda is made from sugar so we should have nothing to fear. Yet Marcelle Pick, OB/GYN nurse practioner, has some major concerns. She says, “Splenda is the trade name for sucralose, a synthetic compound stumbled upon in 1976 by scientists in Britain seeking a new pesticide formulation. It is true that the Splenda molecule is comprised of sucrose (sugar) — except that three of the hydroxyl groups in the molecule have been replaced by three chlorine atoms. While some industry experts claim the molecule is similar to table salt or sugar, other independent researchers say it has more in common with pesticides. That’s because the bonds holding the carbon and chlorine atoms together are more characteristic of a chlorocarbon than a salt — and most pesticides are chlorocarbons. The premise offered next is that just because something contains chlorine doesn’t guarantee that it’s toxic. And that is also true, but you and your family may prefer not to serve as test subjects for the latest post-market artificial sweetener experiment — however “unique.” Once it gets to the gut, sucralose goes largely unrecognized in the body as food — that’s why it has no calories. The majority of people don’t absorb a significant amount of Splenda in their small intestine — about 15% by some accounts. The irony is that your body tries to clear unrecognizable substances by digesting them, so it’s not unlikely that the healthier your gastrointestinal system is, the more you’ll absorb the chlorinated molecules of Splenda. So, is Splenda safe? The truth is we just don’t know yet. There are no long-term studies of the side effects of Splenda in humans. The manufacturer’s own short-term studies showed that very high doses of sucralose (far beyond what would be expected in an ordinary diet) caused shrunken
thymus glands, enlarged livers, and kidney disorders in rodents. Here are two other reasons for our concern: first, in the eleven years after Splenda was put on the market, no independent studies of sucralose lasting more than six months have been done in humans. Second, none of the trials that were done was very large — the largest was 128 people studied for three months, making us wonder, what happens when you’ve used sucralose for a year, or two, or ten? “ Splenda side effects Evidence that there are side effects of Splenda is accumulating little by little. Sucralose has been implicated as a possible migraine trigger, for example. Self-reported adverse reactions to Splenda or sucralose collected by the Sucralose Toxicity Information Center include skin rashes/flushing, panic-like agitation, dizziness and numbness, diarrhea, swelling, muscle aches, headaches, intestinal cramping, bladder issues, and stomach pain. These show up at one end of the spectrum — in the people who have an allergy or sensitivity to the sucralose molecule. But no one can say to what degree consuming Splenda affects the rest of us. Neotame- One of the more recent toxic additions to our food supply is the artificial sweetener called Neotame. In the European Union, where it was approved as a flavor enhancer as of November 2010, it is known by its “E number,” E961. Made by NutraSweet (a former division of Monsanto and the original manufacturer of aspartame), neotame is 13,000 times sweeter than table sugar, and about 30 times sweeter than aspartame. It’s based on the aspartame formula—despite the fact that 80 percent of all FDA complaints pertain to adverse reactions from aspartame. Neotame is essentially aspartame plus 3,3-dimethylbutyl--the presence of which ends up reducing the production of phenylalanine, which allegedly makes it safe for those suffering from phenylketonuria (PKU).(Hence neotame does not need to bear a PKU warning label like aspartame.) Unfortunately, it may actually be an even more potent and dangerous neurotoxin, immunotoxin and excitotoxin than aspartame. Dr Mercola states, “my recommendation for neotame is similar to that for aspartame, which is: avoid it at all costs if you care about your health. Neotame is like aspartame on steroids, so while you want
Continued on page 19
The Valley, May 2012
Roads Less Traveled...
If you like it, they will probably discontinue it. Be grateful for what you have.
by Lynn Persing
A kind word can mean so much.
With Age Comes Wisdom I keep wondering how old I have to be before the wisdom kicks in. Well guess what, I think it snuck up on me. I was walking the dog the other night, gazing at the stars, and all the sudden it hit me. Hey, I have gained perspective on a few things throughout the years. I’ve seen the lists that make continuous loops through email, but even though some of these may sound similar, these are all my own. How many can you identify with? Everyone has bad days--days they wake up on the wrong side of the bed. Recognize this and realize that you will have bad days too. It’s O.K.....really it is. Being nice to people makes me feel so much better than being grumpy and mean.
Some people aren’t going to like me. So what. There are plenty that do, so I’m not going to waste my time worrying about those who don’t. No matter how old I am, I’m pretty sure I might always feel like a kid around my parents. There is nothing like an upbeat song to boost your mood-instantly! I will make mistakes. I might even make them daily. It’s ok. I am not alone. EVERYONE makes mistakes. I will learn from them and move on. The dog is always happy to see me. Always!
Hugs feel so good.
Vitamin C really works. Make sure you get it daily!
It doesn’t do me any good to compare myself to others. I am me. They are them. We are different and that is the way it is. If we were all the same, life would be pretty mundane. Do not leave an open pack of cookies in the toaster oven when the Weimaraner is home alone.
night owls. Respect each for who they are.
Prayer works. God listens.
My Mom and Dad’s advice was usually right. (Yes, Mother, it did take me 46 years to admit that!)
All dogs love cheese. If you can find me one that doesn’t, I’d like to meet the weirdo. Spending some time alone is just as important as spending time with others. They are right, laughter definitely IS good medicine. a
I will not always agree with someone else’s opinion. That’s why they call them opinions, so everyone can have their own. There are introverts, extraverts, and those in-between. Sometimes it’s good to hang with your opposite for a while. Money definitely does not grow on trees, and it definitely does not buy happiness. It can make life easier, but I’ve noticed that it can also make life more difficult if it’s not used wisely.
Don’t judge people until you know their story. I am constantly amazed by the burdens that some people carry. Sometimes it is REALLY hard to be patient and understanding. You should never go upstairs while you have water boiling on the stove--especially if you are hard boiling eggs. KABOOM! Ditto for steaming crabs legs. When the pot begins to smoke, do not take it out to a cool screened porch and set it on a glass table. *SHATTER* I will never be a minimalist. There are morning people and there are
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The Valley, May 2012
Understanding the Constitution
by David Molek
Limited Government - Unlimited Administration The success of the administrative state has been made possible by the emasculation of the legislative power of Congress. One of the truisms of bureaucracy is that if left to their own devices, they will grow bigger, bolder, and less manageable over time. Sound familiar? Washington’s, and particularly the current administration’s problem is not merely federal spending and debt. The main problem, as I see it, is arrogance of centralized power. The rule of regulators, bureaucrats and government administrators is arbitrary and unaccountable government. This exactly what the Founders wished to prevent when providing limited government, the rule of law and our Constitution. Our current administration has had a massive and zealous regulatory program. With our President’s massive health and environmental regulatory agenda, Obama has dwarfed the regula-
tory agenda of all predecessors. Today, more than any other time in our history, we are less and less governed by the rule of law, discussed and hammered out in legislative deliberations as our Founders intended, and more and more governed by the rule of regulation. As an example, in 2010 alone, Congress enacted 217 bills that became law; but that same year, federal agencies issued 3,573 final rules covering a very wide variety of activities. We are subject to edicts promulgated by administrators and bureaucrats. These are people who are protected by civil service law, tenure and unions who are not accountable to us and will never be accountable to us. Nevertheless, these regulations have the force of law. Article I, section 1 of our Constitution made Congress the lawgiver. In essence, our Constitution sets up a Congress with relatively limited jurisdiction both to regulate and to spend, and a
President with law-implementing, but not lawmaking, powers that cannot be fragmented away and given to uncontrollable subordinates.. Americans are increasingly the subjects of an administrative regime rather than free citizens of a democratic republic with a limited government. The current trend of the administration in Washington is an affront to our self-government. I get the feeling and impression that Washington believes millions of us Americans are not smart enough to make our own decisions for ourselves. We are to become increasingly dependent on government for our well-being according to their view. Today, just under half of Americans live in households that are getting some form of government assistance. Nearly half of our citizens pay no federal income taxes.. But, today’s so-called Progressives (i.e. Democrats) are still not satisfied. The administrative state has become the emblem
and vehicle of what they consider national progress. Some of us would consider it tyranny. Over time, such dynamics will change the character of our people, with corrosive consequences for our political culture and our economic prosperity. It does not have to be this way. Many Americans are becoming aware that there is something very wrong with the way in which we are being governed and that this process deviates significantly from the intentions of our Founders. President Obama and his ideological allies are vigorous champions of aggressive executive power. Progressives have been successful pushing the adoption of the 16th Amendment (income tax) and the 17th Amendment (direct election of U.S. Senators). Look what those two changes did to us, not for us. Populist rhetoric notwithstanding, the reality of Progressive rule is profoundly undemocratic because it takes crucial decision-making that directly affects the lives of millions of citizens out of politics. Thus, you have the administrative state – the rule of administrators instead of the rule of law. What do we do in order to return to the rule of law and our Constitution? Government by
administration is at variance with constitutional principles on a variety of levels. Federal agencies are acting as lawmaking agencies, encroaching on responsibilities reserved to Congress. They make rules with the force of law. These rulemakers are not elected by the people and thus are unaccountable to the people. This is arbitrary government. What is needed is to reaffirm the primacy of congressional authority and make Congress take direct control of regulatory production. Our President’s agenda, at least to me, is intrusive, unpopular and hostile to personal liberty. His “living and breathing” Constitution, as some have said, is hyperventilating. The time is ripe this year to be true to the spirit of 1776. As we said, Washington’s problem is not merely excessive federal spending and crushing debt, but it is the real arrogance of centralized power of an administrative President. Politicians will not care about our Constitution until and unless enough people care about it to make a difference. In our column each month, we try to continue developing the case for the correct meaning of our Constitution. We hope you read it and read about it. Much apathy abounds in this nation. If that doesn’t change soon, one day we could be in store for a very rude awakening. a
The Valley, May 2012
Himalayan salt cave Produces Positive Results Testimonials from our Himalayan Salt Cave By Marge Delozier and Nikki Santangelo Owners
The first three months of having the Himalayan Salt cave here in Mifflin County has far exceeded our health expectations! So many individuals have received amazing health benefits in one, several, or many visits to the cave. When they added a Himalayan Salt lamp to their work environment, home, or car, they received even more benefits. If you’re not familiar with what a Himalayan Salt cave is, The Valley published a wonderful article in their January issue. To review: Halotherapy, also called salt therapy [“halos” in Greek means salt], is a drug-free and completely natural therapy with no side effects. It takes place in a controlled air environment that simulates the special microclimate of actual salt caves and salt mines. You are surrounded by more than 7 tons of Himalayan Salt when in the cave and more is generated into the air on each visit. The secret of healing in the salt cave is simple. The air is intensively saturated with negative ions along with 84 minerals and elements our bodies may be missing. By breathing in these elements, the body gets in balance and begins to heal itself. Halotherapy was found to have beneficial effects with health conditions like: Emphysema, allergies, sinus infections, sinusitis, asthma, bronchitis, snoring, sleeping disorders, cystic fibrosis, poor concentration , ADHD, acne, eczema, skin challenges, , psoriasis, ear infections and others. When our body is sick and lacking its natural frequency, salt can bring us back into our original, balanced state. The anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti-fungal, and anti-inflammatory properties of Himalayan salt provide the major beneficial factor in Halotherapy. To help you bring those healing properties into your home and office, you can also purchase salt lamps at Curves and Simply Health. If you need more energy and less congestion in your life,
try a Himalayan salt lamp. Crystal Salt Lamps freshen and ionize the air as well. We have also had great successes with people using the Himalayan Salt Air Inhalers! Anyone can safely use salt air inhalation therapy. Young children may also use salt air inhalers provided that they understand the concept of breathing in through the mouth and exhaling through the nose. Dr. Oz had two TV shows about the benefits of Himalayan Salt therapy and the huge benefits of the salt inhalers. Now that we are BIG into allergy season and heavy into pollen, it is so beneficial to use the cave for relief as well as a salt lamp or inhaler in your home. Many people have found they do not need to use prescriptive inhalers as much (or sometimes at all) or need to take medications. Here are a few of the MANY testimonials we have had from clients using the Himalayan Salt cave and lamps. LY said “I was skeptical at first that the cave really helped my allergies…and that of my grandson. We were visiting once a week for several weeks. Perhaps it was just a “coincidence” that we were feeling better. Then one week we were unable to get in for our weekly visit. I was so congested that following week and so was my grandson…we will not miss another week. I have been able to get off of many of my allergy meds….and all of their side effects!” RE said “My mother was able to get rid of her migraine headaches. She feels so much better!” LH said” I bought a lamp to put in my bedroom as I have so much arthritis pain in my hands… I take pain meds daily and have for years. The very next day I was out of pain! Thinking this must be a fluke, I was skeptical at best. After a week, I went in to use the cave to see even how much better I might feel. After 2 weeks, my
pain has not returned and I feel like a new person….and I no longer need the pain meds!” DS said “After using the cave for several months, my rotator cuff problems have disappeared! Amazing but true!” AD said “Hard to believe but my hot flashes have gone away!” JM said “I had gout in my big toe, I buried my foot in the salt in the cave, as suggested, and when I left the pain was less, but still there. The next morning I got up and had no pain. After 2 weeks, it has still not returned!” B.W said “Psoriasis has improved tremendously since starting the Salt Cave. Sinus has also improved. I’m on my feet all day at work and my knees do not ache like they used to. I am a firm believer in the Salt Cave. I am also allergic to deodorant and the Crystal Deodorant Egg works great!” S.W. “Over 8 months ago, I was diagnosed with arthritis in my spine. For months I have taken Tylenol and some Celebrex to help with the inflammation. Every morning before I could get started with my job, I would take Tylenol, which just took the edge off. My friend told me about the Salt Cave helping her with breathing so I
decided I would try it. After the second week in the Salt Cave I noticed one morning that I truly did not have any pain at all in my spine. No pain getting up and down in a chair, none getting out of bed or going up and down stair steps. Then it occurred to me that I was not even taking Tylenol! I truly feel that the Salt Cave has really helped all of the inflammation that I had in my back and feet, as well as my breathing. Every inflammatory problem in my body seems to have resolved.” LL said, “I put a lamp in my son’s bedroom back in November. He had asthma attacks EVERY night. After one night with the lamp, he has not had one at night since. Now he’s using the cave to try and improve his breathing for track season. As an added bonus of being in the cave, his skin is even clearer.!” These are just a few of the reports we get every day. Just when I think I’ve heard everything, someone will tell me another story as to how the cave has improved their life. Like one woman said, “after many years of taking different medications from doctors to keep her hair from falling out.. after a few visits to the cave, it has stopped…and so have my meds!” So many people tell us that they are sleeping so much better…and their spouses are no longer snoring! Hard to believe all these stories? I guess you will just have to try it to believe it for yourself. What have YOU got to lose?
Pain, stiffness, allergies, inability to sleep well, breathe easily, or do you just need or want to get off of some medications (with your doctors approval) that have so many side effects? We have sessions in the cave every hour on the hour 11:00AM – 7:00PM Monday thru Friday and on Saturday from 9:00 am – Noon. The cost is $15.00 unless you are a local Curves member and then it is $10.00. If you create a group of 8 or more, each person can pay $10.00. You will sit on a non-gravity lounge chair for 45 minutes with very low light and quiet soft relaxing music. We ask that everyone just sit quietly so that it gives our body a 45 minute rest and time to just BE and start to heal. Did you ever think that by just sitting quietly, relaxed, and listening to soothing music you might improve your health dramatically? There is a lot more for you to learn about Halotherapy, so stop by soon! We are located at 101 S. Logan Blvd. and in the same building as Curves. Have a birthday or special occasion in your future…..how about a healthy Himalayan Salt Lamp for your loved one! We have lamps even shaped like penquins, turtles, and elephants…. great for kids rooms! We also have edible salt, ex-foliating bars for the skin, and bath salts. Best to call first for an appointment for a visit to the cave. 248-2000. See you soon! a
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The Valley, May 2012
Our Environment Our Culture The Arts Are Essential Stuff, Not Fluff By: Sam Price, Executive Director “To affect the quality of the day, that is the highest of the arts.” -Henry David Thoreau Fluff! Waste! Excess! The Arts are often maligned in modern society by these pejoratives. In truth, the arts are incredibly important. Not just for the outlet they provide the human race, but they are also vital for their many tangible educational, cultural and economic benefits. The first place targeted for a budget trim, the arts are far more valuable to us than we realize. One source of this problem may be the misconception that the arts are elitist. For most of the nineteenth century, Shakespeare, operas, orchestras, painting and sculpture, the writings of Dickens and Longfellow—enjoyed both cultural status and mass popularity. Somewhere along the line, art changed from belonging to us all, to becoming the property of the elite. These tastemakers wanted to decide who could and couldn’t attend their theatres. The openness of the world wide web is leveling the playing field for us all to enjoy art in its many
forms. This only seems fair as art is not the property of one class or clique. Beyond the important yet immeasurable expression and enjoyment the arts provide, there are also educational benefits. A new study from the nonprofit Education Policy and Leadership Center called “Creating Pennsylvania’s Future Through the Arts and Education” found that the national wealth generated by the creative sector now accounts for $1.7 trillion annually. This equals the total of the manufacturing and service sectors combined. This doesn’t mean everyone grows up to win a Grammy or an Emmy. Instead, it means that today’s workforce needs more training than just memorization of facts. Imagination, improvisation, and problem solving come in very handy in navigating today’s rapidly changing work environment. Schools certainly need mathematics (a great subject for problem solving) and science allows tomorrow’s leaders to test theories and develop solutions. However, the arts deserve to be an equal in this conversation—not
only 17 percent with little arts education. In a tough economic climates and with budgets that certainly need trimming, it’s understandable that arts are reduced or eliminated as teachers strive to teach to tests designed to measure national standards. This does not mean it is the correct approach. When we start to reward schools for providing this valuable training,
Juniata RiverFEST, Festival of Ice, Remington Ryde Bluegrass Festival and over 30 other artists and organizations across the region. We’ve also worked with folk and traditional artists and were one of seven organizations that helped to organize a traveling statewide exhibit called Making It Better: Folk Arts in Pennsylvania Today. This exhibit featured Newport’s George Orthey, an
an afterthought. Researchers from Harvard University found the arts provided students with skills to envision complex future situations that could not be directly observed, tackle a problem by working Physical comedian Dan Kamin interacts with the audience during his performance of A Cheap past obstacles, Evening of Expensive Theatre at the 5th Annual Great Chip Drop held last New Year’s Eve in and work in Lewistown and organized by Community Partnerships RC&D teamwork and to accept criticism then they will find ways to trim internationally renowned maker toward improvement of skills. without reducing the preparedness of autoharps who also underA 12 year UCLA study followed and enrichment of our children. writes public concerts each year 12,000 high school kids as they Community Partnerships in Lewistown and Newport. The made their way into adulthood. RC&D has been involved in arts statewide exhibit will run from The study found that students with programming since 2000, starting now until April 29, 2012 at its intensive arts education in middle with the Pennsylvania Partners in last stop—The State Museum in school and high school had better the Arts program. This program Harrisburg. Go see it if you get a test scores, attended college and decentralizes state arts funding chance. It will open your eyes to graduated from college more from the PA Council of the Arts the diversity of traditions within often than their peers. The study and brings it straight into local the boundaries of the Keystone showed results across incomes communities. As a local Partner, state. Community Partnerships with 37 percent of low income we’ve been proud to fund the students with abundant arts educaContinued on page 26 Mifflin-Juniata Arts Festival, the tion earning bachelor degrees vs.
The Valley, May 2012
Splitting Hares by Julianne Cahill http://oakridgerabbitry.weebly.com
Breed Spotlight Rabbit raisers can be a bit of a rare breed. After all, I’ve never known someone to “kind of” raise rabbits. We tend to go all or nothing; our dedication to our hobby is truly unmatched. This is why I’m offering a Breed Spotlight for the month of May. To bring attention to one of the most influential breeds in the history of our hobby, and a population whose worldwide existence is threatened. The American Chinchilla is the one of 11 domestic rabbit breeds listed on the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy 2012 priority list. The ALBC, a non-profit organization established in 1977, works to protect over 180 breeds of livestock and poultry from extinction. The American Chinchilla is the only rabbit breed listed on the critical
watch list, meaning that there are less than 50 annual registrations in the United States and an estimated global population less than 500. According to the ALBC website, American Chinchillas were created in France by M.J. Dybowski and shown for the first time in the United States in 1913 by a British exhibitor. All of the original imported stock was sold to Edward H. Stahl and Jack Harris, who began to develop the breed in the U.S, the website states. American Chinchillas were accepted by the American Rabbit Breeder’s Association Inc. in 1924. They’re now represented as a 6-class rabbit, shown in three categories; junior, intermediate and senior. Their minimum acceptable weight as a junior is 4 ½
lbs., and they top between nine and 12 lbs. at maturity. As their name suggests, American Chinchillas greatly resemble South American Chinchilla lanigera and were developed as an ideal fur rabbit. Their population peaked from November 1928 to November 1929, with at least 17,328 rabbits registered with the ARBA; a stark contrast to the less than 50 today. The downfall of the American Chin came sometime in the 1940’s with the dissolution of the rabbit
Continued on page 41
The Valley, May 2012
Homeschooling And Life on the homestead with andy weller
Bullets, Beans and Bandaids Disclaimer: Before submitting this article to The Valley I posted it originally to my blog at http://desertratshomestead.blogspot.com/ In my house we have some very interesting discussions. We discuss politics, religion, the weather, local events and activities, homesteading projects, the environment, and of course just silly and pointless stuff, for example: Which is better Luke Skywalker’s light sabre or Yoda’s light sabre? My article today isn’t so pointless, and the discussion we had as a family was important. Boiled down to the bottom line my topic is: Who is responsible for me and my family, or for my son when he is grown? Who is responsible for the safety, feeding, education and protection of his family? Is it the government, or is it himself/ourselves, by the grace of God, who bears responsibility?
I’ve been hearing a lot about the new show Doomsday Preppers on one of the cable networks. I don’t have cable, so it’s not something I can watch. I did get to watch one episode, my wife and I were at my parent’s house, and they have cable. The episode we watched was the one where the guy blew his thumb off. I wasn’t overly impressed. It seems to me that the producers put the people in a bad light, but also the people themselves seemed to be operating out of fear, not out of rational, objective thought, nor out of much prayer to God and guidance by the Holy Spirit. It could just be that in the time given, this part of the story could not be communicated properly; however, that’s my take on that one episode of the show. If the show ever goes to Netflix, I’ll watch more of it and make a more informed decision.
Let’s talk a bit about the prepper movement. There are people who are prepping for the fringe fears... a polar shift, alien infiltration, full scale invasion by a foreign power...and the list goes on. These things could happen, I suppose, but will they? Objectively, not likely. Let’s mention some other things that I think are much more likely to happen: slow economic slide followed by hyper-inflation (think Greece), infrastructure collapse due to disrepair, a government that slowly moves away from the Constitution and changes the way it operates through executive orders and appointment of czars and administrations that make policy through nonlegislative rules (think IRS, EPA, FEMA, Federal Reserve). Does this make me a conspiracy theorist? Maybe, however, I
tive solar, re-purposing things for garden/agricultural work and use, food storage, and cooking from scratch. If things get worse we will have the skills to survive. If things don’t get worse, then we’re just ‘living a green life style.’ I urge everyone to examine the world, the news, the economy, and the government in a very objective way, then pray and seek guidance from God. The guidance you receive from God will first and foremost be, “I love you, I have provided for your eternal salvation through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, now trust me with your life on this world.” The guidance you receive may be to do nothing, it may be to start buying extra canned goods when you go shopping.... Act on whatever guidance you receive. God Bless. a
also know that I have the responsibility to care for my family and those around me. I know that the media is telling me that times are getting better, all the while the month is getting longer and the money’s getting shorter. I know there are more rules, laws, policies, and statutes than is covered by the Constitution of the United States. Objectively, if we look at our country and the economy we see issues and problems everywhere. I’m not saying it’s going to get worse, because I don’t know the future. I am saying we need to prepare for the future, whether it be good or bad. My wife and family and I are on a journey of learning skills like organic gardening, raising small livestock for Hyperinflation will result in zero availability food, cooking with alterna-
The Valley, May 2012
Woods, Water and Wildlife by Wayne Stottlar
Edible Treasure There are as many reasons to love spring as there are people, but for me two of my favorite things happen in spring, and pretty much coincide every year. What are they? Stanley Cup Playoff Hockey and Morel Mushrooms, at times, one has been enjoyed while also enjoying the other. With the warmer than average winter and the earlier than normal spring, morel buddies have been ramping up their excitement and talking morels for a month now already. I have to admit, the hype did cause me to go out and look long before I thought I should, and I was right, there was nothing there. Now it is true, some parts of Pennsylvania see much earlier fruitings of Morels than we do here and as those stories start hitting the message boards, people start burning up gas and shoe leather long before they will be
ready here. In the years I have hunted them here, it is always the third or forth week of April and can run as late as the second week of May. By the time you read this, you will have to act quickly if you are to find any this season. The key to finding numbers of Morels in this area is to find dying or dead Elm trees. In fact, once you locate a patch of suitable woods with the requisite dead and dying elms, just go from elm tree to elm tree, search from the base of the tree out to the drip line at least, and if there is a slope, check the downhill side a bit further out. Be sure to check under those multiflora rose and honeysuckle bushes that crowd the base of many of these elms, those can be hot spots. Morel mushrooms exist in a symbiotic relationship with the
elm tree. When the elm starts dying, the mycelium, which is the vast underground fibers of the mushroom as it exists underground, send up fruits (the morels) so that they can cast spores looking for new elms to grow with. All of this is good news for us, as we have lots of areas with dead or dying elms, so the hunting is very good with the right weather conditions. There are many ways of extending the amount of time that is available to harvest these jewels of the forest. You can take the time, if you have it, like a friend did a couple years ago and start in Tennessee and follow the progression all the way into New York state. This allows you a good three months or more of hunting. You can also stretch things locally as well by hunting the south facing slopes at the beginning of the season and then switch to the north sides of the hills, which warm up a couple weeks later. Of course, you need moisture as well. If there is an absence of rain and dry conditions, the morels may decide not to fruit this season, or only in very specific microclimates where minimum requirements for their survival exists. As you can see, several things have to come together at once, and the extent to which this happens determines whether you will have
a so-so season like last year, when I harvested about 1,200, or a season like two years ago when I harvested 3,400! A friend of mine that I hunt with, collected almost 5,000 that season. Some might wonder what you would do with 5,000 morels, and the answer is simple, EAT THEM! Not all at once of course, but a handy little fact about Morels is that they are every bit as good dehydrated and then reconstituted as they are fresh. In fact, you If you find one, there likely will be more, take your can not tell the differtime, as your eye trains itself, you will start seeing ence. So during good them everywhere. years, you pick and there was nothing at all, two days dehydrate as many as later I went back and some were you can process. We usually have already showing signs of age, you two big dehydrators going pretty have to be on your toes. much non-stop during the height There should be plenty of of a good season. In fact, we are time for you to hit the woods, find probably going to finish up the some elms, and score a bag of 2009 morels this year, so we have morels before the season is over. several gallon bags of the last two If youâ€™ve never eaten them, you years stored. have been missing something Once you find your elms, very special. Once you harvest check them every other day or so your own treasure and taste them during the previously mentioned for yourself, you will understand time frame. Last season I checked what all the fuss is about. a a spot on Friday morning and
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The Valley, May 2012 Ed’s Model Railroading News from page 37 a mainstay of our trolley operation is the open-sided trolley #1875, similar to the one on the T.V. show Mr. Rogers Neighborhood. This fantastic trolley came to the museum in 1965, from Rio de Janerio, Brazil. This gem was partially built by the Brill Company in 1912, 100 years ago this year. The metal parts and mechanisms were shipped to Brazil and the building of it was completed there using native Brazilian woods. The wood work on it is fantastic to look at and sit on. Up until last year it was the only operating open trolley in Pennsylvania but as of last year another open trolley began operating at the Pennsylvania Trolley Museum in Washington, Pa. Although it is enjoyable to ride the trolleys at the Washington museum why travel all the way to the Southwestern part of Pennsylvania when you can enjoy all these trolleys and so much history right here in our own back yard only 40 minutes away? One bit of information about the Rockhill Museum is that it is the oldest operating trolley museum in Pa. dating back to 1960 when several trolley lovers got together and established this museum, it’s been growing ever since. The entire operation of the museum is
Sugar substitutes from page 11 to avoid both, neotame appears to be more toxic.” He goes on to add “Today, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) could rightfully be accused of being a “subsidiary” of the Monsanto Company. When you realize just how many Monsanto executives and employees who have migrated into positions of power within the FDA and other government agencies, a truly disturbing picture emerges of the foxes guarding the henhouse.” Safer Alternatives Can we have our cake and eat it too?- You bet, because zero calorie sugar substitutes do not have to be artificial. Check out these possibilities. Stevia and sorbitol Other countries and diabetics have both taught us a lot about controlling insulin naturally. For many years, diabetics have used products sweetened with polyalcohol sugars like sorbitol, xylitol, malitol, and mannitol. These are natural sweeteners that do not trigger an insulin reaction.
by volunteers and we are always looking for more volunteers to join in on the fun. If you’re looking for historical fun please check out the museum on the web site at www.rockhilltrolley.org. While there make sure you watch the different videos to see a little of what we do and have at the museum. They’re really interesting and informative. One of the videos is from home made movies from the 1940’s. When you watch it also notice the old cars traveling around the Lehigh Valley area. Also on the web site you can check out our yearly calendar of events. Trolleys are operated each Saturday and Sunday from 11:00 to 4:20 with departure being every hour for a ride down the rails through history. Also throughout the year we conduct special events like Scout Day where Scouts in uniform get a reduced fare all day, Ice Cream Day when you can ride and enjoy ice cream and toppings on Fathers Day weekend, Fall Spectacular when we have all the trolleys out and running with special extended riding times all weekend, the Pumpkin Patch weekend in October is a great time for kids to receive a pumpkin and paint it up for Halloween, Santas Trolley on December 1st is always a great time for the kids as they all see Santa and get a gift, and to end the trolley operating season there’s the Polar Bear Ex-
WWT Answers 1. “Duke” 2. Marion Robert Morrison 3. “The Bridges of Madison County press rides down the line to see the valley all lit up with decorations and holiday cheer. So, as you can see there’s lots to do at the Rockhill Trolley Museum just 40 minutes from downtown Lewistown. All this and more as I haven’t even talked about the excitement at the East Broad Top Railroad just • Reliable Propane & Heating Oil Delivery across the street from the trolleys. • Budget Payment Plan Call today I’ll cover this topic to • 24/7 Emergency Service learn about our next month, but NE w CustOmER here’s an idea, why • Heating Equipment Service Plans sPECiAls! not combine the • Safety Trained Professionals two and make it a day on rails with • Over 80 Years Experience train and trolley rides back into history? As an inducement to check Our Business is Customer Satisfaction out the museum, anyone coming to 717-248-5476 • 1-800-PROPANE (776-7263) Ed’s Train Repairs and Sales will have an oppora trolley in our ‘’RUN A TROLjust stop on by Ed’s Train Repairs tunity to register LEY’’ program. The drawing and Sales at 1317 Vira Road, to win one of several packs of will take place at closing time on Lewistown. Happy railroading to trolley ride tickets and one lucky May 31st. There’s no cost to enter, all. a person will win a chance to drive
(Xylitol can be derived from birch tree pulp.) They have half the calories of sugar and are not digested by the small intestine. While most polyalcohol sugars have no side effects, sorbitol is a natural laxative and can cause diarrhea, irritable bowel syndrome, and bloating so cautions are given. For this reason, the herb stevia (Stevia rebaudiana) is often recommended over sorbitol as a natural sweetener. Known in South America as the “sweet herb,” stevia has been used for over 400 years without ill effect. Stevia has been enormously popular in Japan, where it has been in use for more than 20 years, now rivaling Equal and Sweet’N Low. It’s 200–300 times sweeter than sugar, so just a small portion of stevia will sweeten even a strong cup of tea. We’ve known about stevia in the US since 1918, but pressure from the sugar import trade blocked its use as a commodity. Today stevia is slowly gaining steam as a sugar substitute. Stevia can be used for anything you might use sugar in, including baking. It is naturally low in carbohydrates. You can buy stevia at most
health food stores, large grocery store chains and over the web. There will always be those who have sensitivity to a substance, but based on reports from other countries it appears to have little to no side effects. For everyone who wants to move through their cravings for sugar without artificial chemicals, stevia is a great option. My personal preference is liquid stevia. Just one or two drops sweetens any beverage or a cup of plain yogurt. Powdered stevia, used cup for cup just like sugar, is now available at a local grocery store for use in baking. It is called Stevia in the Raw. Although more expensive than sugar, it provides a great alternative when you occasionally want to make a sweet treat. Bottom Line - Ultimately, the choice is yours. But one thing is certain; some of the chemicals that comprise artificial sweeteners are known hazards — the degree to which you experience side effects just depends on your individual biochemistry. Manufacturers are counting on the fact that our bodies won’t absorb very much of these compounds at any one time. And many of us
Expect More from Your Fuel Supplier!
don’t. But what happens when we are ingesting a combination of artificial sweeteners like Splenda dozens of times a week through many different “low–sugar” or “sugar–free” products? Well, we just don’t know. Many popular diet programs sell low-calorie foods that trade real nutrients for artificial ingredients, including sugar substitutes. I think it’s great to try and lose unwanted weight, but I question whether these packaged items should be marketed as healthy choices. Good nutrition needs to take more into account than calories and fat content — especially when it comes to how many artificial sweeteners we’re eating and what we’re mixing with them. Read your labels. More importantly, you can do a lot to support your body in many other ways to reduce your dependency on sugar and sugar substitutes. As your body returns to its natural state of balance, you may find that you can toss out those artificial sweeteners and put sugar in its proper place: where you have control over it and not vice versa. We must be strong and steady
in this fight so that our children and grandchildren will not be lab rats for future batches of toxic soup like diet soda. I know I can not compete with multi-million dollar advertising, but if just one Valley reader chooses to examine, halt or slow down their consumption of this noxious substance I will rejoice! Here is a great warm weather, thirst quenching drink that provides delicious and healthy refreshment; carbonated bubbles and all. Simply mix one part 100% real fruit juice with three parts seltzer water. Add ice. Enjoy! References: www.democraticundergroud.com www.mercola.com www.womentowomen.com www.rense.com Sue is a holistic nutrition consultant and holistic health educator. Her office is located at 54 Chestnut Street in Lewistown. To learn more about her business go to www.mynourishingjourney. com She can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or give her a call at 2423132. a
The Valley, May 2012
Dairy Princess Memories by Macy Fisher Mifflin County Dairy Princess 2011-2012
Hi, I’m Macy Fisher the Mifflin County Dairy Princess and it’s May! This month is busy, busy, and busy for me. This month is our FFA banquet, many FFA contests, our Dairy Princess Tea, and Prom! Our FFA banquet is where we acknowledge all the members who have participated throughout the year. The banquet takes a lot of preparation and time to get ready for and this banquet time is going to be even more hectic. Our prom is the day after our banquet, so not only will I have to get everything ready for the banquet, but I will have to have everything in line for Prom. This year I went with a completely new theme for Prom. Last year I had a dark blue, almost black, A-line dress that had a lot of sparkles on it. This year my dress is a mint green, ball gown that has a lace up back. I ordered my dress off the
internet and I was really afraid of how it would arrive, so I ordered it one size bigger than I needed. When it came to the house, it was in this little postage bag. I just about wet myself when I saw how little the bag was. Then when I opened the bag, all I saw was what looked like a folded up piece of green fabric. It had nothing on it and it didn’t even resemble a dress. I about died. I thought it was going to turn out to be one of those do-it-yourself dresses where they send you the fabric and the embellishments and you sew it yourself. However, it turned out that they turned the dress inside out so that nothing would fall off. I was so relieved when I unfolded it and saw the exact dress I ordered. I had to have it altered a little though. I had to have it taken in since I ordered it big. It was also a little bit long, but not long enough to have to alter. The major problem with it was that it wanted to fold in on itself in the front and cover up all the embellishments. So what we did was order a crinoline to make it fill out more. Now it is picture perfect.
That same weekend is the Dairy Princess Tea Party. This is when all the girls who want to be a part of the dairy promoting team for the next year come together and get to know one another. This is also where all the little girls get the chance to meet the person who will be the new Princess. All of the Moms get to have some fun too by filling out paper work. May also marks the end of my high school career with graduation. Mount Union graduation is at the very end of May, so this is the first year in quite a few that we have finished school before June first. Mother’s Day is also in May so I thought that for the recipes this month I would use my Mom’s favorite meal. My Mom’s favorite food is anything Italian, but lately she has been all about stuffed shells, so when I asked her what her favorite meal was, she said stuffed shells. She also said that she loved blueberry cheesecake, so for this month it was easy to fit dairy goodness and nine essential nutrients into the recipes. If your Mom is anything like mine, she will love these dishes!
Cheese Stuffed Shells 1 pound ground Italian sausage 1 large onion, chopped 1 package (10 ounces) frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, cubed 1 egg, lightly beaten 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, divided 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese 1 cup 4% cottage cheese 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese ¼ teaspoon salt ¼ teaspoon pepper 24 jumbo pasta shells, cooked and drained Favorite jarred pasta sauce In a large skillet, cook sausage and onion over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain. Transfer to a large bowl. Stir in the spinach, cream cheese and egg. Add 1 cup mozzarella, cheddar, cottage cheese, Parmesan, salt and pepper; mix well. Stuff pasta shells with sausage mixture. Arrange in two 11-in. by 7-in. baking dishes coated with cooking spray. Spoon sauce over shells. Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. Uncover; sprinkle with remaining mozzarella. Bake for 5 to 10 minutes longer or until bubbly and cheese is melted. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving.
Blueberry Swirl Cheesecake 1 cup graham cracker crumbs 1 cup plus 3 tablespoons sugar, divided 3 tablespoons butter, melted 4 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened 1 teaspoon vanilla 1 cup sour cream 4 eggs 2 cups fresh or thawed frozen blueberries Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Mix crumbs, 3 tablespoons sugar and butter. Press firmly onto bottom of foil-lined 13-in. by 9-in. baking pan. Bake for 10 minutes. Beat cream cheese, remaining 1 cup sugar and the vanilla in a large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until well blended. Add sour cream; mix well. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating on low speed after each addition just until blended. Pour over crust. Puree the blueberries in a blender or food processor. Gently drop spoonfuls of the pureed blueberries over batter; cut through batter several time with knife for marble effect. Bake for 45 minutes or until center is almost set; cool. Refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight. Garnish as desired. Store leftovers in the refrigerator. a
The Valley, May 2012
Modern Energy and Alternative Heating
with Curt Bierly
Fuels to Heat your Home, Church or Business To save operating cost, do you plan to replace or supplement your current heating system before winter 2012 2013? What fuel will you choose to power the new system? There are numerous possibilities including heating/ fuel oil, natural gas, electricity, propane, coal, wood, solar and wood pellets. When replacing a hot water or steam central heating system to save operating cost, many of our customers are switching from fuel oil (oil) to natural gas (nat gas), propane or electric. If they have an oil hot water boiler they might choose a high efficiency (96%) nat gas or propane hot water condensing boiler or a geothermal (GEO) hot water heat pump (uses electricity). Although hot water heat is tough to beat for comfort during those cold winter months, it has the disadvantages of not providing air conditioning (AC) in the summer; therefore, another option is to keep the present oil system as a backup and install a ducted or ductless heat pump/air conditioning system to help lower the heating cost in the winter and provide AC during those hot
summer months. This is a very good option if you have an oil steam boiler as the efficiency of a replacement oil unit will only be in the 80% to 85% range and unless you go to the expense of converting the steam system to hot water, you will continue to incur the inherent inefficiencies of steam heat. Two examples come to mind—both being churches. Church #1 had two large hot water boilers, one powered by oil and one powered by nat gas. We replaced the two large boilers with four high efficiency (96%) condensing nat gas boilers. The payoff was an impressive 5 to 7 years. Church #2 has an oil steam boiler and an oil hot water boiler. Their primary focus was air conditioning, but they also wanted to save money on their annual oil bill. Their answer was the installation of ductless heat pumps. Their payoff will be longer, but they didn’t have the financial resources available to convert the steam system to hot water and to replace the oil units with high efficiency propane condensing boilers (nat gas was not available).
For a complete replacement of a warm air central heating system, to save operating cost, many of our customers are switching from oil to natural gas, propane or electric. Since a warm air system supports both heating and cooling,
A Carrier Comfort Series heat pump
there are more solutions and they are simpler and less costly. If you are not interested in AC, your oil furnace is older and you want to save operating costs, you can replace the oil furnace (80% to 85% efficiency) with a nat gas or propane furnace (95% efficiency).
If you currently have only an oil furnace (no AC) and the unit is in good condition, you can choose to keep the oil furnace as a backup and add a heat pump, which will save lots of oil and provide AC in the summer. It is important to note that this option will not give you the highest heat pump efficiencies because the oil furnace will most likely not have a variable speed blower. If you want to eliminate the oil unit, you can replace it with a heat pump with a variable speed air handler and an electric, nat gas or propane backup. Another great solution is to install a GEO heat pump with electric backup. Lots of good stuff out there to save you lots of money on operating costs! Curt Bierly is president of the bierly group incorporated of which Stanley C. Bierly is a division. He graduated from Penn State with a BS in Mechanical Engineering and is a member of the Penn College HVAC Advisory Board. You can contact him at email@example.com. a
Pig-Hapiness from page 4 training because you want the first experience the young pig has with the electrical wire to be its last. Pigs are very intelligent and will avoid anything that causes discomfort. Once ready and properly trained, it is time to move them out to fresh ground. Remember, pigs are OMNIVORES and not vegetarians. In nature they are scavengers, eating anything from tubers, plants, nuts, insects, snakes, frogs and animals. Giving them a strict corn and soy diet is contrary to their natural diets; however, it is possible if you don’t generate enough waste or scraps you will need to supplement their feed with starch, protein, vitamins and minerals. I say “starch and protein” because that can be anything and doesn’t necessarily have to be corn and soy. Often times we will use iron clay peas, which are grown in our area. The added benefit is, in our case, iron clay peas are non-GMO, which fits nicely with our family diet. Also, we will use corn, but again we will specifically use non-GMO grains as supplements only. Pigs do require a proper balance of minerals and vitamins, so be sure to include that in their diets. This all may sound like a lot, but as your pigs grow, so will your knowledge, helping you make proper decisions in their raising. We certainly enjoy our pigs and we know you will too! Until next time, Dave & Ginger and Family a
The Valley, May 2012
Recipes-Crafts-Gifts With Debra Kulp Raspberry Cream Pie Yield 8 servings Crust 1 1/2 cups crushed vanilla wafers 1/3 cup chopped pecans 1/4 cup butter, melted Filling 1 package (8oz.) cream cheese, softened 2/3 cup confectioners sugar 2 tbsp vanilla extract 2 tbsp orange liquer 1 cup heavy whipping cream, whipped Topping 1 cup sugar 3 tbsp cornstarch 3 tbsp water 2 1/2 cups fresh raspberries, divided Combine the wafer crumbs, pecans & butter. Press into bottom and up the sides of a greased 9” pie pan. In large bowl, beat the cream cheese, confectioners sugar, liquer & vanilla until light and fluffy. Fold in whipped cream. Sprea into crust. Chill until serving. In a small saucepan, combine sugar & cornstarch, stir in water
and 1 1/2 cups raspberries. Bring to a boil, cook & stir for about 2 minutes or until thickened. Transfer to a bowl, refrigerate until chilled Spread topping over filling, garnish with remaining berries.
High Tech in Big Valley from front page
that cow goes through different lines and into feed buckets for the calves, not into the milk tank for human consumption, all automatically. Of course all of this high tech farming costs serious money. The Harrops have a lot invested, and all this automation helps keep the cost of the milk to the consumer down, because labor is being saved in the process. You are also getting the best out of each cow, as they are all treated as individuals by the robots, this leads to happier cows, and in my mind, better milk. Others must think so as well, because the milk truck driver said some loads of milk from Harrop’s Dairy Farm have ended up at Hershey’s. Perhaps the milk part of that chocolate bar you had last week came from Big Valley! My tour was very enlightening, even to someone that had a very little experience with cows. This new style farming isn’t so bad. If you have the aptitude to learn, the potential for efficiency is limitless. Luckily we have people like the Harrops that spent the money to bring you best product possible as cost effectively as possible. a
cows who haven’t become part of the milking herd yet. It was a particular thrill to see a baby that was still being cleaned by mom shortly after birth in the maternity barn. Before I left, Rebecca explained to me to me some of the benefits of this automated system. With the computers having a data base on each cow in the heard, possible injury or sickness can be discovered long before physical signs of distress show up. Those little circles on the computer screen I was telling you about at the beginning of this article, well each circle represented a cow, clicking on each individual cow “circle” brought up volumes of information, such as how much milk it was giving, the quality of the milk, and how often and at what times each particular cow came to the robot to be milked. This way, any potential problems can be headed off early as problems show up in the computer long before it might be seen. Steps can then be taken to remedy the situation before the issue becomes critical. If a cow is undergoing medication, the robot knows and the milk from
Old Fashioned Dill Potato Salad Serves 4-6 Boil potatoes, diced when cool to equal 6 cups 3 hard boiled eggs 1 medium red onion, diced 1 medium red pepper, diced 2 stalks celery, diced A few strips of bacon, cut in 1/2 inch strips and lightly friend so that it is still fatty Dressing 2 cups mayonaise 2 cups Miricle Whip 1/8 cups sugar 3-4 tbsp yellow mustard Whisk all infredients together, pour over vegetables. Place 2 tbsp of dill on top. *Each day the salad is left over, the dill becomes stronger.
The Valley, May 2012
Mail Pouch Books by Carleen B. Grossman THE FORGOTTEN GARDEN By Kate Morton Copyright 2008 What a web of secrets this fascinating novel unravels! Travel from Australia to a large estate in England as several multi-generational family members try to find their roots. Their histories are woven together and even mirror some other mysterious tales that one of the characters has written into this story. A cottage on the grounds of the estate provides clues to identities of the characters--a cottage with a special garden that actually houses its very own maze! As you ramble through the “forgotten garden” and explore the mysterious maze, you will discover all the family secrets.
The story pulls you into one of the most exciting adventures you can imagine, covering a time period from the early 1900’s to modern times. This tale will remind you of the adult version of the childhood tale, THE SECRET GARDEN by Frances Hodgson Burnett. “The Forgotten Garden” is a great conundrum! MAKE YOUR PLACE By Raleigh Briggs Copyright 2008 Sustainability is what this book is all about! Tips for making your own pest controls, cleaning agents and a oodles of other “how to mix” and “how to do” items are covered in this manual of A-Z know-hows. In addition, this book is beautifully handwritten and
illustrated. It is a good guide for anyone interested in living a more sustainable lifestyle. THE CREATIVE FAMILY By Amanda Blake Soule Copyright 2008 You will find this book a valuable source for awakening your entire family to stimulating situations both together as a family unit or individually--you can guide your family in ways to relax, play and grow together. You will learn how to use simple tools around you--such as your imagination, basic art supplies, household objects and natural materials to bring much fun into your lives.
THE LAST LECTURE By Randy Pausch Copyright 2008 Everyone needs to read or re-read this autobiography about how to live life! The author presents his take on just what is important in life. With only several months left to live, his dying from pancreatic cancer gives him insight as to what IS important. You will learn lessons about winning big, achieving happiness, making sacrifices, accepting the truth and much more. In order to become truly self reliant in life, a person
must deal with the concepts in this book. a
The Valley, May 2012
The Pen and Thread Custom Calligraphy and Weaving
Mary Anna Chenoweth Proprietor
Monday, Wednesday, Friday 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
717-248-6079 131 West Market Street Lewistown, Pennsylvania
The Valley, May 2012
Walking on the wild side by julie shultz smith
Wow what a month March was for all of us here at the farm—I think even the animals would agree. So many things have happened I am not even sure where to start. All I can say is I think all of us humans along with the animals have taken a Walk On The Wild Side. From the last time I wrote to you, Herb and I have been busy! Remember the herd of 20 buffalo that I mentioned in the last article that we had gone to looke at? You guessed it, we ended up bringing all 20 head home. That was a mess in itself. It started out that Herb and I were going to go out and help Nancy and Grant round them all up and the big truck (the tractor trailer) was going to meet us out there Sunday morning. Well, on the way out Nancy called and said they had gotten them all rounded up. That meant Herb had to get on the phone with the other truck
driver and have him get out there because once buffalo are penned up, they are not happy animals at all. They do what they have to do to become free again. It doesn’t matter if it means hurting themselves or hurting each other. Once Herb got in touch with the other driver, we discovered it was going to be awhile until he could get out there. I believe Herb and I arrived at Nancy and Grant’s farm around 5 p.m. Saturday. The other driver never got there until 2 a.m. Sunday morning. The buffalo were not happy at all being penned up this long. Once he got there, we worked on loading everyone on the truck for the trip home. All and all it really didn’t work out that bad. Herb and I had 3 buffalo, the big bull, and 2 cows on our trailer and the big truck had the rest loaded on his trailer. I believe it was about 3 a.m. Sunday morning when we got on the road to head home with our new herd. So
excited and so scared at the same time, I couldn’t wait to get home to get them all unloaded and introduce them to the little herd we already had. That also went pretty well. No one seemed to be to upset and introducing the two herds together seemed to work out just fine. We did have one problem though with holding the buffalo as long as we did. On the long trip home, one got hurt at some point and we ended up losing her. Herb and I were both pretty upset about losing one of the cows, but from what I hear from talking to other buffalo owners, we did a pretty good job. No one likes to lose any, but again these aren’t your everyday cattle we are dealing with—these are wild buffalo. On a good note though, the other morning I woke up and as I do every morning when I get up, the first thing I do is walk outside and look over all the animals just to make sure all the buffalo are where they are supposed to be and to make sure all the other animals are ok as well. That morning it wasn’t totally day light yet, and it was a little on the foggy side. As I was looking around the pasture, I thought I saw some little legs standing in with the buffalo. I
ran inside and told Herb to come out with a light as I thought we may have had our first calf of the year. That we did! Now just to find out if it’s a little girl or a little boy. The suspense was killing me—I wanted to know. It took a day or so to find out our new baby was a little girl. I just wanted to go out and cuddle with her, but I really don’t think her Mom would like that. I have to say that one of the hardest things is to have a new baby born and you can’t do anything but sit back and look at it from a distance. I am the type that I want to be right there and make sure both Mom and baby are ok. I also learned through all of this that just by sitting back and watching from a distance, you can see that everything is ok. I am so glad she is a heifer because she is from one of what Herb and I both think is one of our best cows. That just means a good start to bettering our herd. Herb and I started out with some good stock, but every herd can improve. It doesn’t matter if you are breeding cows, horses, buffalo or even zebras. There is always room for
Momma brings the new heifer down to the holding area to feed on hay.
improvement. We won’t get into that a lot. That can be a whole new article. It has been really neat watching the new baby and her Mom the last couple of weeks. When she was first born, the Mom kept her up on the hill away from the barn and us humans. The calf also listened to her Mom and followed her all around. If you sat and watched them, you could see that the Mom was trying to teach her things she would need to use later in life. Now that the calf is a couple weeks old, the Mom is now bringing her into the holding area to eat hay, but if we get too close to where they are, Mom makes sure she takes the baby back out to the pasture. Also now that the calf is about a month old, the calf is running around and playing and it almost seems like now the Mom follows the calf. I guess in a way, it is just as we humans do. Our kids follow us around for a while, then it seems like we start to follow our kids around. I guess the animals really aren’t that different from us humans. a
The Valley, May 2012
wax to dry completely or place in freezer for a quicker set. The Altoid tin emergency candle is a great addition to your 72 hour emergency kit. Hikers and campers will appreciate the light weight and small size; perfect for slipping into a backpack’s side pocket. ANOTHER THOUGHT… Wait!!! Don’t throw away that leftover wax just yet! While the wax is still warm take a few Strike-Anywhere matches and dip the heads into the wax. You now have instant waterproof matches! Allow the matches to dry and place into a crush proof container (I still use old 35mm film canisters leftover from the good ol’ days). a
thoughts from the Bunker by jared kauffman
The Altoids Tin Candle If you enjoyed reading last month’s column “The Hobo Stove Project” as much as I enjoyed creating and testing my own stove, well then I’ve got another Bunker how-to project to present to you. I often like to think of ways that I can get a second or alternative use out of things that would normally be thrown away. It’s my way of being frugal AND self-reliant at the same time. The Internet has
a plethora of ideas and instructions on how to recycle and re-use common household materials that would typically end up in a landfill. Like the coffee can and other materials that I used for my stove; I have found a project in which I can give a second life to an empty Altoids mint tin. This month’s how-to is an Altoids tin emergency candle. NEEDED MATERIALS - An empty Altoids mint tin - 6 Tea light candles - Needle nosed pliers - Superglue or any strong adhesive - Pint size glass jar -Sauce pan Step one in creating your emergency candle: eat all the mints. OK seriously, first An empty Altoids tin, and some cheap tea lights disassemble the Tea and you are ready to make something useful lights, using the nee-
dle-nose pliers carefully separate the wax from the wicks and base. Discard all other material but two wicks, or if your Tea light candles are in aluminum cups place those in the recycle bin. Place the wax, broken into small pieces for easier melting, into the jar. Now glue the wicks inside your EMPTY tin, spaced evenly apart. Next you need to melt the wax. Place wax-filled jar into sauce pan and add water until jar is half way submerged. Once wax has completely melted pour into your tin. Use caution, the wax and tin will be HOT! Set aside the left over wax (I have another The finished candle uses an otherwise thrown out item, use for it!). Allow and when finished could be extremely useful in an emergency situation 6 to 8 hours for
Savvy Cents & Sensibility by JoAnn Wills MBA
Financial Toxins Do you have hidden toxins in your spending habits? Is there spending that you don’t realize is taking place? Are you left wondering what happened to the money in your wallet? If so, you may be experiencing financial toxins. I have a few simple suggestions to aid and detox. First, investigate your bills. Examine all paper bills and online statements. Search for inconspicuous charges – a few cents here and there in “fees” or increases can really add up over a period of months. If you find charges/fees that appear new or odd call the company and ask for an explanation – then negotiate a reduction. Export online banking and billing (at least three consecutive months
worth) and scrutinize for hidden charges – negotiate, and monitor your accounts moving forward. Second, what impulse purchases are you making? Do you stop at a convenience store daily? Eat lunch/dinner out frequently? Make “feel-good” purchases? Many impulse purchases factor labor into the purchase as part of the cost resulting in a cash hemorrhage. Impulsive spending creates chemical endorphin changes in the brain – makes you feel like dancing because you bought that cute new pair of shoes. Social spending is another area that creates “feel good” spending, and as a culture is created around the act of spending. Occasional, controlled, and monitored spending is
fine; it’s the uncontrolled habitual spending that needs the overhaul. Once you have identified your financial toxins, you must change the behaviors that spark toxic spending. You may need to make a few serious adjustments – ditch long-term habits or lethal social relationships. Avoid triggers that tempt you to spend. It’s difficult to change patterns that have been set in place for long periods of time. Start small, and for one week back off your impulse spending to see if a significant difference occurs. We all feel the sting of fuel prices, so plan driving wisely – no senseless trips. If you have several errands, plan ahead so that you can accomplish much in one trip. Do not stop off at the grocery store most nights after work. Try to make one weekly trip, and purchase healthy foods for lunches so you save pur-
chasing your lunch on workdays. Instead, take that packed lunch on the road and walk if the weather permits. Finally, avoid anything that encourages you to spend toxically – where is your poison hiding? People? Places? In closing, many of our worst spending decisions are elusively formed in time management troubles. We choose take-out because our evening schedule is packed with “to-dos.” We choose several quick stops because it’s more convenient that one big trip – but is it really? What is your time worth? What will you have to forgo because you chose “quick” or ‘impulse?” What opportunities are you choosing to shelf for immediate gratification? Grab the red pen… start “X-ing” off the extra spending for the “health” of it!... your financial health. a
The Essential Arts from page 15 RC&D has seen firsthand how much this funding has meant to our local communities. Last year, we brought physical comedian Dan Kamin (who trained Robert Downey Jr. and Johnny Depp for their award winning roles in movies Chaplin and Benny and Joon, respectively) to the Great Chip Drop in Lewistown. Normally, this show would have been $30 or more at an expensive theatre. We were able to provide Dan’s comedy show to the community for free, twice that night. Despite its great value, this funding has also become acquainted with the budget axe with a 50 percent reduction in state arts funding since 2009. This shortsightedness actually reduces our economic prosperity. In addition to the intangible benefits of culture in the Commonwealth, state arts funding provides 64,000 Full-Time Equivalent jobs and $2 Billion in economic activity. These numbers prove the value of supporting the arts at what comes out to about a nickel investment per citizen. Excesses exist in government, but this is not the place to find it. How can you get involved locally? Well, there are plenty of ways. If you are an artist, individual, or organization organizing art for the benefit of a public audience, you may be eligible for a small grant through the PA Partners in the Arts Program. We’re your local partner for Juniata, Mifflin, Montour, Northumberland, Perry, Snyder and Union Counties. You could help sponsor a quilt square on the PA Quilt (and Rug) Trails profiled in the last issue of the Valley. You could contact your legislator to advocate for the inclusion of state arts funds in Pennsylvania’s budget. Everything you hear about eating locally for a more sustainable future also applies to the arts. Go see a band. Buy from a local artist. Attend a play. Support your child in playing an instrument or learning a handed-down tradition. Practice your art. As scientist John Martin said “Life depends on science, but the arts make it worth living.” For more information on taking action to support the arts in the region, contact Sam Price at Community Partnerships RC&D at 717-248-4901, ext. 301 Links http://pacouncilonthearts.org http://folkartpa.org/ a
The Valley, May 2012
Grosze Thal Nachbaren
(Big Valley Neighbors)
by Jeptha I. Yoder Ein Grusz in das Herren Namen. Kürzlich haben wir wechsliches wetter gahabt. Der Reif hat ziemlich viel Obst zu schaden gedient. Aber Ich glaub es wird doch noch viel um zu dankbar dafür sein. Der Aprill war meitens trocken mit Reifen morgens bis letzt woch war es wärmer und jetzt ist es kuhler Regen mit Schnee. Mir hen Spargel kriegen kennen zu essen. Am Sonntag, der Erst Aprill war Kirchengasse Gemein ans Christian S. Hostetlers. Eli S. Zugen und Familie mitt Kindchen Christ (Eli S. Hostetlers’) waren dort von unser Theil. West Lang Leen war ans Menno R. Hostetlers. Noah C. Speichers und Familie und meine Eltern Isaak M. Yoders waren ans Joseph S. Yoders fürs abendessen. Samuel B. Hostetlers und Samuel N. Yoders waren ans Eli S. Hostetlers nachmittages. Am Ostersonntag (der Acht) waren wir in der Gemein ans Manasse J. Yoders. Von McClur war sein Vater Johannes E. und Bruder Eli Ns und Familie, alle Yodern und Lovina Hostetler (Joseph S.). Meine Eltern waren ans Eli S. Hostetlers nach der Gemein. Andere dort waren Joel Es und
Familie, Unckel Christ Ms, alle Yodern, und Rebecca, Miriam, Ruth, Näomi und Lena Hostetler (Jesse S.). Sam I. Yoders waren auch in unser Nachbarschaft abends. Jesse J. Hostetlers und Familie gingen in McClur nach der Gemein und kommen heim Montages. Jesse Ss waren bei die (Noah L.) Rhodä fürs abendessen. Rudy C. Yoders waren in Penns Thal über die wochend. Ost Lang Leen Gemein war ans Rudy N. Hostetlers. Milroy Nord war ans Jonas A. Hostetlers. Holzland Mittel ans Johannes H. Yoders. Der Sechszehnt war West Lang Leen Gemein ans Sam I. Yoders. Kirchengasse war ans Yost J. Hostetlers. Am abend gingen wir ans Unckel Christ M. Yoders. Manasse J. Yoders waren auch dort. Unckel Christs waren ans Eli S. Hostetlers vormittages und ans Eli S. Zugen fürs mittag, beide sind ihre Töchtern. Mose C. Yoders waren ans Isaak H. Hostetlers fürs Mittag. Der zwei und zwanzichst waren wir in der Gemein ans Eli S. Zugen. Von McClur waren Bish. Ben R. Hostetlers, Salomon Cs und Familie, Rhodä L. und Samuel A. (Christ R. ), alle
Zugen. Von andere Theilen waren Aunt (Salomon) Mareily R., Uria Ss und Familie, und Salomon Cs, alle Hostetlern, und Sam I. Yoders. So der Herr Will und wir leben, ist die Gemein hier des nächstmol. Ost Lang Leen war an Noah D. Hostetlers. Henry M. Speichers von Penns Thal und Joseph J. Hostetlers und Famlien waren bei ihre Eltern die Jacob S. Hostetlers spaat letzt woch Unser Besuch am Ostermontag waren Isaak Y. Hostetlers und Familie fürs Mittag. Nachmittages gingen sie zu seiner Mutter die (Salomon) Mariely. Ans Unckel Christs waren Noah D. Hostetlers und Thomas S. Yoders. Mose R. Hostetlers und Fam. waren in McClur ans Iddo M. Hostetlers und Jesse S’s ihre fünf Töchter und Schwester Elisabeth waren ans Esra S. Hostetlers. Unser Besuch am Kharfreitag waren Michael J. Yoders und Familie fürs abendessen. Samuel M. Zugen waren ans Unkel Christs. Eli J. Hostetlers und Familie von McClur waren ans Eli S. Hostetlers. Christian Greetings on a cool rainy day. Even snowed a bit. This month has been fairly dry until now. I should get wire and brush on the peas for trellis. Am still
pruning raspberries - something I should have done (and finished) for a while already. None-the-less we are richly blessed. We’ve had our first asparagus. Strawberries are blooming. Now some of the blossoms don’t have black spots from the frost as did the first ones. I should be transplanting more of my celery and tomato seedlings indoors or in the greenhouse. Was dry enough lately for a forest fire in Lingle Valley. We could see the smoke. Joel E. Yoders are planning to have a relatives’ (Uncles, Aunts, and Cousins) quilting on May 1st, 2nd and 3rd, Lord Willing. New arrivals are a son #3 named Andy to John I. and Anna M. Yoder. Grands are Noah D. and Fronie K. Hostetler and the late Sam S. Yoder and Lydia R. Yoder and the late Jeptha H. Greatgrands are Eli J. and Barbara Y. Yoder. A son Esle C. joining two brothers and three sisters to Amos J. and Lydia S. Hostetler of McClure. Grands are Jesse S. and Nancy B. Hostetler of Milroy; Christian R. and Mary L. Zook of McClure. Great grand is Eli B. Zook of Penns Valley. Both claim April 19 as a birth date and are great grands of the late Grandad Moses S. Yoder of whom the time of year brings memories, being around Easter last year that his condition made a turn downhill before passing on May 8. Betty Houser, widow of late Frank O., was buried the week of Good Friday. Till May 18th,
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she would have been 90. She had Alzheimers, or something similar, and according to the local weekly resided at Malta Home. Lord Willing, the last day of school is May 3rd, or the 4th for some. Jonathan D. (J. Dan) Hostetlers have taken down the former old (late) Eli Z. Hostetler house on Shale Bank Lane and are immediately rebuilding on-site. Jesse J. Hostetlers are building on land acquired from his parents, the Jesse S. Hostetlers, They built a shed earlier this spring. They are now starting on the house. Neighbor Widow Mattie H. (Yoder) Hostetler will have a 70th birthday on May 30, Lord Willing. Mail will reach her at 9730 Back Mountain Road, Milroy, PA 17063. God’s Blessings Wished! Enjoy the latter part of spring. And remember the last spring holidays - Ascension and Pentecost, and the reason for them. Jeptha I. Yoder a
God’s Blessings Wished!
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The Valley, May 2012
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The Valley, May 2012
The Chicken AND the Egg! by Mike Flanagan
Spring Has Sprung If you’ve been reading my column for the last 17 months you know that I am a big fan of the eclectic. I’m not much for just doing something just “because everyone else is doing it.” Hence, my preference for things like heritage breeds and old-fashioned ways of doing things that are no longer considered mainstream. You also know that I’ve constantly been amazed that anyone is actually interested in my rambling writings. So you can imagine my surprise when I was asked to be a guest speaker for a “Chicken Seminar” that Julie was holding at E&L Supplies in Spring Mills. I wasn’t doing anything that day, so sure, why not. Folks, let me tell you, this neat little store is the very epitome of eclectic. If you haven’t been there yet, make it an outing. Wow! What a cool variety of products. It seemed
like every time I thought of something unique and sometimes hard to find, it was stocked on a shelf somewhere. To say I was impressed is an understatement. Julie had set up a small area in the front of the store with a couple dozen chairs and some water troughs full of assorted chicks. And every time I wanted to make reference to something, she had it, usually within a couple of steps of the area so I could show folks what I was talking about, not just tell them. She even had a couple of those little manufactured hen houses good for 6-8 birds. Well, time got away from me and I wound up talking for over an hour between what I had prepared and answering questions. I’ll tell you the truth, I’m kind of hoping this becomes a regular event. It was a blast! Spring cleanup at our hen house has been completed. As
predicted, the base under the roosts was a full 12” deep, and I filled that 4’x4’x4’ compost bin. We’re rich! Well, in compost anyway. Last year Cindy and I had a beautiful little garden going when we left for a week of vacation. Somehow the girls got into the garden and it was GONE by the time we returned. So this year we wanted a new fence, something more in a chicken deterrent. I built a new 4’ tall fence that they couldn’t crawl under. Then I replaced the three old 6” deep 3’x6’ beds with nice new 12” deep 4’x8’ beds. You can imagine my dismay when I came out the next evening and discovered some of my girls had been digging and dust-bathing in those new beds. It was time for drastic measures. I unplugged their supplemental light so that it got dark inside by 8 pm. Then at 9 pm that evening, Cindy and I went out and clipped wings. Relax! I only cut feathers. I didn’t actually cut the wings off. Chickens naturally don’t want to move a whole lot once it’s dark, so you can’t go
out to do this with a flashlight. As soon as that flashlight gives them enough light to see by they will get REAL active and hard to catch. But there’s a piece of modern tech that I do love, my headlamp flashlight. It’s got a pair of red led lights for night work. Cool! We were able to see and the birds stayed pretty calm. Now, this wing clipping thing can be done by one person, but two people sure make it a LOT easier. I would pick up a hen and hold her against my chest. Then take one wing and spread it out. As you do this the longer “primary” feathers become visible, and you will see an actual notch where they end. They are the first ten feathers or so on the wing. About 2/3rds of the way up the feather you will see an overlapping row of feathers. Cindy just took a pair of kitchen scissors and cut the primaries even with the bottom of the shorter row, back to that notch you see. Soothe your girl, tell how good she was, and how pretty she is. Pet her a little and then let her down to go some-
where and sulk. We did all 30 of our birds in less than 45 minutes, including having to go get new scissors when this klutz knelt on them and broke the handle. Don’t worry, you can’t really see the cut feathers when they are scratching in the yard anyway. Nobody will ever know you did it, except you and the girls. And they can never remember anything anyway. Remember, only do ONE WING. The idea here is to disrupt their balance. They’ll still be able to fly a couple of feet, but they aren’t going to be able to do any more of those 4’ vertical leaps to get into your garden. And it’s only temporary. Those feathers will grow back at the next molt and you’ll need to re-do this next spring. What’s a molt? Hmmm, we’ll answer that next month. In the meantime... Remember, support your local economy. Buy local, eat local, and live well. a
The Valley, May 2012
30 Wrapping Things Up from page 5 always make sure you know what you are collecting; finding a knowledgeable person to give you an occasional wild crafting tutorial is about the best way to begin to learn your environment. Always remembert, if you are thinking of gathering leaves in rural areas find out if the area is privately owned and GET PERMISSION FIRST (of course this also applies to any fruit growing neighbors). Then – and this is most important – MAKE SURE THAT THERE HAS BEEN NOTHING SPRAYED ON OR NEAR THE VINES you are planning to harvest from. Also, think twice about gathering close to roads or streets since, more often than not, heavy metals from traffic exhaust can be found on or in roadside plants - pretty much putting the skybosh to their value as food. As soon as grapevines begin their yearly growth, we can begin to enjoy them. The tiny, opening leaves are very tender with a tart flavor that contrasts well with fresh spring greens in salads. Since just a few per serving are enough to add a special touch the vines won’t miss this minimal, early harvest and it gives the taste buds a hint of more to come while waiting for the leaves to attain their full size for stuffing. When the grape leaves are fully developed but still young – a finger nail should pierce the stems easily – the time has arrived. Choose the largest leaves and pick only a few from each vine; if you’ve harvested wisely you should barely be able to tell that any are missing. Although green grape leaves are usable any time during the growing season, the tough mature leaves are more suited for use in pickling or for wrapping around game birds or small cuts of meat before roasting. It’s the first spring leaves that make the most toothsome dolmathes. For year round enjoyment, it IS possible to preserve the young leaves with salt for later use. Also, it makes sense that with a bit of experimenting you should be able to can your homemade stuffed grape leaves, as is done commercially. Freezing the finished product works as well but the leaves may get a bit chewy using this preservation method. There is, however, much to be said for seasonal eating. Not everything must, or even should, be preserved for later use; the special treats that come once a year help to mark our place in the flow of the seasons.
How many leaves you harvest depends on how abundant they are and how much you want to indulge. If stuffing grape leaves is new to you a couple dozen or so should be enough for a first try; experienced vine leaf eaters may pick a couple hundred (not all at once, you understand) to have enough to share with family and friends. A roomy container and a pair of scissors will help the work to go quickly. Ideally, you should pick the leaves the day you’re going to use them (we usually do this in early morning), but they’ll stay in the fridge a day or two if they have to – WHICH REMINDS ME! At the risk of getting off on a tangent (when do I ever), here’s an idea for the chronically curious among us. It’s a well known fact that plants change their chemistryand therefore their taste- not just throughout the growing season but throughout the day as well. That’s part of the reason, for example, why the time of day when we cut our hay helps to dictate how yummy it is for our critters and, consequently, how yummy our critters (or their milk) are for us. This is equally true of the plants we raise to eat directly – for instance, many of us in Mifflin County are lucky enough to know how sweet corn picked in the cool of the morning and cooked very soon after tastes differently from sweet corn picked late in the afternoon and cooked after a day or two in a refrigerator. It makes sense that the same applies to grape leaves. So, if someone out there will do some comparison tastings (or perhaps use their Brix meter) to see what time of day really IS the best for picking the leaves and making dolmathes, we will all be quite grateful! Getting back on track, let’s talk about what we wrap the grape leaves around. As the legend illustrates, it may well have been dire straits that prompted the first stuffed grape leaf and that stuffing may not have been concocted of the tastiest ingredients. Luckily for us, what began as survival food- as often happens given enough time and change of fortune - often becomes haute cuisine and so it is with our dolmathes. To say that the ingredients have improved over twenty three centuries is a touch of understatement and while it’s always a good idea to follow a new recipe exactly the first time around, just to get your feet wet, remember that nothing is carved in stone so don’t hesitate to experiment. Many of the filling recipes you’ll run across will contain meat of some sort- usually ground
lamb or beef. But there’s no reason you can’t substitute goat, poultry, pork or rabbit if that’s what you happen to raise or have on hand; what a good use for those pesky groundhogs! In addition, there’s probably going to be some type of grain in the ingredients and it’s almost always rice. But any small grain, such as barley, bulgur wheat, quinoa, oats and so on, can work as well; especially the bulgur wheat since it’s so easy to grow (and make) hereabouts. Further, you’ll find any number of herbs and/or spices, dried fruits and perhaps nuts thrown in for good measure. No matter how unlikely the combination may seem to you, don’t hesitate to try these at least once since it can be a delicious surprise how some of them blend together. But for now, let’s start with simple. This recipe is a good introduction if you’ve never eaten a grape leaf before. So this spring, add something new to your culinary repertoire using something new from the natural abundance that surrounds us and your tables, as well as your taste buds, will be the better for it. Simple Stuffed Grape Leaves Stuffing: enough for about 30 dolmathes. 3 ½ cups cooked small grain (rice, bulgur wheat, barley, etc) 1 cup finely diced onion (white, yellow, red, green spring – whatever you’ve got) ½ tsp. ground black pepper (or to taste) 2 tbl. finely cut fresh dill (or more if you like dill- half this amount if it’s dried) 1 tbl. extra virgin olive oil 1 tbl. fresh lemon juice (squeeze out a whole lemon, you’ll be using more) Mix all ingredients together and set aside; making the filling ahead of time helps spread the work out and it can be refrigerated up to three days. Leaves: you should have about 40 leaves(always pick extra) To prepare your own grape leaves, trim off any remaining stem, wash, and then place in a large bowl. Pour enough boiling water onto the leaves to cover them, stirring around to make sure all of the leaves are scalded. Allow to soak one minute, drain and lay them out on towels to dry a bit. If you are using bottled leaves* rinse them in plenty of water after you remove them from the jar, drain and dry. To make: Take a grape leaf and lay it on your work area with the underside of the leaf facing up and the
stem end pointing away from you. Using a tablespoon- the kind you measure ingredients with, not the kind you eat with, scoop up the filling and drag the filled tablespoon up the side of the bowl and across the rim to remove any excess. The filled spoon should be slightly mounded. Gently form the filling into a sausage shape, a bit less than two inches long. Place on the leaf just below the stem base. Now, fold the top of the leaf down over the filling and roll it about a half an inch towards the tip of the leaf. Fold both sides, firmly, in towards the center over the filling and then tightly roll the rest of the way. It’s important that the stuffed grape leaves are folded, tucked and rolled firmly. To cook: As you roll each dolmathes, place them side by side in your cooking container. What you use will depend on how you choose to cook them. If you are cooking on the stove (and a wood stove is GREAT for this since you can really control the heat) use a stainless steel or enamel pot with a lid. If you are using the oven method (preheat to 375 degrees) a glass or Corning Ware baking dish, about 8” x 8” and four inches deep with a tightly fitting lid will work. Either way, put a bit of olive oil on the bottom of your container and line it with several of the extra grape leaves. Then place the filled leaves, with the tip down, in snug rows. When the first layer is
in, sprinkle on a tablespoon of olive oil and a tablespoon of lemon juice, then lay in the second layer (bigger batches just mean more layers). Again, add olive oil and whatever lemon juice you have left. Cover with a few more extra leaves and place a flat, heat proof dish on top of the contents to help keep everything in place. Pour on enough boiling water to barely cover, place in the oven or bring to a boil on the stove, then reduce to a gentle simmer and cook, lid in place, until you can poke a stuffed grape leaf with a fork and meet no resistance; they have to be butter soft. Check after an hour and every fifteen minutes thereafter. Remove from the heat (or oven) and serve hot or allow to cool and then refrigerate. Hot, cold or room temperature, stuffed grape leaves can be served as an appetizer, a snack or part of a meal. * Frugal Hint: the jars that preserved grape leaves are sold in are worth keeping. The lids are enameled inside and they have a rubber seal which makes them shut tightly – great for dried herbs and other such things that you want to keep dry. Resources: other than the www. Stalking the Wild Asparagus by Euell Gibbons The Craft of the Country Cook by Pat Katz The Complete Greek Cook Book by Theresa Karas Yianilos a
The Valley, May 2012
Lessons from the story of Joseph by Sarah Hurlburt Joseph was a good young man that had a lot of bad things happen to him. It is easy to ask why, when reading the account of Joseph, what was God’s purpose in all of Joseph’s hardships. One purpose for sure was God needed Joseph to be at the right place at the right time so that His Chosen People would be preserved in a time of severe famine. But also Joseph has taught us many great lessons and God recorded the specific things in His Word that he needed to be there to teach those that would read it later. So, Joseph starts out as a very special child to his parents because of Rachel being barren for so many years. When he is born he is named Yoseph. In Hebrew that meant “adding” or “he who adds.” As he grows, that “special” feeling that his father has for him is not shared by his brothers. They begin to resent him and feel a lot of jealousy towards Joseph, which from a human perspective you can
easily sympathize with the brothers. He is the child that can do no wrong. This, on a personal level, is a reminder to me as a parent that I need to love my children as individuals, but not show more attention or affection to one over another at the risk of causing jealous or bitter feelings in the others. Now, as Joseph shares his dreams, he crosses a line with his brothers and they let their bitterness get the better of them and decide to kill him. But one of them is sensible enough, or caring enough, to not want to take it to that level. So, Joseph ends up getting sold into slavery, taken to Egypt and his life at this point in the story seems to be over from a human’s perspective. He will live out his days unnoticed and mistreated as a slave. But, God has a master plan and Joseph is a key player. So God ensures that Joseph gets recognized as the outstanding young man that he is. Potipher begins to reward him
for his integrity and hard work and the reader of the story says it’s about time he gets a break. But wait it gets worse. Potipher’s wife wrongly accuses Joseph of sexual harassment, because she was mad at him for being a “real man.” She tempted Joseph and tried to lure him into a sexual relationship with her, but Joseph being a real man says I need to do what’s right over what feels good in a moment. So this messed up woman ends up getting him thrown into prison on these false accusations. Lewistown, PA So, he’s hated by his brothers, sold into slavery, wrongly accused, wrongly imprisioned, and yet through all of this, does not turn his back on God. And very obviously, God does not turn his back on Joseph, because he not only gets him out of prison by helping him translate dreams, but he makes him one of the most powerful men in Egypt! Which in turn allows him to be where God jasonroyerhomes.com needed him to be when the famine arrives and Joseph
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helps preserve God’s people so that they might continue to grow and prosper. How incredible is that? God is so amazing and the Bible and History show it to us time and time again! One thing we must get from this story is the theme of forgiveness on Joseph’s part. God’s Grace and Power throughout this story are just amazing. Joseph not only forgives his brothers, but he embraces them and wants a relationship with them. He takes the forgiveness one step further and shows mercy on them and loves them for who they were when they reunited, not who they were all those years ago when they hurt him. This story shows me that hardships equal stronger people and forgiveness brings healing to everyone involved in those hardships. As I was thinking about this powerful story, I thought of James’ words in James 1:1-6 that he wrote to the “Twelve Tribes scattered among the nations.” He said “ Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. If any of you lacks wisdom he should ask God who gives generously to all without finding fault and it will be given to him. But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because “he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.” I could not help but think about how well this passage
described Joseph. A man of faith, perseverance and maturity. A man who obviously asked God for wisdom and had the faith to back it because God blessed him with it. I am working in my own life to have that kind of faith that brings about that kind of character in me. I am learning to consider it pure joy when I’m faced with trials knowing that God will graciously give me the wisdom I need to get through them. Although, I’m pretty certain I will never face the magnitude or multitude of trials that Joseph faced, I will face trials, but God still holds the masterplan and I am a key player in my part of the world. I am hoping we will all want to be more like Joseph and convince those around us not with words or lectures, but with actions that God is real, Jesus is Messiah and His spirit does actually dwell in us and has transformed us! We can SHOW them God’s love, and teach them from His Word who He is, God does the rest. Others can be drawn to God simply because of what they see in us. So many days we will feel like we fail miserably at this, but we cannot give up. Our society, like the one Joseph was thrust into, is facing many hardships and possible calamities. We have to stand strong in our faith and never forget the most important type of preparedness we can have is a deeply rooted faith in God and complete trust in His plan. We can be open to God using us to be a key player in whatever is to come because after all this is just our temporary home. a
The Valley, May 2012
The Valley, May 2012
Back Talk by Dr. Joseph Kauffman
DTaP Vaccine Part Two
Vaccines have come under public scrutiny lately as parents are becoming more aware of their toxic ingredients. Aluminum is a heavy metal with known neurotoxic effects on human and animal nervous systems. It can be found in the following childhood vaccines – DTaP, Pediarix (DTaPHepatitis B-Polio combination), Pentacel (DTaP-HIB-Polio combination), Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, Haemophilus influenzae B (HIB), Human Papilloma Virus (HPV), and Pneumococcal vaccines.  “The DTaP shot (Infanrix) is given at 2, 4, 6 and 15 months. Each dose contains 625 mcg of aluminum.” The CDC shows 6 different DTaP vaccines each by a different manufacturer and they all contain ingredients such as formaldehyde, glutaraldehyde, aluminum hydroxide, aluminum phosphate and bovine extracts! “In 2011, the National Toxicology Program, an interagency program of the Department of Health and Human Services, named formaldehyde as a known human carcinogen in its 12th Report on Carcinogens (3).” http://thinktwice.com/aluminum. pdf, http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/pubs/pinkbook/downloads/ appendices/b/excipient-table-2. pdf, http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/factsheet/Risk/formaldehyde “A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association* found that children diagnosed with asthma (a respiratory ailment not unlike SIDS) were five times more likely than not to have received pertussis vaccine. (1) Another study found that babies die at a rate eight times greater than normal within three days after getting a DPT shot. (2) The three primary doses of DPT are given at two months, four months, and six months. About 85 percent of SIDS cases occur at one through six months, with the peak incidence at age two to four months. In a recent scientific study of SIDS, episodes of apnea (cessation of breathing) and hypopnea (abnormally shallow breathing) were measured before and after DPT vaccinations. “Cotwatch” (a precise breathing monitor) was
used, and the computer printouts it generated (in integrals of the weighted apnea-hypopnea density -- WAHD) were analyzed. The data clearly shows that vaccination caused an extraordinary increase in episodes where breathing either nearly ceased or stopped completely. These episodes continued for months following vaccinations. Dr. Viera Scheibner, the author of the study, concluded that ‘vaccination is the single most prevalent and most preventable cause of infant deaths.’” http://www.thinktwice.com/sids.htm The above paragraphs were taken from a website, www.thinktwice. com. If you search DTaP on the site, you can see many examples of people whose children suffered adverse reactions due to the DTaP or DTP vaccine. In most cases, the stories are very similar. Their child was a totally healthy, functioning child but then he/ she received either the DTP or DTaP vaccine and suffered a bad reaction because of it. Some of them stated that a huge red lump develops at the site of injection, typically on the leg and then hours, days or a few weeks following the vaccine, the child’s health suddenly diminished. Many cite respiratory problems, ADHD diagnoses, fevers and in quite a few cases even death that gets labeled SIDS or Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. Their stories by far outweigh
anything that I can say on here. And, of course, their pediatricians refuse to link the shots with the reactions. But, how else can you explain how you can take a totally healthy baby, give them a vaccine
and within hours to a few weeks health deteriorates to death? But, there is no link? Really? There is tons of information out there in the forms of books, magazine articles and internet sites that can provide research about DTaP, both pro and con. A good book to start with is Vaccine Safety Manual. Good websites are www.thinktwice.com, www. vaers.hhs.gov, and www.nvic. org. In my opinion, of the three diseases that are attempted to prevent with this vaccine, Pertussis is the only one that is relevant. Diphtheria hasn’t been found in the US since 2003. So, why vaccinate against a disease that rarely occurs? We don’t still vaccinate for small pox? Tetanus is mostly
spread through manure and then only when the bacteria enter an open cut or wound. Most of the bacteria can be eliminated by thoroughly cleaning the injured area. But, if your child is near a farm and cuts his/her hand, a tetanus antitoxin shot can be administered to prevent the possible infection. However, if your child is not in contact with manure, why get the tetanus shot? It seems that getting the pertussis vaccine does not guarantee protection. As with most cases, if an outbreak of pertussis or whooping cough arises, children are susceptible to get it even if they’ve been vaccinated against it. So, when you
Continued on page 36
The Valley, May 2012
Joanne Wills’ Contentment Quest What Were You Thinking?! Habits are hard to break, and our “thinking” practices really can be the hardest routine of all to change. But, if we desire a change in external circumstances in our life, then we must first center our attention on our thoughts. What are your thoughts producing? Emmet Fox stated “What you think in your mind you will produce in your experience. As within, so without. You cannot think one thing and produce another.” What have you been thinking about? What have you been telling yourself… about your appearance, abilities, strengths, and ambitions? Has your self-talk been laced with negative undertones? Have you gulped down the poison of negative self-talk or sipped teaspoons of grit soup as you permitted others to talk negatively about you or your
ambitions? Are you the positive Pollyanna in a group of negative Nellie’s… or is it the other way around? As within, so without. Every aspect of our lives – finances, health, and relationships – can divulge a peek into our thoughts and beliefs. James Adams spoke of this when he said “Circumstances do not make a man, they reveal him.” Most people believe that the state of their thinking is because of their circumstances – not that their thought power manifested their circumstances, wanted or unwanted. The great thinkers, teachers, and mystics have promoted the message that everything is energy, and in recent years modern science has confirmed it. Modern science has confirmed that there is a “vibratory energy” to our
thoughts – our thoughts are alive. In other words, science has conducted research to ascertain that each time we entertain a precise thought; a very explicit equivalent energy frequency can be detected. Lends a whole new “thought” to the term “good vibrations” doesn’t it?! The more energy we give a particular thought the greater the power to attract its corresponding circumstance into our lives. For example, dominant positive thoughts of compassion, empathy, and love will attract circumstances and fellow thinkers of the same. Dominant negative thoughts of fear, worry, and pain will also magnetize downbeat people and circumstances into our lives. You attract yourself to circumstances and people that are in harmony with your dominant attitude, beliefs, and mental state of being. Look around you… what are you currently magnetizing? Are you surrounded by support and benevolence, or is malevolence and
animosity lurking nearby? Do you wish to change what surrounds you? Spend some time with the questions and fashion an answer based on your gut truth. Then, move forward into a new thinking pattern if you desire change. If one desires change, how does one go about attaining and maintaining a positive change in one’s thinking or mental attitude? Refining or transforming our attitudes and thoughts takes intention and conscious effort. First, begin with setting your mental intention for the day upon waking. Before you even put your feet on the floor in the morning light, produce a “good” thought and good-feeling. Several easy and fast ways to set positive intention for the new day are: Give thanks for the new day, read a scripture verse in the Bible or a devotional. Take inventory from toes to head for your wonderful body beautifully crafted from the most high God. Set an intention to be of service, and to be aware of those in need. Smile, and just place your hand over your heart. One of my favorite ways to set my intention and positivity for my day is smile when my alarm goes off. I smile each day when my cell phone alarm sounds – it’s a rooster cockadoo! I love it. It’s
quirky and fun, and it brings a smile to my face (not sure that the rest of my household members would agree with me – ha!). Next, I give thanks for something – the sunshine or rain; the fluffy warm blanket; the aroma of brewing coffee, etc. “In everything give thanks…” (1 Thessalonians 5:18), I really try hard… really strive with intent, to give thanks for everything (what feels like good or bad) everyday. Ann Voskamp’s book “One Thousand Gifts” flooded my life with piercing light on the subject of giving thanks and finding grace in the ordinary. I can’t do her book justice with my words… can’t say enough about her precision with the pen to thus invoke new sight for eyes long blinded to the Truth. If you want to adjust your attitude and thinking, read her book… then set intention to live it. Another way I stomp out negativity is to listen to instrumental music. Having practiced massage therapy for a number of years, I have a great library of CDs that can deliver a quick dose of good vibrations and positivity. Might I suggest that you take an inventory of the music, news, or media that you are listening to? Might you consider listening
Continued on page 36
The Valley, May 2012
Life in the East End by Rebecca Harrop Life in the East End is moving right along. April was a busy month. We got all the pen manure hauled, which is always a good thing. Uncle Bob hauled a lot of the slurry store manure as well. We planted alfalfa and oats. Dad was telling us this year was the earliest we ever planted alfalfa. They will soon start planting corn. I understand there has been some corn already planted in the valley so the spring planting season is well underway. We will probably soon start chopping alfalfa for haylage also. The cycle of planting and storing up for winter begins again. One early spring activity we don’t do anymore is dehorning cattle. My Dad was telling me about how farmers used to dehorn all the yearling cattle in early spring before it got too warm. We do ours now as small calves with an electric de-horner which hardly bothers them at all. My Pap Goss has a large set and a small set of de-horners that he used to dehorn all his uncle’s cattle with. He got them from his grandfather. My Mom remembers when Pap worked all week and then on Saturdays he would take turns going to the different relatives to dehorn. Mom went along a couple times. It was hard work because the cattle at that age weigh around 600 to 800 lbs. There were usually a few bigger that weren’t old enough the year before, so it was a tough job. Pap usually came home covered in blood and manure. Some people may think dehorning is cruel and hurts the cattle, but it helps prevent injuries to the farmers and to other cattle. Cattle will use their heads to move things or hit something and if they have horns they can do serious damage. Cows do fight sometimes just like people, except they use their heads instead of fists. Think about those horns that are pointed and that it would be like a spike stabbing into something. Even a friendly cow will come up and rub her head on you, but if she has horns she can hurt you without intending to. I remember one cow we had with one horn that somehow didn’t get removed. It started to grow around and would have grown into her skull if it wasn’t removed. What may appear to some people
to be cruel is actually not. As far as pain, doing it as older cattle, after the first day it really doesn’t seem to bother them according to my Dad. It would be like a headache I imagine. There is aspirin for cattle that you can give them. Since we do ours as calves, it doesn’t seem to bother them at all. David and Janie Esh, our neighbors, had an apple butter boil in March. Several of their neighbors and friends were there to help. Apple Butter Boils are another activity like the family butchering that isn’t done much anymore. It takes a special copper kettle and lots of cider and apples. You have to boil the cider down before you add the apples. The apples are cored, peeled and sliced either the night before or while the cider boils. Once it is boiled down to the right amount you add the apples. Then it is just a matter of stirring and cooking the mixture down to the correct thickness. This all takes several hours. So while the apple butter cooks down everyone has a chance to visit and catch up with family news. I really enjoyed that time. I helped put the lids on the jars and wiped them off once they were filled. All in all it is a great way to spend the day with good people. And of course it was delicious.
I want to end this month’s article with mention of three people that have passed away the last couple months in the East End, Jim Hurlburt, Linda Savitts, and Betty Houser. All three are people that my family has known for years. Jim was partners with Stanley Savitts in the local sawmill for years and a local farmer. While the sawmill operated, most everyone who needed lumber went to Hurlburt and Savitts. If you had trees that you wanted to timber, you called them as well. Dad said once he needed planks for butchering and he went to Jim. When Dad asked how much he owed him, Jim said to bring him a pan
of ponhaus. Dad took him 2 pans. Jim was a very nice man, honest, hard working and will be greatly missed. Linda Savitts was part of the local Siglerville Homemakers group, Siglerville Bingo, and many other community activities. While we were waiting in line at her viewing, we heard many, many stories of her kindness and generosity. She also will be greatly missed. Betty Houser also passed away recently. She was a member of the Siglerville Grange, Siglerville White Memorial Congregational Church and other community groups. She was well known for her baked goods around the community. My Dad likes to tell us about one of her meals he had once. He had been helping do something at their farm and farmers always feed their help. Betty served Oyster stew and my Dad does NOT like Oyster stew. He said he was raised to eat whatever you were offered
when you were at someone else’s house. So he had to eat it. I think he just ate the broth. Dad also said he had one of the best meals he ever had at Betty’s on another occasion he had been helping at Houser’s. Betty made breaded veil which Dad loves. Dad laughs and says he had the best and the
worst at Houser’s. When Dad and his family first moved to Mifflin County from Chester County, the Hurlburts, Savitts and Houser’s were some of the first people they met. To all three families I would like to extend my sympathy. a
The Valley, May 2012
Home-Grown! A Homeschooler’s Perspective By Mary Eck
By now, you or your students— probably both!—are in the early throes of that dreaded focus-buster, a.k.a. “spring fever”! The perennial syndrome is blamed for countless lapses in concentration and lost productivity, and few are those immune to the potent lure of returning warmth, light breezes, bold hues…and all the promises of summer. So, then, how IS a homeschooling parent to cope?! A plan of attack is definitely called for, which means a proactive approach rather than the typical reactive one. For example, you know those utterly forlorn, daydreaming postures with pencil in hand and eyes glazed-andelsewhere are bound to tug at your heart, especially if your schoolroom is adorned with a window. Instead of waiting for the inevitable, preempt it with a suggestion that your child take today’s history or grammar outside to the hammock or a well-placed blanket and pillow. His or her look of shock and bewilderment alone may be worth the exercise itself, and you will no doubt rack up some points for compassion and (potentially) improve your cool factor rating! Another option is to work in cahoots with the parent of one of your child’s friends and outline a month-long team project (science assignments like insect collecting are ideal) that encourages quasi-structured outdoor time as a
means to an academic end. It satisfies the social yearn, as well, and can really give students something to look forward to. If you are up for a hardier challenge, actually moving the classroom outside for a full morning or afternoon session, as the weather allows, can literally infuse a breath of fresh air into your teacher/student dynamic. Even better yet if you are ahead of the game enough to set aside a handful of lessons handpicked from across your curriculum that are well-suited to an outdoor setting (this would never be me, by the way). The possibilities are only as limited as your imagination and willingness to extend the “leash” a bit, in faith. It’s the old standby, “give-a-little to get-a-little” tactic that is customizable to you and yours! I think, too, we parents need to, within reason of course, be aware and allow those dips in attentiveness as fully within human nature—even our own. The act of empathizing rather than criticizing can open the relational door for sharing tips and strategies for combating restlessness and distraction and guiding our children through the self-discovery process that engenders self-discipline. Of course, I should mention that every school year should culminate in some activity with enough “wow factor” that your students are in countdown mode,
Library Lines from page 39
Holli has the every other month Book Club on the first Monday at 6:30pm. Both are held at Lewistown in the Community Room. Sandy at our Rothrock Branch keeps our web page up to date and she keeps us up to date with a lot of useful information and lets us know what is going on at each Branch. Last year interested and concerned people in our community formed Friends of the Mifflin County Library. In their first year they were very successful in raising funds to support the library. They work throughout the county meeting new friends and making
some work coordinating and running our twice a year Book Sale, some work at the Circulation Desk. We would be lost without them and their enthusiastic attitudes. If you like to read and discuss books, we have three Book Clubs. The Kish Branch Book Club meets every month at 6:30pm, call Holli for details at 935-2880. In Lewistown, Betsy leads the group on the second Wednesday at 1:00pm, you can reach her at 2422391 for more information and
and concur effortlessly with your gameplan of getting academic workloads done in a timely manner. Yes, bribery is alive and well as part of the homeschool parent’s arsenal; but, I prefer the term, “enticement”! Whether it’s visiting the local ice cream parlor for “the works,” hosting a fun-filled summer kick-off pool or slumber party, or day-vacationing at an amusement park hotspot, choose something a little (or a lot) out of the ordinary and then go all-out with a peppy, household-wide marketing campaign that ramps up the enthusiasm and anticipation to levels that make your students putty in your hands. Just remember, there is no shame in being resourceful! The fact is, this is the time of year for busier schedules and distractions galore. Spring fever is certainly a formidable foe in the face of those looming, equallyperennial portfolio and evaluation deadlines. Conventionally speaking, the odds are (to make a humorous understatement) so NOT in our favor. But, morale often plays nearly as big a role in warfare as any tactical or combat skill, and reminding our “troops” what’s “in it” for them is sometimes all that is needed to rally them. So, just a little persistence… and some well-timed and –devised subterfuge can be just enough to turn mission impossible into mission accomplished. Hold the line, General, and this year’s academic conquest is imminent! Ahhh, the many hats we must wear! a folks aware of the many activities of the Mifflin County Library besides providing books. Please support their efforts and fundraisers. If you are stumped by your Nook or Kindle, Miss Susan can help you get started downloading books. She is a great teacher and makes it so easy. She is available most afternoons by appointment. If she is not here, ask for Betsy or Marsha, they are my go-to people too. To make arrangements, call the Library at 242-2391.
Contentment Quest from page 34 to an audio book in exchange for media on occasion? Maybe listen to the audio book while you clean, cook, or exercise rather than your routine tunes? If you are ingesting large doses of negativity via media during your daily commute it will impact you attitude – even in a subtle way. Counteract the effect of such negativity by reducing exposure or adding a form of positivity immediately following exposure. You may find that reading a positive quote, devotional, scripture passage, or even a comic strip may lighten the load. I chose a quick-fix exercise to counteract negativity. I do a wonderful “pick me up” exercise in briefly closing my eyes, placing one hand on my heart and the other hand on my tummy, then I slowly inhale through my nose and exhale slowly through my lips. As I do the exercise, I imagine filling my heart with love, ridding my tummy of anxiety, breathing in the wonderful blessing of life, and exhaling control over the outcome of anything. The exercise calms and centers my being and my thoughts. If you are a “techie,” you may enjoy receiving a daily affirmation, quote, or passage via smart phone or email. There are several great sites that deliver daily doses of optimism. One of my personal favorites is “Napoleon Hill Thought for the Day.” “The Positivity Blog” and “Keeping it Personal Blog” are also great sites to receive a boost of encouragement. How about setting your desktop or screen saver to remind you of the positive? Wouldn’t a beautiful beach scene beckon you to relax, breathe deep, and smile? What if your screen saver served up words like “Gratitude, blessing, thankfulness, happiness, and joy? Would it be easier to remem-
“Congress has not unlimited powers to provide for the general welfare, but only those specifically enumerated.”
Dorothy Coffman a
ber to be positive – to maintain an uplifted attitude among the messiness of our lives with such subtle technological reminders? Get creative and scope out ways that you can promote a positive attitude – ways that you can spread light. Pledge to surround yourself with positive people. If you must encounter negative people (or negative thought patterns), protect yourself with a silent prayer. Pledge not to permit their negativity to infuse your day. Leave their company as soon as possible if they choose not to lighten their attitude. Research has touted that the average person has between 12,000 – 70,000 thoughts per day! That’s a lot of thinking power going on… in our families, workplaces, worship places, vehicles, and overall communities. Look around, can you guess what the dominant thinking power is in your family & home… in the places you frequent… in your community? If you don’t like what you see or feel step up to the plate and be the change you want to see… in your household, workplace, place of worship, community, and overall world. As you begin to pay attention to your dominant thoughts, and take action to cultivate a positive attitude and thinking pattern, you will notice that your random thoughts will become more intentional and optimistic. Your thoughts create your reality… choose to create a vibrant, energetic life. Choose to transform your life in miraculous ways. Choose joy. “Accept – then act. Whatever the present moment contains, accept it as if you had chosen it. Always work with it, not against it. This will miraculously transform your whole life.” ~Eckhart Tolle “Everyday brings a choice, to practice stress or to practice peace.” ~Joan Borysenko a
DTaP Vaccine from page 33 weigh the advantages and risks of getting the DTaP vaccine, you will see that the risks by far outweigh the advantages, especially when you consider the ingredients in the vaccine to preserve it such as the aluminum. It is wise to do your own studies and research and make the best decision for your child, instead of taking a medical doctor’s or pediatrician’s word on it. a
The Valley, May 2012
Ed’s Railroading News by Ed Forsythe
On March 26, Cathy and I visited the Kish Valley Historical Society Museum in Allensville, Pa. This is in the heart of The Big Valley just 9 miles from Belleville right along state route 655 in Allensville. This was the societie’s annual meeting/open house and the official reopening of the museum. The museum is open the 2nd and 4th Sundays 1:00 to 3:00 and the 2nd and 4th Mondays 10:00 to 2:00 April through October. For other information or personal tours please contact Mary Anne or Bill Stratton at 242-2666 or for genealogy Molly Bourg at 935-2440. We spent most of the evening looking at the train layout depicting the ‘’KV’’ Railroad operation in Belleville and running down the valley to Reedsville. There are many old buildings being represented in and around Belleville from the 1920’s through the 1940’s and the tracks are laid out
in accordance with how the real KVRR, also known as The Old Hook and Eye and as the Cookie Train, had been situated. Along the line is the Gibboney Park and a baseball field with kids playing ball and many other attractions to look at and remember. This layout was built by Fred Brown and will be available for everyone’s enjoyment until sometime near the end of July. Fred put many hours into this layout doing research, custom buildings and repainting of his American Flyer engine, tender and cars to look like the “KVRR” trains of old. Also at the museum you can do genealogy research and see many, many artifacts of the Kish Valley and the families that have lived there for many generations. Please take some time to visit this fine museum and show your appreciation for all the many hours and hard work that these folks have put into it.
Another great place to visit this summer is one of Huntingdon Counties best kept secrets, The Rockhill Trolley Museum. Almost every time I mention the Rockhill Trolley Museum I hear, “I didn’t know that was near here.” It’s just about 40 minutes from Lewistown, down Route 522 South to Orbisonia, turn right at the traffic light and travel about 1/2 mile to Rockhill Furnace. The trolley museum is just to the left, across the road from The East Broad Top Railroad. At the Rockhill Trolley Museum you can purchase your ticket and ride trolleys all day long for just one price on many different trolleys. We run about 20 different trolleys and trolley maintenance equipment, some that is over 100
Home Brew U
Adventures in Homebrewing by Kevin Morgan
Foraging for Beer
“For we could not now take time for further search our victuals being pretty much spent especially our beer.” --From the log of the Mayflower That’s right folks the pilgrims from the Mayflower stopped sailing and decided to wait out winter in Massachusetts because they were out of beer. During that time period it was safer to drink beer than water. The main reason was because it was boiled then fermented. This means it would keep longer. After that first harsh winter, one of crops planted was barley from seed brought over on the ship. However, since hops were scarce they had to get a little creative and forage for some ingredients to give their beer some flavor. Some of the ingredients used were birch, spruce, and dandelion. Dandelion, Taraxacum officinale, is an easily identified plant that can be used multiple ways in a brew. The jagged leaves are
tasty in a salad in early spring, but as the plant matures the leaves become bitter. These can be used in place of hops early in the boil to bitter it up. Use between 2 ounces to 1 pound of leaves in
dandelion wine. They are using the flower to get these results. I made it one time from a recipe I found online. Very sweet, I didn’t care for it much. You can also use the flower in a batch of mead (I will discuss mead in a later article). In both of these cases you want to remove all parts of the plant that are green; you are trying to use the nectar and pollen on the flower to add sweetness to the brew. Here is a two gallon batch of beer I made with dandelions.
Dandelion Wheat Beer 4 ounces Crystal Malt 4 ounces Aromatic Malt Start with 2 gallons spring water & add above grains. Raise temperature to 170 degrees Fahrenheit and Some see a weed, I see an opportuni- remove grains. ty. Dandelion Wheat has become one 10 ounces Honey of my favored original recipes. 2 ounces Amber Malt DME (Dried Malt Extract) 1 ½ LBS Wheat DME a five gallon batch on brew to Add above adjuncts and bring to achieve desired bitter flavor. The a boil. flower can be used also. You have 2 TBS (tablespoon) Williamette probably heard of locals making Hops= 60 minutes
years old. Yes, I said “We run,” as I am a trolley Motorman, that’s the person who drives the trolley. I’ve also served as a conductor, dispatcher, tour guide, museum and store clerk, cook, janitor and several other volunteer positions in order to have fun being involved with this fine museum effort. Some of the trolleys we run are #355 from Johnstown built in 1925, #163 from York built in 1924, #172, a 4 wheel bobber trolley that’s one of my favorites, built in 1929 that came to us with #249 and #64 all the way from Oporto, Portugal in 1967. Always
Continued on page 19
2 TBS Williamette Hops= last 30 minutes 1 TBS Williamette Hops, ½ LBS Dandelions Petals= last 15 minutes Add flavoring in above order. Reduce temperature to 70 degrees Fahrenheit and add spring water back up to a level two gallons then pitch brewer’s yeast. Ferment in primary for 2 weeks and age in secondary for another 2 weeks. Bottle with 1/3 cup of priming sugar and let it age another few weeks. This has been one of my more popular original recipes. With an alcohol content of around 6%, it is actually a lite drinking sweet malty brew that processes a beautiful golden color. Be careful where you harvest your dandelions, many people spray herbicide on this plant. If you are not sure do not pick them. There are numerous other plants that can be found in forests and meadows. To add bitterness to a beer, use thistle, stinging nettles, or yarrow during the boiling process at the same levels as dandelion leaves. If you want to add a woodsy taste to your beer use spruce tips and add them the last 5 minutes of the boil. Between 1 to 4 ounces of tips for a five gallon batch is recommended. If you want a sweet flavor instead, look for elderberry, mulberry, or wild blueberry to do the trick. You do
not want to boil the berries. Turn off the heat; pitch them into the pot and then steep for one hour. At this point add the whole lot to the fermenter and pitch yeast. Sometimes I like to add berries to the secondary fermenter; it really adds a berry flavor. If you want to try this steam the berries to kill off any wild yeast or bacteria for 10 minutes and mash lightly before you add them to the secondary. Keeping a journal of good foraging areas will help you remember when and where to revisit. In closing, always make sure your identification of any wild plant is 100% correct. There are numerous books to aid in your search. Until next month may every beer you pour have a good head and happy hunting. a
The Valley, May 2012
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The Valley, May 2012
Notes Hospital Hosts Annual Charity Golf Tournament Lewistown Healthcare Foundation and Friends of Lewistown Hospital are hosting their annual Charity Golf Tournament on June 12 and 13, 2012, at the Lewistown Country Club. Tournament features a scramble format with shotgun starts at 12:30pm both days. Register for your preferred day. Proceeds this year will benefit Lewistown Hospital’s pediatric patients and Education Department. For more information on playing, being a sponsor, or making a donation, call (717) 242-7365 or log onto www.lewistownhospital.org/ fundraising/golf.
Lewistown Hospital Offers Free Skin Cancer Screenings Lewistown Hospital’s Cancer Services is hosting a Free Skin Cancer Screening on Saturday, May 19, 2012, at the Community Cancer Treatment Center from 9:00am - 11:00am. Appointments are required. To register, call (717) 242-7143, MondayFriday, 8:00am - 4:00pm.
Diabetes Resource Center Offering Spring Diabetes Education Classes The Diabetes Resource Center at Lewistown Hospital is offering Spring Diabetes Education Classes during the day and evening. Day classes will be held weekly from 9am-11am starting May 9, 2012 and will be held once a week at the Lewistown Hospital through June 5. The topics for the classes include: Diabetes and Healthy Eating, Carb Counting, Monitoring and Exercise, Medications, and Reducing Risks. Class location will be provided upon registration. Three evening classes will be held on May 10, 17, and 31 from 5 – 6pm. Topics will include Know Your Numbers, Know Your Nutrition, and Know Your Healthy Steps. Class location will be in the Learning Lab, 4th Floor of the Hospital. Classes will be billed to the participants insurance. Contact your insurance provider with questions regarding coverage. Participants may bring a guest. Registration is required to attend. Please call Central Scheduling at (717) 242-7688 to register. The Diabetes Resource Center is recognized by the American Diabetes Association for meeting the National Standards for Diabetes Self-Management Training. For more information, visit www.lewistownhospital.org
Burnham Woman Wins Hospital John Deere Tractor Raffle Janice Peachey of Burnham is the winner of the John Deere tractor raffle supported by Friends of Lewistown Hospital and Brian Wert of Valley Ag & Turf.
Find us on The Valley Newspaper
Junior and Social member only. and tournaments to participate in What a wonderful way to get Memberships also include unas well as a place to hold social or stay in shape, while still being limited outdoor court use, and let able to enjoy time with the family, events in their beautiful clubme tell you, the newly refinished house. I was also informed that and it is right in our backyard! courts are gorgeous. this clubhouse is available for Walnut Springs Racquet Did I mention that this was a rent, what a wonderful place to Club, 443 Airport Road in Reedsparticularly good way for families hold a private event. ville is a beautiful facility that to spend time together while get Walnut Springs has very afcaters to tennis players of ALL ting their exercise abilities. Walnut and having fun at Springs is located the same time? in a quiet country Walnut Spring’s setting away from mission is stated the hustle and busas being organtle of town, a place ized to “advance to re-charge and and promote the relax. With three sport of tennis as lighted outdoor a lifelong activity courts and a court and to provide the inside as well, environment to there are plenty of accomplish that options for busy goal.” From what families or singles I saw, they have to take advantage accomplished of. their mission, all Lessons are they need is YOU available so fami- The beautiful courts and gorgeous country setting make and your family lies can learn and Walnut Springs the perfect place to get healthy! to make it comcompete together, plete! Call (717) and improve their 667-9111 for more information or fordable fees and several memskills while still being together as to set up a visit. a bership options from County a family. Resident, Out of County resident, The club also offers leagues
LIbrary Lines Your Mifflin County Library
I thought that this month we would talk a little about our Library and the Central Pennsylvania Library District. Mifflin County belongs to a four county district. The District Center is at the Schlow Library in State College. Centre County, Clearfield County, Mifflin County and Juniata County make up the District. We are blessed as a small county to have five libraries in Mifflin County. They are located in Allenville, Belleville, Lewistown, Milroy, and McVeytown. The much larger counties do not fare as well, Centre County has 5, Clearfield County has 6 and Juniata County has a library, but no branches. In addition to books, each of our libraries offer cd’s, videos, mp3 players, fax service, internets for public use, copiers, dvd’s , video cassettes and interlibrary loans. If we own a book that is checked out we can reserve it for
you. Copies are .25 each, faxes are 1.oo per page, dvds rent for 2.00 for 2 days, video cassettes are 1.oo for 2 days. Fines for overdue books are .25 per day. All these services are available at each Branch. Unfortunately, we do not have music cds. If you need a book that we do not own, let our staff know. We have access to all libraries in Pennsylvania. There is no charge for this service and is very helpful especially for students needing more information for their papers and reports. It usually takes 1-2 weeks for us to receive a book. It can be checked out for 3 weeks and cannot be renewed. Books by Mail is a program that Schlow has and is available to all residents of our District. This is a great program for folks who cannot go to the library. Forms can be picked up at any Branch. Books will be sent directly to the home.
April 8-14 was National Library Week and we hope you stopped in to say hello to our staff. Carol Veitch is the Director of the Mifflin County Library and is responsible for running all five libraries. Charlotte is our manager at the Allensville Branch. Holli is at our Kish Branch, Kelley at Milroy and Sandy at our Rothrock Branch. Here in Lewistown Denna, Marianne, Lisa and Dorothy are at the Circulation Desk. Kathy is our Administrative Assistant. Traveling downstairs, Betsy and Marsha order our books, process them and take care of keeping our computers running. In the Children’s Room, Miss Susan, Miss Sandy, Miss Chris and Miss Kelly do all the children’s programming and are now gearing up for the Summer Reading Program. Miss Sandy is leaving us in May and we will all miss her. We all wear many different hats and try to fill in where we can. April 15-21 was National Volunteer Week. We have a wonderful group of volunteers at all of our branches. Jr. Volunteers work with the Children’s Department,
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The Valley, May 2012
POOR WILL’S VALLEY ALMANACK for May of 2012 One has only to sit down in the woods or fields or by the shore of the river or lake, and nearly everything of interest will come round. The change of the seasons is like the passage of strange and new countries; the zones of the earth, with all their beauties and marvels, pass one’s door. John Burroughs THE STARS As Leo moves off to the west by ten o’clock at night, the likelihood of frost diminishes sharply at lower elevations along the 40th Parallel, and tender bedding plants, tomatoes and peppers can be set out - as long as you protect them on cooler nights. When Leo has moved well into the southwest, and Arcturus is almost in the center of the sky, and the Milky Way fills the southeast, then frost should stay away until October. THE METEORS On May 5-6, the Eta Aquarid meteor shower falls near Aquarius, low in the southeast several hours after midnight. The bright full moon, however, may limit the number of shooting stars you will see. THE PLANETS Mars, in Leo, lies in the western sky after sundown, fading into the west by midnight. Jupiter reappears as one of the two morning stars (Venus is the other) in Taurus at the end of the month. In Virgo, Saturn is well up in the east at dusk, setting before dawn. THE SUN On May 21, the sun enters Gemini and reaches a declination of 20 degrees nine minutes, that’s
almost 90 percent of the way to summer solstice. The period between that date and July is the most stable solar time of summer.
skies, making it historically one of only a handful of such days in the year. The 8th through the 10th are not all that
MAY- WEEK 1 THE SECOND WEEK OF LATE SPRING LUNAR PHASE AND LORE The Frog and Toad Mating Moon waxes throughout the first days of May, becoming full on the 5th at 10:35 p.m. Seeding of all flowers and of vegetables that produce their fruit above the ground is recommended prior to full moon, especially in Scorpio on May 4 - 6. After the 5th, the placement of bedding plants and vegetable sets, shrubs and trees, is recommended during the moon’s third quarter. The gibbous moon will move overhead in the middle of the night during the first week of May, making that time the best lunar period for angling (but the worst for dieting), especially as the barometer falls prior to the May 2 and 7 cool fronts. The full May moon not only stimulates frogs and toads but is often associated with a rise in crime, rash behavior, passion and accidents.
MAY - WEEK 2 THE THIRD WEEK OF LATE SPRING LUNAR PHASE AND LORE The Frog and Toad Mating Moon wanes throughout the second week of May, entering its final quarter at 4:47 p.m. on the 12th. Rising after midnight and setting before noon, this moon is overhead near dawn, making that time of day the most promising for fishing (but hard for dieters). As a cool front approaches between May 10 and 12, morning angling should be even better. The weak, waning moon should reduce stress through the middle of the month, easing the loads of healthcare workers, parents, teachers and police. Planting of root crops and the setting out of bedding plants, shrubs and trees are favored by the wanting moon when it passes through Capricorn on May 8 - 11 and through Pisces on May 13 15.
WEATHER PATTERNS This quarter of May brings highs above 60 on 75 percent of the afternoons, and warm 70s or 80s a little more than half the years. May 2 is often the coldest day of the period, bringing cool 50s on 35 percent of the afternoons, and a 20 percent chance for 70s or 80s. Frost strikes only ten to 15 percent of the mornings and is most likely after the first high pressure system of the month passes through around the 2nd of the month, and after the second system arrives near the 7th. Each day of the period carries at least a 30 to 35 percent chance for a shower, but some of those days have a much better chance for sun than others. The 6th has an unusual 95 percent chance for clear to partly cloudy
WEATHER PATTERNS An average day in May’s second quarter brings rain 25 to 40 percent of the time. The 8th, 11th and the 13th are likely to the driest of the week, the 12th and 14th the wettest. Typical highs almost always reach above 60 degrees after the 10th of May, and they rise to 70 or above at least 60 percent of the afternoons. May 11 is the day with the warmest weather history of the month: a full 50 percent of May 11ths bring temperatures in the 80s, something which doesn’t happen again until the first of June. Also after the !0th of May, the chances of a killing frost drop below five percent. MAY - WEEK 3 THE FINAL WEEK OF LATE SPRING LUNAR PHASE AND LORE
The Frog and Toad Mating Moon wanes throughout the period, becoming the Black Swallowtail Moon on May 20 at 6:46 p.m. Rising before the sun and setting in the afternoon, this moon lies overhead in the late morning. Lunar position above fish, livestock, children and dieters encourages eating. This is most notably true when the barometer drops in advance of a cold wave (this week on May 15 and 21). The dark moon throughout the period will be ideal for all field planting of corn and soybeans, the seeding of all types of garden vegetables and flowers, and landscape work of all kinds especially on May 18 - 20 in Taurus and May 23 - 25 in Cancer. WEATHER PATTERNS Temperatures are usually above 60 degrees this week, with the chances for 70s or better rising to 70 percent, a ten percent increase over last week’s chances. Cold temperatures in the 50s occur rarely, but if they do appear, it is typically on the 21st and 24th. Chances for frost are low, but tender plants are in somedanger after the passage of May’s fourth cold front on the 15th and fifth cold front on the 20th. The 18th, 19th, and 22nd are the wettest days in the period; the 20th and the 21st are the least likely to bring precipitation. MAY - WEEK 4 THE FIRST WEEK OF EARLY SUYMMER LUNAR PHASE AND LORE The Black Swallowtail Moon waxes throughout the final week of May, entering its second quarter at 3:16 p.m. on the 28th. Rising in the middle of the morning and setting in the middle of the night, this moon is overhead in the afternoon, making the period between lunch and bedtime the most productive lunar time for fishing, feeding livestock and children. As the moon wanes and weakens toward its second phase it will be
conducive to reduced stress and lighter spring fever. It will also favor the planting of all kinds of vegetables that will produce their fruit above the ground and all your summer flowers, especially when it moves through Cancer May 23 - 25. WEATHER PATTERNS The final week of May is typically a wet one, with completely overcast conditions more common than during any other time of the month. On the 25th, 26th and 27th rain falls between 50 and 60 percent of the time and the 29th is one of the rainiest days in the whole year - bringing precipitation 70 percent of the days. Average temperature distribution for this time of the month is as follows: five percent chance for highs in the 90s, thirty percent for 80s, thirty percent for 70s, twenty-five percent for 60s, and ten percent for 50s. The brightest days of the week are usually the 27th and 30th, both having an 70 percent chance for sunshine. The darkest day is the 25th, which has only a 50 percent chance for a break in the clouds. A DAYBOOK FOR MAY May 1: Cool fronts are due to reach Pennsylvania on or about May 2, 7, 12, 15, 21, 24, and 29. Full moon on May 5 and new moon on May 20 could contribute to unseasonable cold and to unstable meteorological conditions. Tornadoes, floods or prolonged periods of soggy pasture are most likely to occur within the following windows: May 3 – 12 and May 17 – 24. May 2: The warmest May days, those with the best chance (40 percent or better chance for a day above 80 degrees) are the 11th through the 14th, the 16th, the 20th through the 22nd, the 25th, and the 31st. The coldest days in May, those with at least a 40
The Valley, May 2012 percent chance for highs below 70 degrees, are the 1st through the 8th, the 12th, 13th, and 15th. May 3: At this time, explore the possibility of marketing lambs and kids to consumers who are celebrating the graduation of a child from high school or college. Animals born in late winter and spring may be suitable for this market. May 4: Full moon tomorrow may increase the chances for storms, and then frost. Horses and friends may be harder to handle. May 5: Today is Cinco de Mayo, a traditional Mexican and Mexican-American celebration. Lambs and kids may be in demand for the Hispanic market around this date. A 20 - 35 pound live weight milkfed animal is favored. May 6: Be alert for signs of a negative reaction in your livestock if they are grazing the morning after a freeze. May 7: The May 7 high-pressure ridge is often a prelude to the more dangerous May 10 front; both of these weather systems sometimes bring frost or even snow deep along the 40th Parallel. May 8: Late Spring is really here when the antlers of deer begin to grow and the first parsnips bloom. The first blue jay is born in the early days of Late Spring. All major garden weeds have sprouted, and wild phlox, wild geranium, wild ginger, celandine, spring cress, sedum, golden Alexander, thyme-leafed speedwell, garlic mustard and common fleabane are all in bloom. May 9: The canopy of leaves becomes thicker every day. Mountain maples, lilacs and wild cherries have flowered. All the sweet gum flower clusters fall to the street as chives blossom in the garden. Mayflies are out along the water. Bullfrogs call. Minnows and chubs are flushed red for their mating season. Flea time overcomes your pets, a sign that insect activity is nearing the economic threshold on the farm. Spitbugs grow in the shelter of swamp parsnips, announcing that the first cut of hay is underway. May 10: Black tadpoles swim in the backwaters. Bass move to the shallows. Termites swarm. Bumblebees come out with the sun. Cabbage butterflies visit the developing cabbage sets. Daddy longlegs hunt in the undergrowth,
and darners are out in the swamps. Cliff swallows migrate as yellow wood sorrel blossoms in the yard. Orchard grass is heading, and alfalfa is budding.
tall meadow rue all have opened. Raspberries and orange trumpet creepers are in flower. Bindweeds and sweet peas color the fences with pastels.
May 11: If dry conditions develop, consider early weaning of kids and lambs before they start losing weight from being with mothers which are feeding on inferior pasture.
May 21: When flea beetles are feeding in the vegetable garden, cedar waxwings will be migrating through your land, and fiddler crabs will be emerging from their tunnels in the estuaries of the Southeast.
May12: The moon’s entrance into its fourth quarter today should bring relatively stable lunar conditions for working with your herd, pets and family. May 13: White clover, common plantain, meadow goatsbeard, comfrey, wild multiflora roses, wild daisies, red clover and back medic are all in bloom throughout the piedmont and higher elevations. May 14: The canopy of high trees closes throughout the month. Sometimes the sun gets ahead of the size of your leaves, however, bringing sunburn or overheating to livestock ordinarily considered safe in the shade. May 15: Chances for frost increase in the mountains as the May 15 cold front passes through. And this front and the next two high-pressure systems are often followed by the “Strawberry Rains,” the wettest time of May in the Mid-Atlantic states. May 16: When the high foliage is complete, then the wild multiflora roses and the domestic tea roses bloom, the last osage and black walnut flowers fall, and clustered snakeroot hangs with pollen in the shade. Rare swamp valerian blossoms by the water, and common timothy pushes up from its sheaths in all the alleyways. May 17: The days surrounding the cool front due on May 20 are some of the most turbulent of the month, often marked by rain, tornadoes and high winds. May 18: Complete field and garden planting as the moon waxes between the 20th and the first week of June. May 19: When azaleas lose their petals, morel season is about over for the year, and swallowtail butterflies come looking for flowers. May 20: The first nodding thistle, the first chicory, first daisy fleabane, the first great mullein, the first Asiatic lily, and the first
May 22: Increase the time you work with all the animals you intend to show. May 23: When you see cottonwood cotton floating in the wind, then deer will be giving birth and pollen from grasses will be reaching its peak. May 24: When you hear quail whistling in the woods, Early Summer has begun – time to look for tent caterpillars in the trees. Catalpas and privets and hawthorns and pink spirea bloom in Early Summer, and the number of fireflies grows in proportion to the flowers on the day lilies. May 25: When you see the first elderberries blooming, check for bean leaf beetles and alfalfa weevils in your field and garden. May 26: Pasture plants can have an unusually high water content in May, and animals may not get enough nutrition from this forage. Silage and hay supplements can take up the feeding slack. May 27: When you see mayflies by the water, spitbugs will be making their spittle shelters in the parsnips, and the first cut of hay will be underway. And when chives bloom in the garden, then crappie fishing peaks in the shallows. May 28: The moon enters its second quarter today, favoring a gentle close to May in the North, more heat in the South. May 29: Purple vetch, and the weedy yellow and white sweet clover take over the roadsides as well as the pastures. May 30: Cookout time began with Cinco de Mayo and spreads through graduation days. Today, Memorial Day, is the gateway to 4th-of-July barbecues. Be sure to have your lamb and chevon ready for market. May 31: Spring pasture now reaches its brightest green of the
year, and haying moves towards the Canadian border at the rate of about one hundred miles a week. Spring wheat is all planted in the North, and the oats crop is in the ground between Denver and New York. HIGHER TIME Keeping a notebook of what happens around me, I often track the cyclical quality of events in nature. The cycles are simple seasonal ones, and their details, such the first blooming dates of flowers and trees, are easily followed. With a record of what happens when, one can illustrate the year and trace the circle of the earth around the sun, making a phenological astronomy in which each change in solar declination is paralleled by a change in plant and animal life. A sense of the repeating quality of the sky and the landscape is similar to what sociologist Charles Taylor describes as Higher Time in his study of the rise of humanism, A Secular Age. Taylor draws a distinction between Secular (or sequential) Time and what he calls Higher Time. In Secular Time, says Taylor, “one thing happens after another, and when something is past, it’s past.” Higher Time, on the other hand dramatizes the repeating quality of the year’s cultural as well as natural events. In the liturgical calendar of the Christian church, for example, Christ is always born once a year on Christmas Day, dies a few months later, then rises from the dead on Easter, the pattern fixed in a “higher” round of events connected, in the Christian world, with events that took place thousands of years ago but which continue to take place in memoriam today. In Higher Time, sequence is less important than cycle and
Breed Spotlight from page 16 fur industry. This could potentially be an unfortunate end to a beautiful breed. The ALBC website even states that the American Chin has contributed to the development of more breeds and varieties of rabbit worldwide than any other breed of domestic rabbit. Yet, it is a breed that few people choose to work with or may not even know it exists. For some of us, the larger size of this breed may be difficult to work with in limited space. It is also noted that rarer breeds have a tendency toward weaker immune systems. This may be partially due to a limited gene pool.
meaning. And even though the modern world seems to do business completely in Secular Time, the alternate viewpoint persists and may even be dominant inside memory. Memory Time is always Higher Time. Not only does memory retain a whole impression of experience, but it also blends, erases, and re-sequences pieces of the past, allowing feasts of birth and death, love and disappointment to return, mellow or fester, winnowed to their core. So too with observation of the natural year, the repetition of the seasons within the mind mixes and recollects the years, distortions showing the selective power of emotion and insight and simple weathering over linear statistics. To withdraw from Secular Time is to come home to a centered self where experiences are sifted and unified and made whole to return again. Like a book of days, the mind gathers choices and destinies, showing in the radii of its vortex the higher shadows and auras of repeating suns. Bill Felker Copyright 2012 – Bill Felker Listen to Bill Felker’s weekly “Poor Will’s Almanack” on podcast any time at www.wyso. org. And Bill’s website, www. poorwillsalmanack.com, contains weekly updates and a sizable bank of information about nature. His organization of weather patterns and phenology (what happens when in nature) offers a unique structure for understanding the repeating rhythms of the year. Bill lives with his wife in Yellow Springs, Ohio. They have two daughters, Jeni, who is a psychologist in Portland, Oregon, and Neysa, a photographer in Spoleto, Italy. a However, working with a rare breed is also rewarding and a number of rabbit hobbyists choose to work with them exclusively. For more information about American Chins, visit the American Chinchilla Rabbit Breeders Association at http://americanchinchillarabbitbreedersassociation.com, or the American Livestock Breed Conservancy at http://albc-usa.org/. Our hobby was founded on breeds like the American Chin and exists today through the continued work of dedicated hobbyists. For those who are looking for a new project, I highly recommend considering any one of the breeds listed on the 2012 ALBC priority list. a
The Valley, May 2012
Coins, Precious Metal and a Little of this and That
(Collectable...but not valuable) In 1999 when the US Mint first introduced the Statehood Quarter program, practically nobody noticed, and those that did paid little attention. By the end of the program, ten years later, EVERYBODY had noticed and total collector saturation had been achieved! This was good, and at the same time, it was bad. When collectors first took serious notice of these unusual, special quarters, interest in the new series perked up. But a year later when uncirculated, bank-wrapped $10 rolls of Delaware and Pennsylvania quarters sky-rocketed to $50 each (and higher), everybody became aware of them and the rush was on. Just ask anyone who was in the banking business during this time how happy THEY were with the Statehood quarter program. In a nut shell, they HATED it! Customers began demanding full bricks (50-roll
boxes) for each state, threatening to close their accounts if the bank didn’t comply. (When people get a whiff of potentially huge profits with little risk, it is extremely hard to curb their enthusiasm.) Those that had been fortunate enough to acquire a quantity of the first two State’s quarters and sold them at the height of their popularity did, in fact, make nearly 400% profit. Numbers like that certainly can’t be called small change. Throughout the first four to five years of the program, interest in State quarters remained high even though the big money for the earliest states had dried up a few years before. Magazines were still attempting to sell rolls of these coins for big money, so despite huge weakness in wholesale prices, the state quarter program remained very active. Generally, collectors were hoping that at some point the big prices would
Caving Mifflin County with Todd Karschner
A Stroll through Limesinks Cave Greetings from under Mifflin County! This dry weather is probably not doing gardens much good, but it sure does help with lowering cave water levels. Last year at this time some caves were completely filled with water. Like the cave I will be highlighting this month, LIMESINKS. This cave is located about a mile and a half outside Siglerville under an 80 ft cliff. There are many entrances both at the base and the top of the cliff. The main entrance is roughly 10 feet high by 20 feet wide. Here two passages can be seen. The one on the right (my personal favorite), is a circular tube that has jagged walls. If you take your time and look at the ceiling and the different layers in the walls, you will
see many aquatic fossils. It is hard to imagine that this area was at one time at the bottom of a large lake or ocean. At the end of the passage, it opens into a room with a steep, sloped mud floor with a ceiling more than 25 feet high. To the right the floor slopes upward towards the cliff face and ends in breakdown. Down the slope to the left, it ends in a sump with a small opening in the side just large enough to squeeze your head in. From here you can see it continues farther and sometimes you can hear water. The left passage at the main entrance cannot be missed. During high water levels, logs, forest debris and unfortunately garbage, gets washed into this passage. Lots of it! Hopefully someday
return. They never did. To coin dealers during this time, the State Quarter program was much less of a sales aid than most would imagine. In fact, in retrospect, most dealers would probably admit that the entire statehood quarter adventure was WAY more trouble than it was worth. Postage charges and roll premium prices allowed dealers very little margin, and delays in Mint shipments became annoying as customers would have to come in two and three times before the coins were finally in stock. Dealers naturally had no control over Mint production schedules, but had to spend WAY too much time apologizing to customers anyway when the new coins were late being delivered, which became the norm not the exception. I can’t even begin to count the number of people who asked about what we thought their roll, or single coin, collection of state there will be enough caring people around who would be willing to volunteer some of their time to help clean up places like these. Count me in. After working your way across the debris field, two passages lead to the left. The first one takes you back to the surface part way up the cliff face. The second enters into a maze-like section with a few more openings to the surface. In the farthest of these passages, there is a deep pit that leads to water in a lower level. In extreme dry weather this pit continues much deeper before it eventually gets too small. To the right of the main entrance is an oval shaped hole at the base of the cliff. After a short slide down in on your butt, there is a room almost perfectly rectangular and about 40 feet long. From this point, the rest of this dry cave slopes up over loose rocks, through a tight squeeze about a foot and a half around, and emerges at the top of the cliff in two places. The one on the right has collapsed at least once in the
quarters would be worth when the program was completed. It is certainly in the hundreds .. perhaps thousands. We told everyone the same thing. State Quarters are fun to collect, but in our opinion, when the last Hawaiian quarter shoots out of the press, we don’t anticipate that these coins will be worth anything except face value. When the program concludes, everyone who wants them will already have them. 125 Million sellers and NO BUYERS does NOT create a profitable market. Over 35-BILLION statehood quarters (not including US territories, Washington, DC or proof issues) were produced. As a comparison, that is MORE production than the entire first 54 year mintage of the Lincoln Cent from 1909-to-1963! State Quarters while fun, are not rare, and will likely never have much value in excess of their 25-cent denomination. The collapse of the statehood quarter program, as far as profitability is concerned, set the stage for the public’s perception of all the other, new mint products. In 2004 and 2005 the series of six different “Westward Journey Nickels” was introduced, followed in 2009 by the five different “Abe Lincoln” Commemorative cents. Immediately following the production of US Territorial quarters (widely loathed and ignored by most state quarter collectors as the collector albums didn’t even have
spaces for these coins), the mint geared up for another long program in the planned eleven year “America the Beautiful” (State Park) Quarter series. In 2007 the now defunct “Presidential” Golden Dollar series began. After about only half the Presidential coins were made, production was halted because these dollars were just as unpopular with the public as their earlier small dollar predecessors, “Susan B. Anthony” and “Sacagawea.” Once the public discovered that their hoard of Statehood quarters had no real extra value, they began to “cash in” their rolls by the tens-of-thousands-of-dollars worth. Banks now have to bag them up and PAY to return them to the Federal Reserve who now (likely) have enough quarters on hand to last for the next decade or two. With the collapse in value of Statehood quarters, most collectors have become totally disenchanted with all the other new mint products as well. As a result, many professional dealers have decided not to stock ANY of the new, modern clad coinage. As apathetic as the public has become toward all of these new issues, dealers who decided to eliminate them from inventory have become increasingly pleased with their decision. a
past few years, and doesn’t look too stable. Avoid this one. The other one is a bit difficult because it is steep, small and is covered in more loose rock. Oh yea, almost forgot, LARGE spiders on the ceiling. This entrance is so small that the ceiling is only inches from your face, spiders too. Outside the cave, the area close by has a few large sinkholes that blow cold air out during the summer indicating there is more
unexplored caves below. Local folklore about this cave talks about a thief who used this cave to stash his loot. I have not found anything over the years, but I still look just in case. Hope you enjoyed this walkthrough of Limesinks. We are all stewards of these natural wonders. Lets do our part in preserving them for generations to come. Cave safe, Todd K. a
Deep inside Limesinks Cave passing from one room into another, here you can see many aquatic type fossils embedded in the ceiling.
The Valley, May 2012
The Valley, May 2012