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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 2, No. 11

The Valley, November 2011


Talk Of The Valley A Co-op of Local Artisans

Welcome to November – the month for pumpkins and turkeys, Thanksgiving and Deer Season. The month when many people begin to turn their thoughts to the holidays ahead and the gift giving list that accompanies them. We all want to give gifts that are meaningful, but the search for unique gifts can end up being time consuming and costly. Many articles in this very newspaper encourage readers like yourself to shop locally for the freshest fruits, vegetables and meats. You save gas money and time by shopping locally. Why not apply the same theory to your holiday gift shopping? You will find some of the freshest ideas for home décor, fashion accessories, bath and body products, and gourmet foods at Talk of the Valley Gift Shop. A step inside the shop, located inside the Big Valley Antique Center, will show you that it is indeed a

gift shop. With new to see.” beads and semiprecious stones. a bit more Here’s a samHer handmade line is augmented exploring, you pling of what you by other jewelry lines like Viva will discover can find at Talk Beads and K&K Designs. that this shop is of the Valley Gift “ I enjoy traveling and disalso an artists’ Shop: covering new inspiration for my co-op and is not jewelry as well as new items to Young English only owned, bring back to Big Valley,” Gail Garden but also staffed said. “I don’t bring anything in Design by the artists that I wouldn’t wear or display in Gail Young themselves. At my own home.” began her busithis time, there Gail’s booth also contains ness in a house are five artists some home décor pieces like on Kish Street representing flower arrangements and plaques, in Belleville. At their work in unique scarves, hand blown glass the time, she was the shop. They ornaments from Canada and creating floral are Gail Young, Mount St. Helen’s, a full line of arrangements and Marty Fisher, tea and accessories, and glass wreaths. She was Marv Brubaker, wind chimes by Daphne Marone of the first Scott Keys, and (l to r) Scott Keys, Gail Young, and Brian Powers, three of the six artisans who artists to sell thouse. Brian Powers. The Ivy Wreath her work at the bring you Talk of the Valley Gifts This group of Marty Fisher’s talent lies with Dairyland Co-op unique product line that, when artists originally flowers and fabrics, using both to and through brought together, result in one of ran the Dairyland Gift Shop until create home décor items for every the years developed her skill for Mifflin County’s most interesting the fire last June rendered that season. Her booth at Talk of the jewelry making. She now creates gift shops. part of the building unfit. Each beautiful bracelets, necklaces “Handmade items are the of these artists creates their own Continued on page 3 and earrings from a variety of core of this business,” explains Gail Young, the shop’s jeweler. “And many of those items are one-of-a-kind. If you pass up buying a piece that caught your eye one day, you run the risk that it may not be there the next.” As a co-op, each artist runs a separate business and stocks their own booth space. Talk of the Valley artists are permitted to buy other lines of merchandise to sell in their booth as well. “It would be difficult to maintain a shop this size with only handmade items,” explains co-op member Marty Fisher. “An artist’s personal style and taste can be seen in the type of merchandise they create and in the lines of One of the many booths at Talk of the Valley, and one that caught my eye as With six different artisans under one roof there are more than enough other products he/she brings in to there was shelf upon shelf of delicious looking jams, jellies, chutney’s and options for even the most discriminating buyer and gift giver. sell. There is always something sauces.

Lighting Brush Fires in People’s Minds

The Valley, November 2011


In this Issue Adventures in Homesteading --Dave and Ginger Striker Woods, Water and Wildlife --Bob Sleigh Roads Less Traveled --Lynn Persing Understanding the Constitution --Dave Molek Thots on... --Lydia Adventures on Our Nourishing Journey --Sue Burns Grosze Thal Nachbaren --Jeptha I. Yoder Looking Out My Back Door --Mary Anna Chenoweth The Mushroom Guy --Bob Sleigh Julie Mac’s, Wisdom from the Kitchen, Home and Garden --Julie MacConnell Modern Energy and Alternate Heating --Curt Bierly Recipes, Crafts and Gift Ideas --Debra Kulp Memories of a Dairy Princess --Macy Fisher Home-Grown --Mary Eck The Chicken AND the Egg! --Mike Flanagan Contentment Quest --Joanne Wills For the Love of Small Town America --Sarah Hurlburt

Editor’s Corner Wayne Stottlar I love fall! The end of a long season of tending the gardens and doing battle with the ground hogs and deer quickly turns to buttoning up the house for winter. It also means putting the garden to bed for the season to make next spring’s chores a little easier. It means gathering and stacking wood in preparation for keeping the oil man at bay (you do have alternate heat right?), and replacing weatherstrip and caulking on any areas where cold air might infiltrate your cozy indoor environment. It is a time where thoughts turn to early wake up and walks in the woods during the first glow of dawn hoping to be blessed with meat for the freezer and the coming winter. Fall is also a time to be THANKFUL! Most of us celebrate Thanksgiving and profess our thanks for a bountiful season, a table full of food, and close friends and family. We do that too, but I must also include the newest additions to grace our journey through life. I am tremendously thankful for our readers, our advertisers, and the people that make this whole thing happen, our writers! This idea was kicked around a couple months with a group of close internet friends (most of us still haven’t met in person yet) who

shared a love for self-reliance. During the time we were discussing doing this we all fed off each other’s suggestions and the idea evolved. I remember thinking, “this all sounds great, will we all come together at the same time? Someone has to take the lead. Am I setting myself and others up for a failure and huge waste of time?” Julie Mac just blurted out one day, “We can do this!”....then the one thing that put me over the top was the support of Lynn who instead of shooting down my often lofty ideas said, “It sounds like fun, we should try it.” That was it, we took a week of vacation and devised a plan of action to make it happen. Two weeks after vacation we were delivering our first issue of The Valley. I realized early that this wasn’t just an idea, it was a blessing given to us to do with what we will. Ever since it has been a whirlwind of activity and continued success. None of this would have happened without all those involved, and I don’t say it enough, but, Thank you all, readers, advertisers, writers, associate editors and Lynn. It has been a great ride and the future is full of more of the same. We will continue to try to bring you the stories and information you have come to expect from us. During this first year we have

also added many new writers, some are guest writers, others have chosen to join the family and become regular contributors, but all were readers first. If you have an interest that might be of interest to our readers, and you feel like trying your hand, we welcome your suggestions and contributions. New this month, Julianne Cahill of Oak Ridge Rabbitry joins us as a regular writer of “Splitting Hares” where we are going to get educated on rabbits both as pets and livestock. Did you know that rabbit meat is far healthier than other meats? Join Julianne for this and more! Julie Shultz Smith is going for a “Walk on the Wild Side” a new column where she will take us into the world of exotics. Julie owns a Zebra and some Buffalo, right here in central PA! She also has plans on adding other exotics to her collection, this walk should be a lot of fun, join her. “The Horse Scoop” still continues with Traci Hanna Yoder taking over full time to continue to educate the readers about everything equine. On October 22, Lynn and I were asked by Our “Looking Out My Backdoor” columnist Mary Anna Chenoweth to join her for a couple hours as she wanted to

Frugal Living --Laurie Lowe The Horse Scoop --Traci Hanna Yoder

“show” us something. She was being a little evasive, so I was sure we were going to be “introduced” to manual wheat threshing because I had commented about her column and said that it sounded like fun. We met Mary Anna at Dairyland and she had us follow her to Belleville. Ok, now I was sure we were going for a journey into the woods to see something that she had found, and Lynn thought she was taking us to see some livestock down in Big Valley somewhere. When we pulled up to “The Hill Store” in Belleville, Lynn got a little excited as she had been wanting to stop there and thought maybe we were going to meet the owner to do a story on her B&B and awesome function room. We were only half right, when we entered the establishment it still wasn’t clear to me, but there seemed to be a lot of people there—must be a busy place. Then my mind started reeling not being able to figure out what the heck was going on, a terrible position for someone with OCD to be in. Then wait a minute, I know that lady, it is Sue Burns, then I saw my good friend Dave Molek, then I noticed that all these people were our writers for The Valley, more meltdown, wha....? Then the “SURPRISE!!!” Sue and Mary Anna

Continued on page 3

Poor Will’s Valley Almanack --Bill Felker

Contact Info

Life in the East End --Rebecca Harrop

Editor/Publisher Wayne Stottlar

Mail Pouch Books --Carleen B Grossman

Ad Designer/Co-Publisher Lynn Persing

Back Talk --Dr. Joseph Kauffman

Associate Editor Colleen Swetland

Autumn of Thanks --Pastor Pat Roller

The Valley PO Box 41 Yeagertown, PA 17099 (717) 363-1550

Homeschooling on the Homestead --Andy Weller Splitting Hares --Julianne Cahill

E-mail: Web:

Walking on the Wild Side --Julie Shultz Smith

©The Valley. All Rights Reserved.


The Valley, November 2011 Talk of the Valley from front page

Valley is currently adorned with fall and Christmas arrangements made from natural elements, as well as natural looking florals, leaves and vines. “Christmas is such a huge holiday for home decorating. We find that people start looking for new ideas as early as the beginning of November,” Marty says as she points to a festive wreath. “So we have the holiday décor out early.” Marty also creates accent pillows and table linens made out of Waverly fabrics. She sells additional tableware product lines by TAG, April Cornell, Williamsburg and pottery from Poland. The new home fragrance collection by Aromatique is a sure way to create a holiday feel in every room of your home with air spray and candles.

Bare Nekked

Another local artist focuses on fragrance, but for more personal use. Brian Powers creates soaps and lotions that incorporate many natural ingredients. “All of my soaps have shea butter and olive oil in them because of their terrific moisturizing properties,” Brian explains. “A nice fragrance is important, but a quality bar of soap should leave

your skin feeling smooth and soft as well.” Brian’s line includes along with bar soap, granulated bath soaks that dissolve quickly in the tub, and bath sachets – an easy way to incorporate aromatherapy into your bath. Sachet fragrances include locally grown lavender. He also creates matching fragrance body lotions. When asked what his favorite fragrance is, Brian was quick to reply with cranberry spice, the newest fragrance released just in time for Christmas. Brian enjoys developing new items as well as creating the packaging that reflects the quality of his products. Ideas currently in development are an all natural laundry detergent and a line of men’s shaving products.

The Dutch Pantry

Scott Key’s artistry and passion for cooking is evident in every jar of jelly, jam, preserves and butter he makes. His inventory list features many seasonal products because Scott prefers to use as much local produce as possible. “If it can be found here, I buy it here,” he says of the fruits and vegetables he uses in his recipes. “I support local farmers that in turn support other local businesses. I like the idea that the money stays here in our community.”

Seasonal products for this time of year include a lot of cranberry items. Pumpkin and sweet potato butters are also popular. Along with his handmade gourmet items, Scott also carries a line of gluten free products and other local products including Rich Coast Coffee and Valley Sugar House maple syrup. Infused and flavored sugars and salts are new items. Scott enjoys trying new flavors and often has four or more items open for customers to sample before buying. He encourages custom orders and will create gift baskets and wedding favors with advance notice.

Brushstrokes and Blessings

Marv and Jan Brubaker have been in the craft business for over 15 years. Marv began making country style wood furniture, shelves, quilt racks and other small furniture pieces. As demand increased, his wife Jan stepped in to help. As the years passed, the couple began buying other home décor lines to add to their handmade furniture. Business boomed and they now find themselves managing co-op booths here in Big Valley and in Gettysburg. They also own a shop called Brushstrokes and Blessings in the West Shore Farmer’s Market in Lemoyne. “There are times that I wish

I had the time to build large furniture again,” muses Marv, “but with Jan’s help, we are able to keep a good stock in all three locations of the most popular handmade pieces.” They’ve also found that there’s great creativity in building a business from the bottom up. Jan credits their product diversity for their success. From Blossom Bucket collectible figures to Saro Baby Blankets and Spirit Tails cozy scarves, the selection continues to grow and change as the seasons change. The humorous pins and magnets created by Jenny Barron Landis touch on a variety of themes from occupations to pets to current sayings. Another product line is popular no matter what the season – their Penn State collection. It includes Christmas ornaments, plush figures, plaques, slates and yard signs. The Talk of the Valley Gift Shop is open every day from 10 to 5 until Christmas. The Christmas Open House will be held November 4 – 13 and the Big Valley Open House will be held November 25 – 27. Event details can be found on the Talk of the Valley Facebook page and on the shop’s website a

Editors corner from page 2

had gotten together our local writers for a party celebrating our one year anniversary of publication. I don’t really like admitting this, but I had all I could do to keep from breaking down and crying, this is one of the nicest things that anyone has ever done for Lynn and I. Then I remembered Sue asking me for the other writers emails a month or so back, telling me the fib that she was interested in reaching out to the other writers as a lot of us had never met in person. I have always said since starting this that there are no coincidences—I believe God sent us this blessing to see if we could handle it, in the process, he also sent some of the most magnificent people I have ever met to complete the team that became The Valley. We are still being blessed every month, new people keep joining the team as space permits, and the readers keep pushing us forward through all of their compliments. I wish ALL of you readers could have been there too, and next summer, you will get that chance, plans are being formulated. In the meantime, a note sent to the party by my good friend Jeptha I. Yoder said it best, “God’s timing is always PERFECT!” a

Story courtesy of Jenny Landis

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8116 Arlington Boulevard, Suite 263 Falls Church, VA 22042 703-208-FARM ★


The Valley, November 2011


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.

Bringing Cows to the Homestead Part Two

If you recall in last month’s column we discussed our selec-

tion process as we ventured into cattle ownership. After I spent some time describing a lot of the breed choices and methods

Loading from the corral to the trailer was uneventful. For a time it appeared this would go off without a hitch.

we were planning to use to raise them, I left the story of the cattle pickup and transport back to our fledgling farm for this column. As I look back at the events I can’t even begin to count the mistakes I made, but for the benefit of those who read our story, please take the time to take note of our mistakes and do NOT repeat them! We purchased our cattle less than a year after we moved to our land having moved from our suburban bliss with no animal experience outside of raising our family dog, a German shepherd. Since quite a bit happened in just a few short days, I am going to tell the story and then reflect on my mistakes at the end. <Sigh> To save you a search for last month’s issue (actually the editor may prefer you give the last issue another read <grin>), we picked two breeds of cattle; two Jersey heifers (one short bred

and one due within a month) for our immediate dairy needs and four American Milking Devons for long term herd development. Our first scheduled pickup was

the Jersey heifers on a Friday. Here we are on Thursday and Ginger is feeling sick and two of five kids have a bad cold. I didn’t tell Ginger at the time, but I was starting to feel the early signs of a cold coming on as well. But unfortunately, there is no rest for the weary. I have over 3000 feet of three strand electrical fence to erect on the north and west borders, in addition to the fact that I still need to secure a cattle trailer for the pickup. The Jerseys were only 30 minutes away, but the Devons are over four hours away in North Georgia. By Thursday

Continued on page 14

All of the cattle are finally accustomed to their new home.


The Valley, November 2011

Looking out my Back Door Life on my Mifflin County Homestead by Mary Anna Chenoweth

Chestnuts: “Poor” Man’s Bread to “Gourmet” Delight “[The fruits of the Chestnut are] fine delicacies for princes and a lusty and masculine food for rusticks, and able to make women well-complexioned.” -- John Evelyn 1664 It’s November and the festive holidays of Thanksgiving and Christmas are fast approaching. Among all the other indulgences that these holidays embrace, food is very close to (if not at) the top of the list and one of the most popular of these holiday foods is the chestnut. There is every reason to see chestnuts as seasonal food specifically tied to this time of year since they are harvested in late September and October and can only be found in stores (if at all) at the end of fall and the beginning of winter. However, if you have your own trees, chestnuts can, and should be, a part of

your diet year round. Four species of chestnut, made up of numerous varieties, are known, appreciated, and used worldwide. A temperate zone dweller, some chestnuts mature into tall, straight trees valued for their timber as well as for the food they produce. They can also be very, VERY long-lived. Others are more branched, with spreading limbs that send their deep shade over a wide area. They all have similar leathery, elongated leaves, deep green and glossy on top, toothed on the edges. In the fall, the leaves remain on the branches long after other deciduous trees are bare and, in summer or autumn, they make a wonderful rustling sound in the breeze. They all produce a delicious, almost round, mealy textured nut enclosed in a heavy, green burr that is covered with incredibly sharp spines.

Once they are established, chestnuts can fairly breeze through the occasional drought or rainy season and still produce a crop for us to enjoy. If producing more of your own food is one of your goals, grow chestnuts. Nutritionally, chestnuts are high in healthy carbohydrates, middling in protein and low in fat. Containing the usual vitamins and minerals, they are also a good source of vitamins E and a few of the Bs, phosphorus and iron. If improving the quality and nutrition of the food eaten by you and yours is one of your goals, grow chestnuts! The story of the American chestnut, Castanea dentata, and its ongoing battle with a fungus imported on Asian chestnut trees planted on Long Island, New York in 1904, is fairly well known.

By the mid-1930s, this imported chestnut blight had all but wiped out our native trees. Fortunately, small groups of dedicated individuals have worked steadily for decades, with increasing success, to cross breed fungus resistent survivors. Through their dedication, our eastern hardwood forests will someday be graced once more with trees upwards of a hundred feet high and many feet thick, the ground at their feet covered each fall with bushels of delicious nuts. The European chestnut, Castanea sativa, can sometimes outgrow its American cousin in size and it, too, has a history stretching back thousands of years. The Roman legions planted chestnuts (along with grapes and other good things) wherever they went so that those coming after would have something to eat and generations of hungry Europeans have had reason to be grateful. Throughout the centuries, in times of famine or when the price of food was beyond their means, “poor” families sometimes survived on chestnuts gathered in the forests. At the other end of the spectrum are culinary delights such as the marron glace, a French confection that uses a specific variety of chestnut, the burrs of which encase a single, large nut with a particularly high

sugar content. These marrons are taken through a lengthy candying process that leaves them infused with vanilla-flavored sugar, making them a perfect finish for any special meal. Japanese chestnuts, Castanea crenata, are a slightly smaller species native to Japan and Korea and were imported to this country as early as 1876. First introduced into the United States around 1853, the Chinese chestnut, Castanea mollissima, are the chestnut trees that are generally available commercially today. This is what my Mother first planted on our farm, maybe thirty years ago, and we’ve been happily reaping the benefits ever since. Chestnut trees will grow in just about any type of well drained soil although they prefer neutral to slightly acidic conditions. Think mountain soil. Full sunlight and lots of room, thirty feet at least between them, will help to give you healthy, productive trees. They sprout quite easily from nuts and need about five years of growth before they start bearing. Saplings can be ordered from some tree nurseries. Either way, use good tree planting techniques and keep them watered during dry spells when they’re young. Give them

Continued on page 37

The Valley, November 2011


Thots on...Genesis

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. Genesis 8.21-22; 9.1-3 The LORD smelled the pleasing aroma [of the burnt offering] and said in his heart: “Never again will I curse the ground because of man, even though every inclination of his heart is evil from childhood. And never again will I destroy all living creatures, as I have done. As long as the earth endures, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night will never cease.” Then God blessed Noah and his sons, saying to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the earth. The fear and dread of you will fall upon all the beasts of the earth…; they are given into your hands. Everything that lives and moves will be food for you. Just as I gave you the green plants, I now give you everything.” After the flood waters receded and the earth dried, God told Noah to come out of the ark and to bring out all the animals that were with him, so they could repopulate the earth. Now compare the rest of this passage with the account in

Genesis chapters 1 and 2. In the beginning of creation, God gave to man and animals only plants for food, he gave man dominion over the animals, and he told man, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it.” [Genesis 1.26-30] After the flood, God blessed Noah and his sons and gave them the same instruction to “Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the earth.” However, God then placed in animals a fear of man and included meat in the diet. Noah was 600 years old at the time of the flood and up to this point in his life, he had eaten a strictly vegetarian diet. After the floodwaters receded, the LORD told Noah that he could eat not only plants but animals for food, that everything was given to him for food. Why this change? After the flood, creation was renewed, but with one very important difference. In the beginning, God created a perfect world and in that perfect world, man— and even the animals—ate only plants. The world that emerged after the floodwaters subsided was no longer perfect. Though the earth had been washed clean and creation had been renewed, it still was tainted with the sin of Adam’s rebellion and in this postdiluvian world, animals feared man, man ate the flesh of animals, and animals preyed on each other. Because of Adam’s rebellion,

violence and fear had become a part of the world. There was, however, a restriction regarding the eating of animal flesh: “But you must not eat meat that has its lifeblood still in it.” [Genesis 9.4] Blood was strictly for atonement of sins. Along with this single dietary restriction, God instituted the death penalty as punishment for murder. [Genesis 9.5-6] Why the death penalty for shedding human blood but not animal blood? Man has an eternal soul. “…for in the image of God has God made man.” [Genesis 9.6] When Noah came out of the ark, the first thing he did was build an altar to the LORD and offer sacrifices. [Genesis 8.20] God was pleased with Noah’s sacrifice and made a new covenant not only with man but with every living creature: Never again would he destroy the earth with a flood. As a sign of this covenant, God caused a rainbow to appear in the sky, so that all would be reminded of the covenant. [Genesis 9.12-17] Some of you may be thinking that a rainbow is hardly worthy of the great import placed upon it, but consider this: Until the great flood, there had never been rain on the earth. Up until the time of the flood, the earth had been watered by springs and by dew each night. [Genesis 2.6, 10] Since a rainbow is formed by sunlight shining through the prism of water

Autumn of Thanks by Pastor Pat Roller In the past few days the wind has been blowing hard and the leaves of the trees that have already changed are blowing across my yard. I took a trip across the mountain last week to discover that their trees are absolutely gorgeous! The reds, oranges, and yellow are vibrant. My hope is that we will see them in our backyards soon. Fall is a time I stand in wonder of God’s handiwork. Sometimes even more so than Spring. Yes, I know God is at work in the springtime with all of the earth

bursting forth in new life. But, as I have gotten older I have come to realize that the autumn of the year and the autumn of our lives hold special places for God to be at work. Maybe our energy level has lessened—unlike the youthfulness of spring. Maybe our harvest is beginning to be reaped—unlike the promise of abundance in spring. Maybe our colors have changed to the beauty of silver and white as opposed to the yellow-green of spring. Regardless, we are in the bounty of our

years just as autumn is the bountiful time of harvest. It is no accident that it is in the harvest time—autumn—that we celebrate Thanksgiving both as a national holiday and as a time to give special attention to thanking God. The Old Testament has numerous references to giving thanks to God for all he has done for us. David, who was often at war and often in turmoil over his own sin, was constantly giving thanks to God through word and song.

Rev. Dr. Henry G. Covert Dr. Henry Covert is an ordained minister with the United Church of Christ. After a tour of duty in the military, he worked in law enforcement for twenty years as both a patrol sergeant and county detective. Toward the end of that career he began his studies for the ministry. He has served several parishes, worked in therapeutic communities, was a state prison chaplain, and acquired adjunct faculty status in the criminal justice department at Penn State University. Dr. Covert was the chaplain for Pennsylvania’s first execution in thirty-three years. He has a doctorate from Pittsburgh Theological Seminary and has authored six books. • Ministry to the Incarcerated (ISBN 0-8294-0860-6) Inter national market -paperback • Discovering the Parables: An Inspirational Guide for Every day Life (ISBN 978-0-313-34962-1) International market – hard cover & e-book • Spiritual Reflections: A Journey Through the Scriptures (ISBN 978-0-313-35901-9) International market - hardcover & e-book • Christian Beliefs and Prayers (ISBN 978-0-692-01101-0) International market – paperback, e-book & Amazon Kindle • The Crucifixion of Jesus (ISBN 978-0-9833359-0-0) Inter- national market – paperback, e-book & Amazon Kindle • The True Church of Jesus Christ (ISBN 978-0-9833359-4 8) International market –Paperback, e-book & Amazon Kindle Lowest Prices:,,,

particles in the atmosphere, a rainbow had never been seen. Mankind’s first experience with rain was the great flood. In subsequent rainfalls, God caused a rainbow to be formed in order to reassure man that he would never again destroy the earth with water. He did not, however, promise never again to destroy the earth. In 2 Peter 3.10, we read, “But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear

with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare.” From the warnings that have been given us in Matthew and Revelation, we know the end of this age is very near. Peter asks, “Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be?” [2 Peter 3.11] It’s certainly something to think about.

Second Samuel 22 is entitled the Song of Thanksgiving where David gives thanks for being saved from the hand of Saul. It begins by saying, “The LORD is my rock, my fortress, and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold and my refuge, my savior; you save me from violence. I call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised, and I am saved from my enemies.” David follows this song with numerous of the Psalm that spend verse upon verse giving thanks to God for his grace to David. The New Testament lifts up thanksgiving as a way of life. Paul who spent much of his life being punished and in prison gives thanks to God for his com-

panions and for God’s grace. Paul wrote in Second Thessalonians that we must always give thanks to God for you, brothers and sisters, as is right, because your faith is growing abundantly, and the love of everyone of you for one another is increasing. Therefore we ourselves boast of you among the churches of God for your steadfastness and faith during all your persecutions and the afflictions that you are enduring. If David and Paul can raise up words of thanksgiving in their dire circumstances, surely we, who are blessed beyond belief, can find ways to give thanks to God for his great grace to us. I recently read an online article by Sean Burton. In it he reminds us

Continued on page 16


The Valley, November 2011

Adventures on Our Nourishing Journey by Sue Burns

It’s Time to Return to Our Roots Even though the days are cold and grey; turning the calendar to the month of November warms my heart for I know that the season of family traditions has begun. This is a time to return to our roots, to remember and to

smiling faces, same crooked heads because we never seem to be able to get them placed onto the cookie sheet just perfectly. How we would laugh at the “expressions” and “personalities” of the little spicy cutouts as they emerged from the oven. Some we even gave names. Rather silly to get so involved with cookies, but a standing tradition nonetheless. My daughter no longer lives at home, so the cutting out and decorating are not nearly as exciting as it used to be, but a box full of “boys,” as she calls them, makes Freshly harvested root vegetables, parsnip, rutabaga, carrots, onions, turnips and potatoes are the bounty its way every December, across the miles of fall. to repeat the rituals that bind family her front door in together. Arizona. Family traditions provide a Although our value that last far beyond the moseasonal traditions ment. The value of a tradition is may have some not only in completing the ritual; commonality with the value comes from what it proother families, vides for those who participate. each household Allison Woods, Bible teacher, restill has their own treat leader, and writer from Kanway of living out sas explains three reasons why those traditions. family tradition is so important. That is what is First she says, traditions proso special about vide stability. Activities that are them. Each famobserved year in and year out ily’s unique twist become a means by which famis what gives that ily members can build trust and family its idensecurity. Regardless of what else tity and helps the may happen, the traditions will members bond not change. So much in our lives with one another. these days is temporary. Family Ethnic foods, traditions provide something for decorations, and every person to hold on to and to special activities rely upon. all help families Secondly, traditions give us a become distincsense of identity. They are one of tive. the things that make us unique to Lastly, Ms. other families. For example, little Woods explains did I know 25 years ago when I that traditions are made gingerbread cookies for the important because first time for my then three year they provide conold daughter to take to preschool tinuity between as her December birthday snack, generations. It can that for every December since be difficult to keep we HAVE to have those cookies. up with extended Same red and green icing, same family members

these days, and of course it is impossible to touch those who are long gone, but traditions create a bridge between the young and the old, between the past and the present. My children have never met their great-grandparents, yet they are remembered through tales and treasures, and I can not think of a better way for the generations to mix and mingle than over a table laden with foods made from wellloved family recipes. When you gather this holiday season with your family roots, consider including an oft neglected, but oh so nutritious and comforting dish made from vegetable roots. It is a yummy way to get kids to try vegetables that may be new and different and who knows, a new tradition might just begin!

be the royalty of the fall garden. What are root vegetables? Root vegetables are the starchy tubers and taproots of plants. If we let them be they would provide the plant with needed nourishment to thrive. Instead, we pull them up and eat them and all their inherent sweet, starchy, vitamin-

Getting to the Root of the Matter Believe it our not , there was a time when fresh greens were not available in November and throughout the winter months. Not all that long ago, people had to stock up on the root vegetables of fall to last them through the winter. A special place was made to store them: cleverly named “the root cellar.” Perhaps not looked upon as glamorous as broccoli or asA large variety of root vegetables and cold weather come paragus, I believe together begging for the cozy warmth of a bowl of root root vegetables to vegetable soup.

laden goodness. Technically, the term “root vegetables” includes only those that are either tuberous roots or taproots and includes beets, carrots, horseradish, fennel, radishes, rutabagas, parsnips, and turnips. Other categories of underground vegetables include: bulbs (onions, garlic), rhizomes (ginger, and turmeric), and tubers (potatoes, both white and sweet ). Most people simply refer to the whole collection of edible underground plants as root vegetables. James Beard said that parsnips were one of our “most neglected” vegetables, though he personally loved them and preferred them to sweet potatoes for Thanksgiving. Granted, coming to know root vegetables may take some time. For many, their form and taste are foreign. I have my grandparents to thank for teaching me about all about them; their growing, storing and preparing. My parents continued the “turnip tradition” and thus I feel compelled to encourage you too to return to the roots. But it is not just me that is nudging you to toss that pack of parsnips in your shopping

Continued on page 11


The Valley, November 2011

Julie Mac’s

Wisdom from the Kitchen, Home, and Garden Julie MacConnell

Finishing touches I want to wish all of “The Valley” family and readers a very Happy Thanksgiving! This is a time for family and friends, good food and conversation. Thanksgiving dinner is by far one of my favorite times to have everyone over. For me, it is a no stress afternoon. We leave an open invitation for people to come over at any time, and we eat when the turkey is done. We serve dinner and hors d’oeuvres buffet style so there is no pressure to serve anyone. The table isn’t crowded with platters and serving bowls, and there is no fuss about passing things down. There is usually nice music playing—until football starts that is! Yes, we give thanks and have a prayer at dinner, but football is a family passion and a good part of the afternoon is spent in the TV room yelling for our favorite teams. There are family favorite recipes that everyone looks for each year, and frankly, the day wouldn’t be complete without

them. From Mom’s vegetable casserole and pumpkin pie recipe to my Mother-in Law’s famous mashed potatoes. I don’t know how she does it, but every time she makes them there isn’t a single lump and they are the perfect consistency. She also makes a killer apple pie. Of course one of the great things about Thanksgiving is the leftovers! What is better than a turkey sandwich piled high with dressing and cranberry sauce. Oh, so the cranberry sauce makes you hesitate? How about cranberry ketchup instead? Much easier to make a sandwich and not have sauce fall out of your bread in a goopy mess. It also makes a nice jar to add to a holiday food basket. Here is the recipe. CRANBERRY KETCHUP Makes about 4 half-pint jars or two pint jars. Try to not use bruised cranberries as they will leave an unpleasant taste to the ketchup. 4 cups sorted and rinsed fresh

or frozen cranberries (about two 12-ounce bags) 1 ¼ cups red wine vinegar 1 ¼ cups water 2 cups firmly packed light brown sugar 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1/8 teaspoon ground allspice 1/8 teaspoon grated nutmeg In a 4-quart stainless steel pan, combine the cranberries, red wine vinegar and water. Over medium heat, bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until all of the cranberries are soft and have popped. This will take about 20 minutes. Stir frequently to prevent sticking. Remove the pan from the heat. Skim off any foam. Press the cranberry mixture through a food mill or finemeshed sieve. Discard the skins and seeds. Return the cranberry pulp to the pan. Stir in the brown sugar and the spices. Over medium heat, bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, stirring frequently until the ketchup thickens, about 10 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat.

Ladle the ketchup into hot jars leaving ½ inch headspace. Using a plastic knife, remove any trapped air bubbles. Wipe the jar rims and threads with a clean damp cloth (I always use a splash of white vinegar on my cloth). Cover with hot lids and apply screw rings. Process half pint jars in a 212°F (100°C) water bath for ten minutes, and pint jars for 15 minutes. Another recipe I’d like to share is a super easy one—it takes quite a few months to make, but will save you tons of money around the holiday baking season. We all know how expensive real vanilla extract is—especially when you do a lot of homemade treats. Did you know you can make your own? If you buy little jars to divide it into, it can also make a nice gift. It only takes two ingredients. Vodka and vanilla beans. You should use decent quality of both. Ordering your vanilla beans online is much cheaper than buying them at the grocery store. I saw them recently in a store for almost 12.00 for two beans! That’s crazy! There are many online stores that sell them much cheaper and you can buy them in bulk. First, get a Mason jar or suitable clean container with a tight fitting lid. Pour the vodka ¾ of the way to the top of the jar. On a cutting board, take your vanilla beans—I use at least six for a quart sized mason jar—and split the beans lengthwise. Scrape out all of the little seeds and put them into the vodka. Take the leftover bean strip and put that in too. Repeat until you use as many beans as you like. The more beans you use, the quicker the vodka will

steep and the stronger the extract. When you are done, put the lid on tightly and give the jar a good shake. Put the jar into a paper bag and store in a cool dark place. Give it a good shake every once in awhile. You will begin to notice that your vodka mixture is getting a dark rich color. I have vanilla extract that is going on two years old and it just gets better with age. I pour a little bit into a second container to use and then refill the same old container with more vodka and another vanilla bean or two. Of course you may want to use a cloth to strain out the beans if you want absolutely clear extract. I just return any caught beans back into the jar for more aging. The next recipe I want to give to you is Butterscotch sauce. It can be canned but should be used up within four months. It is a heavenly sauce on such things as ice cream, but is really fantastic drizzled on top of apple pie or bread pudding. This recipe makes about six 4-ounce jars or three half pint jars. I prefer making the half pint jars because there never seems to be enough! Butterscotch Topping One (11-ounce) package of butterscotch chips ¼ cup firmly-packed dark brown sugar (I’ve used light brown in a pinch and it came out great!) 1/3 cup light corn syrup ¾ cup water 1/3 cup unsalted butter ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract In a medium saucepan, combine the butterscotch chips, brown sugar, corn syrup, water and butter. Over low heat, stirring constantly, heat until the sugar is

Continued on page 30


The Valley, November 2011

Homeschooling on the homestead with andy weller

Goat Shed Howdy folks! Once again it’s time for my homeschooling article that somehow ends up being more about homesteading than homeschooling. This month I’m going to write about building a small goat shed. You see, when we got goats we decided to do it as cheaply as possible so the pen was built out of re-purposed shipping pallets. At the time we built the pen we put a dining fly up for the goats for shade, but it did not supply any protection from cold, and only minimal protection from the rain. In the picture below you can see the dining fly in the far left of the picture.

then dries with sand, clay, and rocks making a cement-like layer of dirt under the surface of the ground. To get through it takes a lot of labor with a sledge hammer and a caliche bar. If you have the money to rent a jack hammer, you can rent one of those. Since we were only digging four holes, I chose the cheap route. It took about two hours to dig four holes that were laid out in a seven foot square. While I was digging the holes, Jake and Trudy were disassembling an old roof that we got from my wife’s mother and her husband. We used this material for the roof and it helped lower the cost of construction. Once we dug the holes, we placed the poles in the holes and cemented them in place. Jake is learning all about things being level and square, so he had Jake and I start construction of the goat shed, in the meantime, their temporary shelter, the blue tarp, can be seen on the level. the left. He squared up the posts This goat shed is just a simple pole construction with a pitch Continued on page 26 to shed water. The first step of building this shed was to dig four holes. The dirt on my property consists of rocks, sand and caliche (pronounced kuh-lee-chee). Caliche is calcium carbonate that leaches out of the top layer of dirt Jake making sure all of the posts were straight and level, into a lower while I checked to ensure plumb. layer and mixes



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The Valley, November 2011


The Horse Scoop by Traci Hanna Yoder the heart to try whatever I asked. I think that is what I appreciate about him. We are learning to rope together and I can tell he truly enjoys it. He is eager to do his best. He is a horse I can throw November is a time of year a halter on and ride bareback up a we think of being “Thankful.” As trail, or lope around an open field I look at my life now, there is a lot without a bridle. He is a horse that I am thankful for…and most that I completely trust. He is “the of that relates to horses. horse” that just “clicked” with me. I grew up with horses. And if Sometimes just when you wishes were horses, I would have think things are not going the way had quite the herd. I am thankful you had hoped in life, something my parents gave me that, and supcomes along when you need it, to ported everything that I wanted show you are on the right track. to do in my life with horses. They That was the most important thing made sure I always had a horse Crockett, just a horse, did for me. to ride. They hauled me to horse My other horse Chili was a shows every weekend. They supsmall 2 year old when I first saw ported my decision to go to colhim. He wasn’t what I was looklege at Wilson College to major ing for as a project, but I have in “horses,” actually Equestrian learned that sometimes you have Management. I am thankful that I to look past the obvious. The “litstuck to my decision to continue tle” colt has put more heart and a career involving horses even desire into everything I do with though others said that I should him than some horses with twice not. his size and talent. Then there In all my years of having is Dynamite the donkey... Some horses, I think each and everyone days Dynamite can be difficult, to in their own way, has taught me say the least. He has taught me a something. Through my horses I lot about patience. I have come have learned to be patient. I have to realize about horses, and even learned to be appreciative. I have with people; they don’t have to learned to be responsible. It’s too be perfect, but still might fit you bad that many people have forgotperfectly. ten that they have a horse out For those that truly have exin the back pasture, and did not perienced what a horse can offer realize all that horses had to offer us, we have learned how to define them. Recognizing the potential real responsibility, dedication, and of what a horse can do for your commitment. The power of the inner self is something everyone horse has taught us strength, courshould experience. age, building trust, developing I am thankful for the horses bonds and reaching for goals. that I now own. It took me many Horses have been a shoulyears to get to where I have a true der to cry on and a keeper of our appreciation of what I have. As secrets… And many days… just a they say, it’s “time spent” to bring special friend to share a carrot. out the best in that horse. My I look at what I have seen horses are not expensive or fancy, involving horses with troubled but they are what I have helped children and adults over the them to be. I am thankful for all years. Help a handicapped child my “time spent.” I would have who is unable to speak onto the back of a horse. Or, put someone with overwhelmPhone (717) 667-6556 141 Three Cent Lane Toll Free (888) 567-6556 Reedsville, PA 17084 ing emotional problems on a horse; see what can happen with these people and their communication with a More than just a feed store horse, even if it’s in total silence.


given anything when I was 10 years old to have the horses I have now. Horses have brought me many of the great experiences and important people in my life, and in turn, one of the most important people in my life brought me the most special horse I have. That was Crockett for me. Crockett was just a plain brownish-black grade gelding. He wasn’t flashy or fancy or handy broke. To many people, he wouldn’t have been noticed. Actually the first time I saw him, he didn’t catch my attention until he ran to the fence and looked me in the eye. From that day I couldn’t get the little horse out of my mind. We all go through times when we are feeling down, life has thrown us some curves and we can’t get a grip on where we are headed. I met Crockett at that time in my life. I think I needed him and he needed me. Through a turn of events, it ended up that my best friend Lois acquired him. She told me “Happy 40th Birthday, he’s yours!” Feeling I wanted to own him, she told me to send her $100 and no more than that. It’s not too often you can get a horse that means so much for so little. I believe in true versatility in a horse. Not many horses will excel in a variety of events, but I think I expect them all to “attempt” a little bit of everything. I show Crockett at horse shows in everything from halter to horsemanship, pleasure to timed events. He is neither the fastest horse in the timed events, nor the best western pleasure horse, as they are today. He is just a plain horse, but it’s a pleasure to ride him for how he rides. I am not looking for the best horse, but the horse that has the heart to be the best he can be... Crockett is a horse that has

Not only physically, but mentally and emotionally, a horse can turn a bad day into a good one. Big problems seem to disappear, if only for awhile, when you are in the presence of a horse. A horse is truly good for the soul. I surround myself with people that have the same dedication and commitment to horses as I do. I have found that being with someone that understands this, enhances what opportunities a love of horses can bring you. I worked for many years with a reining horse trainer. That job instilled in me to have a good work ethic and responsibility. Not only did he have expectations of what needed to be done, but it led to a greater understanding of handling, training and caring for horses. It was an everyday job, there were no holidays. Not only was that responsibility expected of me by the owners and trainer, but also began to be expected of me from myself. I am thankful that I now have someone around me that understands that. Every chance I get...everyday… I head to the barn. Rain or snow, heat or humidity I work with my horses. It’s not only for my love of the horse, but for the horse himself. I enjoy every moment spent with my horses. I appreciate everything about them. I am thankful I have horses...I think and I hope they are thankful they have me. I believe in every little girls dream… To have a horse... in the end they will both be thankful…a


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The Valley, November 2011 Returning to our roots from page 9 cart. Check out current food magazines and you will find that root vegetables are experiencing a renaissance. Believe it or not, creamy mashed turnips and parsnip pancakes are showing up on restaurant menus. Root History Turnips were cultivated some 5,000 years ago and may have been eaten as long as 5,000 years before that. Turnips were as important to the Romans as potatoes were to the Incas. But while turnips are still used often in Europe, we would hardly call them important today. The history of the rutabaga is much shorter. In the early part of the 17th century, Swiss botanist Casper Bauhin crossed a cabbage with a turnip and got a rutabaga, sometimes called a yellow turnip. It became popular in northern Europe but the rutabaga hasn’t yet found similar success in the United States. Nor is it universally liked in Europe. The French, for example think the rutabaga is not much better than animal feed. Regardless of where the parsnip originated - there are accounts from the Eastern Mediterranean to Northern Europe to Asia - it became a popular vegetable with ancient Greeks and Romans, the latter often preferring them for dessert with honey and fruit. The popularity of parsnips spread to the rest of Europe and it remained a mainstay of the European table until the potato overshadowed it in the 18th century. Parsnips came to America with English colonials, but never reached the kind of widespread appeal it once achieved in Europe. Root Varieties Both rutabagas and turnips are members of the mustard family. All turnips have a snowy white flesh. The differences in varieties mostly involve outside coloring and size. Some have reddish rings around the crown of the vegetable, others purple. Flavors are essentially the same although larger turnips (3 or more inches in diameter) which appear later in the winter tend to be more pungent than the smaller (11/2 to 2 inches) turnips that appear earlier in the season. Instead of white flesh, rutabagas have a yellow-orange flesh that, like yellow-flesh potatoes, give an impression of richness or butteriness. They’re also sweeter and denser than turnips with less moisture. On the outside rutabagas are half yellow-orange, while the other half is burgundy or

purple. To increase their shelf life, most rutabagas are waxed. Commercially available rutabagas tend to be larger than turnips. Some say that the parsnip resembles a carrot that has seen a ghost. The pale yellow parsnip and the carrot are in the same family. Parsnips, however, are more irregular in shape though they generally follow the same carrot tapered look with lengths varying from 5 to 10 inches. Some have likened them to sweet potatoes, but I think parsnips have a taste all their own, somewhat starchy like a potato, sweet like a carrot and a little nutty as well. Seasons Most root vegetables are in peak supply from October through March. Parsnips generally run from fall (usually after the first frost) into spring. Selection and Storage Organic is best if you can find them. Turnips: Select small to medium turnips that are heavy for their size (indicating good moisture content), with good color and firmness and no bruises, soft spots or shriveling. The stem end may be somewhat flattened. Winter turnips may be larger with tougher skin, so choose carefully during that time of the year. If greens are attached, they should be bright and fresh looking. Turnip greens are nutritious and delicious. Remove them immediately if they come attached to the turnips and store them separately in plastic bags. They’ll last 3 or 4 days. Rutabagas: Rutabagas should be medium-size, about 4 to 5 inches across, because exceptionally large ones can be a bit much to handle. And they should be heavy for their size. Lighter ones may be woody. The wax on the surface of some is merely applied to prolong shelf life. Turnips and rutabagas like cold (as low as 32 degrees) and moist surroundings. In plastic bags in the refrigerator, turnips will last as long as 2 weeks. If waxed, rutabagas need not be in plastic. They’ll last even longer, up to 2 months under proper conditions. Parsnips: Choose parsnips that are firm with a good creamy color and no spots, blemishes, cuts or cracks. They should have a good, uniform shape (about 4 to 5 inches long) and should not be limp or shriveled. Avoid those that are particularly large since they may be woody, and those that are particularly small since they are not as economical and require more preparation time. Parsnips like cool temperatures. Store them

in plastic bags in the refrigerator and they’ll last up to 2 weeks. Root Nutrition For thousands of years root vegetables have served as an invaluable source of nutrition. As the “storage bin” for a plant’s nutrients, root vegetables are powerhouses of vitamins, phytonutrients, and complex carbohydrates. As it turns out, root vegetables have also been used for medicinal purposes throughout time. We know of the healing properties of garlic, ginseng and ginger, but did you know that fennel root is very good for the digestive tract? The list of roots and their remedies is long and impressive. In general, root vegetables have no fat and are low in calories. They offer a small amount of protein, and their phytonutrients are proven to have extraordinary health benefits. The phytonutrients include antioxidants which fight free radicals in our bodies. The phytonutrients are associated with the color of the vegetable, and the more intense a vegetable’s color is, the more phytonutrients it contains. Those intensely red beets are packed full of healthy antioxidants. All root vegetables contain healthful fiber and slow-digesting carbohydrates, but beets have some special properties. Unlike most other red vegetables, which have anthocyanins to thank for their distinctive color (think red cabbage), beets derive their hue from pigments called betalains, which range in color from redviolet to yellow. Betalains, in addition to their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, trigger a family of enzymes that binds toxic substances in cells, neutralizing and allowing them to be excreted from the body. Here is a listing of some nutrition facts for three root vegetables that are not commonly consumed turnips, rutabagas, and parsnips: A 3.5 ounce serving (100 grams) of turnips has 30 calories, 6 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram each of protein and dietary fiber, 60% of the Daily Values (formerly the RDA) for vitamin C, 2% for iron and 3% for calcium. Turnips are also a fair source of potassium and folic acid. A 100 gram serving of rutabagas contains 46 calories, 11 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram each of dietary fiber and protein, 11% of the DV for vitamin A, 43% for vitamin C, 6% for calcium and a small amount of iron. Rutabagas are also a decent source of potassium and folic acid. The good news is that because turnips and rutabagas are in

the same family as cabbage and other cruciferous vegetables, they have many of the same health benefits, particularly as cancer fighters. A serving of parsnips ( 100 grams, 3.5 ounces) contains 76 calories, 17 grams of carbohydrates, .5 grams of fat, 1 gram of protein, 2 grams of dietary fiber, 26% of the DV for vitamin C, 5% each for calcium and iron. Parsnips are a good source of potassium. Root Preparation – Can You Dig It? Most root vegetables are peeled before use. The peels make a great addition to your compost bin. If you do not have a bin toss them into a pot with a little more fresh onions , celery , carrots and water or chicken broth and simmer away to get a great tasting stock for soups.

When preparing turnips , if they are small and young and the skin is thin, you can treat them like a potato and roast them unpeeled after a good scrub. They can also be boiled, mashed or steamed. Rutabagas can also be prepared like potatoes but before any cooking you’ll need a sturdy vegetable peeler or sharp paring knife to get through the wax and skin. Seasonings for turnips include garlic, parsley, and dill. For rutabagas, seasonings lean more toward those used for sweet potatoes - nutmeg, cinnamon, and if you like maple syrup. Parsnips are usually peeled, unless you get your hands on a particularly lovely organic bunch. Parsnips roast well accompanied by carrots and perhaps turnips and rutabagas. Experiment and you will find they puree nicely with

Continued on page 19


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The Valley, November 2011


Roads Less Traveled... by Lynn Persing

Be Thankful I got my marching orders this month to keep my article very short—”a couple paragraphs, tops” to be exact. So, I thought I’d write about what I’m thankful for, since it’s the month for giving thanks. First, I’m thankful that I have at least a couple paragraphs to write this month. Some of the other things I’m thankful for are listed below, in no particular

order. I’m thankful for my family, immediate and distant. They always support me and are there for me when I need them. I’m thankful for Wayne. He loves me and makes my life easy (when he’s not pressuring me to meet a newspaper deadline). He takes care of me and the whole household including laundry, cleaning, and dinner on the table

when I get home from work. I’m thankful for my dog, Murphy. He gives love and affection unconditionally and is always happy to see me at the end of a long day. (Ok, Wayne does this too, but there’s something special about the wagging tail.) I’m thankful for my job. I am lucky to have a good profession and work in a department with good people. I’m thankful for my garden and Wayne’s canning abilities. I know we won’t go hungry for a while.

I’m thankful for my health. I’ve made it almost 45 years without any major problems (knock on wood). I’m thankful for my woodstove and the huge stockpile of wood outside. I know we won’t be cold this winter. I’m thankful for God, my church, East Kish Presbyterian, its pastor Pat Roller, and the whole congregation who I enjoy seeing

Reedsville Farmer’s Market

The farmers and artisans would like to thank you for your patronage and support in our first season of business. Please look for us next spring as we look forward to providing you with local and chemical-free products.

each Sunday. I’m thankful for chocolate, pasta, cheese, peanut butter, coffee, and diet coke. All favorite foods and beverages I’d have a difficult time without. I’m thankful for my friends. I have very few close friends, but the ones I have should all know they are very special. I’m thankful for a roof over my head (my house). It’s old, but I love it’s charm. I’m thankful for all the advertisers who support The Valley, especially those who took a chance on us a year ago when we were brand new. I’m thankful for all the great writers and readers of the The Valley! I could go on (and on), but I think I’m out of space. So, what are you thankful for this Thanksgiving holiday? a

The Valley, November 2011

Understanding the Constitution by David Molek

Limited Government

In the early years of America, government bore no resemblance to the colossal empire it has evolved into today. In 1800, the federal government employed 3000 people and had a budget of $1 million. That’s a far cry from today’s federal government workforce of over 2 million and budget of $2.6 trillion. Just to make the number clear, the budget is $2,600,000,000,000. I am not sure this publication would have enough room to spell out the numbers if I listed our federal debt(but that’s a discussion for another day). Our Constitution is fundamentally a rule-book for government. Its guiding principle is the idea that the government is a source of corruptive power and ultimate

tyranny. Federal responsibilities were confined to a few enumerated powers, involving mainly national security and public safety. Our Constitution also provides that the minimal government role in the domestic economy would be financed and delivered at the state and local level. Our Constitution conferred only the limited powers that are listed or enumerated in that document. However, many modern Supreme Court decisions recognize few limits to the scope of Congress’ enumerated powers. Under those current decisions, Congress may regulate even areas that should be regulated by the states. There are 2 cases that are currently making their way to the Supreme Court which may

decide the constitutional issue of the reach and extent of the federal government. At stake is the future of limited government. Those cases involve the Arizona illegal alien law and The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (wonderful name?) We call it Obamacare. In the Arizona case, the federal government is suing Arizona for constitutional violations. In the Obamacare cases, more than half the states are suing the federal government, contesting the law’s constitutionality. The task today is to confine the federal government to its delegated powers. The current administration seeks to destroy constitutional boundaries in its desire to replace politics with governmental administration. This is tantamount to denying that legitimate government derives from the consent of the governed, or that limited government rests on the

sovereignty of the people. The extraordinary success of the Tea Party movement, with its emphasis on restoring limited government, has made people recall or learn what our Framers meant by limited government. Limited government should also mean that the federal government should be too weak to threaten the rights and liberties of the people. The fact that only a portion of sovereignty is ceded by the people is the origin of the idea of limited government. What limits the federal government is not a limit on its power to act, but the limited range of objects entrusted to its care-the enumerated powers. The powers not delegated to the federal government nor forbidden to the states in our Constitution, are reserved to the states. These are the police powers, which are generally described as the power to regulate the health, safety, welfare and morals of the citizens of the states. Our Constitution does not specifically grant control over immigration to the federal government. The real issue is what power does a state have when the federal government fails to carry out its obligations which it has assumed

13 to regulate. In the face of federal inaction or manifest indifference by the Obama administration, does Arizona have the power (or obligation) to secure the safety of its citizens? The Arizona law seems to be a clear exercise of the state’s police powers. Obamacare is defended by the Obama administration as a legitimate exercise of of Congress’ power to regulate commerce. At issue is the individual mandate that forces individuals to purchase health care insurance and carries a penalty for failure to do so. It seems to me forcing individuals to purchase health insurance creates commerce and is way beyond anything the Founders ever considered for governmental powers. Our Supreme Court will render decisions on those issues. But the ultimate power is in the hands of the people. We the people have a daunting task. That task is to confine government to the exercise of its delegated and enumerated powers. All politicians will not care about our Constitution unless and until enough people care about it to make a difference. Right now, our Constitution has a limited, but growing constituency. That constituency needs to expand in the political marketplace with other interest groups. I believe our local people can do that by becoming involved with or just listening to the Mifflin County 912 Tea Party. I have and hope many more people do. a

The Valley, November 2011

14 Cows to the Homestead from page 4 evening I had over 1500 feet of posts in place and began stringing electrical fencing on the west line and about 300 feet of the north line. Later Thursday evening, I secured a cattle trailer from a friend who owns a small dairy farm; however, the trailer lights were not working, which meant I would have to rewire the trailer in addition to the remaining fencing. Friday morning I was up early working on the west fencing and had completed all but the final 50 feet to tie us in to our neighbor’s fence to our south, and managed to get the first 300 feet of fence on the north working from west to east towards our neighbor to the east. It was lunch time Friday and we were due to pick up the cattle trailer at 1 pm and then head to the dairy where we purchased the Jersey heifers for a mid-afternoon pickup. There was absolutely no way I was going to finish the north line so I decided at the last minute to string up a small paddock of two-wire electrical fencing to unload the cattle into. I managed to get a 100’ x 300’ area setup in a couple hours making us late for our first pickup. We rushed over to our friend’s dairy to grab the trailer and then drove over to the dairy from which we purchased the Jerseys. Fortunately, the gentleman who we purchased the Jersey heifers from was running late on his schedule as well, so things worked out time wise. When we arrived the heifers were already in the corral, so I simply backed the trailer up and we proceeded to load the heifers without much issue. It was getting dark at this point and since the trailer didn’t have any running lights, we wasted no time to get home before sun down. We arrived to our home, backed the trailer up to the temporary paddock and let the Jerseys out without issue. They simply walked out the back of the trailer and began eating hay and drinking water. At this point Ginger and I felt a small sigh of relief with our fairly successful trip behind us. Unfortunately, Ginger’s health continued to get worse as did mine. I knew I still had the task of wiring the north fence line, and of course, replacing the trailer lights since we would be crossing state lines and not having trailer lights would be a big safety issue, legalities aside, especially since we would be leaving before light and getting home near dark. Pressure began to build again.

At this point a good friend of mine arrived to help. Unfortunately, my friend isn’t very knowledgeable on electrical fencing or trailer lights, so we were not able to split up tasks, but having an extra hand was a relief especially since Ginger was nursing sick kids in addition to herself. By the time 10 pm rolled around, I had the trailer lights rewired, but for some reason they would not work. I tested and retested the wiring. I reattached the wiring harness, sanded the ground points, tested the bulbs and did just about everything I could think of and still no luck. I only managed to get our running lights on, but for some reason the brake lights or turning signals would not work. I was simply running out of time and after hours of testing I realized it was past 2 am and we haven’t made a lick of progress on the fence. There was nothing I could do; we simply needed rest because we had to be on the road by 7 am. The temporary paddock would have to do for the Devon pickup as well. Our 7 am departure time came quick; my friend and I were up and on the road a little later than we wanted, but none-the-less on the way to Georgia. The Jerseys seemed to do fine overnight in the paddock so my confidence grew. The only timing issue we had outside of trying to get home before dark was the trailer we borrowed also serves as a home for goats at night and since this was going to be a rather cold night, my friend asked if we could get it back that evening. The trip to the cattle ranch in Georgia was rather uneventful. To simulate brake lights I would turn on my running lights when stopping and this seemed to work for the most part; obviously when making turns I had to resort to hand signals, but fortunately there were very few cars in rural Georgia to contend with. The Devons were being kept on a large 500 acre open pasture with other heritage cattle. Like the Jersey pickup they were already in the corral. We simply backed up to the corral loading shoot and within minutes we had all four Devons loaded on the trailer. This went a lot smoother than I thought and we were literally on our way 15 minutes after arriving. The trip home was pretty uneventful. My cold was getting worse and I was looking forward to getting home and resting. We crossed back over into Florida and made it home by dusk. Like the Jersey heifers, I backed the trailer up to the paddock and opened the back gate, but the Devons did not

come out. For some reason they seemed to be frozen and would not budge. I walked to the front of the trailer and tried to push them down towards the open rear gate without much success. After a while it became obvious this was going to be a bit harder than the Jersey unloading. Time was ticking away and the night was getting darker and colder. I personally was feeling terrible and in bad need of rest. A little frustrated at this point I used a wooden broom handle and pushed the heifers towards the back gate. Slowly they edged their way up, and out of the blue as if something scared them, they all jumped out of the trailer and ran into the paddock. It was at this point that the two younger Devon heifer calves kept running towards the end of the paddock, and unfortunately they were small enough to fairly easily duck under the bottom electrified wire. On their way through the fence they received a good shock, which further frightened the calves causing them to run quickly out of sight. Our first instinct was to try and find the calves. Immediately I set out on foot, my friend jumped on our tractor, and Ginger in the car. Our neighbors with a 4-wheeler also joined the search. After a couple hours of looking in the dark I called my dairy farmer friend and told him what had happened. He immediately told us to call of the search because we were probably just scaring the calves further away and that it would probably be impossible to spot them at night. Already exhausted I saw the wisdom in his advice and I called off the search and we regrouped back at the house. I called the local police and reported the missing calves, and was assured by the officer on the phone that our calves would no doubt turn up again and that people are very good at reporting them in our area. We went ahead and brought our friend’s trailer back home and headed back home by way of a 24-hour pharmacy. We came home and fell asleep almost immediately. The next morning my wife and I were feeling worse as the cold weather, lack of sleep, and stress weakened our bodies, and no doubt worsened the cold we both were fighting. Nonetheless, we got up, fed the kids, and began the search. Luck struck when my wife called me over the radio to report our calves were in the wooded southeast corner of our property, which by grace of God, happened to be fenced. My only concern was to try and finish the north border fence and have the

calves completely enclosed, giving me time to slowly get them back with the herd. My friend and I began building the north fence. Unfortunately, at this point some very well-intentioned but ill-advised neighbors went back to find the calves and drove them north along the east fence line and totally out of our property. I was absolutely helpless as I watched them run between the poles and into the surrounding forest. This then lead to hours of search and herding, which is nearly impossible in forest since it is hard to maintain line of sight and herd the calves in one direction. Quite frankly, herding cats was an appropriate analogy. The calves were tired, frightened, and hungry. We managed to lead the younger of the two calves into a neighboring pasture, but the oldest disappeared without trace. We were devastated. At this point we threw in the towel since Ginger and I were absolutely and totally spent. We had to turn our attention back to taking care of ourselves and our family. Having written off the oldest calf, we were surprised by a phone call two weeks later from the local county police informing us they have found our calf and were able to guide it in to a larger pasture just two miles from our land! WOW – we were elated! I talked to the owner of the pasture who gracefully recommended we just leave our calf in his pasture until he rounds up his herd of over 200 head, and just sort her out at that time. Long story short (too late huh?), our oldest calf has rejoined her herd back on our land and is well adjusted to her daily routine. Our prayers were answered, but we no doubt learned quite a bit in our trials and hardships. If I were to sum up our mistakes it would be solely on patience, proper planning, and some experience with proper handling. Unfortunately, our lack of knowledge caused us to make the wrong

decisions. Let me highlight a few. Electrical fencing is perfectly acceptable means of containment, BUT your cattle first need to be trained on it. I would recommend releasing any new cattle you bring home into a hard fenced corral. Once the animal is calm, run a piece of electrical wire across the center of the corral. Cattle are by no means unintelligent and quickly learn to respect the wire. Fortunately, the Jerseys we bought came from a farm where they used electrical fencing. In the case of our Devons, they came from a 500 acre open pasture with hard fencing and almost ZERO human interaction so they had no concept of electrical fencing, which is why the calves broke through in the first place. Also, I would highly recommend you never release animals after dark from a trailer if they are new to your land or you are unsure of their temperament, unless of course, it is into a corral or small hard-fenced paddock. Patience. If we simply were patient with the Devon calves that got away during unloading, they likely would not have run far from the herd. In fact, they may have been just outside the fence near their herd members the next morning. Patience should be used with all animals. I find a little gentle coaxing goes a long way. You certainly are not going to force an animal that large to do anything it doesn’t want to. Ultimately, cattle are drawn to their herd, food, and water. Knowledge. Ultimately, if we spent more time with a little hands-on experience we would have been more confident with handling the animals. Cattle and most animals recognize confidence and respond better to an alpha personality than they do timidness. Boy – I am tired just recounting that story. Either way, I hope you learned from it and enjoyed it. Take care, Dave & Ginger and Family a

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Vote Molek District Attorney

The Valley, November 2011


The Mushroom Guy Tasty fungal morsels and other wild edibles. by Bob Sleigh

The Valley Fall Mushroom Foray in Pictures

Early arrivals enjoying some donuts and getting acquainted.

Waiting for the group to assemble while checking out some cool mushroom merchandise.

A return from the walk lead to a breaking of bread The early morning included a chill so jackets were worn, at least to start the day. together, some excellent cake and cider.

One of the few edibles discovered on the foray were Angel Wings or Pleurocybella porrigens

An excellent group of people made for interesting questions and a contagious excitement.

Molek for District Attorney

After the attendeeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s were gone, and Bob, Ginny and I cleaned up (thank you Ginny!) Bob and I went for a short walk a short distance away and stumbled onto these, some choice Golden Chanterelles, Cantharellus cibarius, and some delicious Black Trumpets, Craterellus fallax. These were discovered not a 1/4 mile from the actual foray site, you just never know. I am trusting Bob had the trumpets with his scrambled eggs the next morning, the Chanterelles went into a fancy lamb dish prepared by Chef Matt Yoder and raved about by Gay Rogers. a

The Valley, November 2011


Splitting Hares by Julianne Cahill Welcome! I am happy to introduce Splitting Hares, a column that will cover every area of the rabbit industry, from companion pets to sustainable market animals. I’m sure some of you are already involved in rabbit raising and understand my rabbit habit. For everyone else…I can explain. For many individuals, rabbits are a lifelong and addicting hobby. They make excellent pets for older children or adults, they are a lot of fun for hobby exhibition, and they are also an efficient agricultural commodity and can be raised for meat or wool. There are currently 47 breeds of rabbits and 13 cavies recognized by the American Rabbit Breeder’s Association (ARBA). This includes small breeds, like the Netherland Dwarf, weighing in at a maximum of 2 ½ lbs., to large breeds, like the Giant Chinchilla, weighing in at a maximum of 16 lbs. Other breeds, like the

Flemish Giant, have no maximum weight listed in their breed standard. In addition to the vast difference in size between breeds, there are also many color differences. The Thrianta rabbit is only recognized in one color, a deep orangered. This is very different from the Holland Lop which is recognized in dozens of colors and patterns. Other breeds, like the Harlequin and Dutch, have very specific color patterns. The Harlequin coloring is sometimes referred to as a checkerboard because two colors alternate back and forth across the coat. On the other hand, Dutch have a very distinct “mask” and “saddle” of color, separated by large areas of white. Another difference among breeds is not only the color of fur, but the type of fur. Many breeds

have normal or “commercial” fur type, but there are several specialty furs as well. For example, you may have noticed Rex or Mini Rex rabbits at your county fair, which have a very soft, plush coat. There are also six wool breeds which have very long wool coats, like the Angora and Jersey Wooly. And finally, there is satin fur, which has a unique shine caused by a fine diameter in the hair shaft and a transparent hair shell. It is much silkier and shinier than any of the other fur types and can only be found on two breeds; Satin and Mini Satin. As you can begin to see, even by this short overview, the ARBA recognizes a very diverse group of rabbit breeds, with more being developed every couple of years. There is truly a breed for everyone, whether you are only interested in keeping rabbits as pets, or expanding your hobby to raise rabbits for another purpose. The possibilities are endless! You may even choose to develop a new breed or color that is not

recognized yet. My own affinity for rabbits began at the age of 13, when I went to my first 4-H club meeting, with just two pet rabbits in tow. I held out for about two club meetings before I was hooked. A decade later, I am currently preparing to graduate from Penn State University with a degree in Agricultural Sciences. I am also an active member of the ARBA and maintain a competitive breeding and show herd of Holland Lop and Jersey Wooly rabbits. I am excited about the opportunity to write for The Valley and hope that the experiences I share will be useful to you in your own rabbit hobby. I look forward to writing about some of my favorite areas of the industry, but I also encourage you to contact me with requests for future article topics. You may reach me at See you again soon! a

Autumn of Thanks from page 6

that “sometimes, in the midst of plenty we forget to give thanks for all that we have.” If you have food in the refrigerator, clothes on your back, a roof overhead and a place to sleep, you are richer than seventy five percent of the people in the world. If you can attend a church or synagogue meeting without fear of harassment, arrest, torture or death you are more blessed than three billion people in the world. If you have never experienced the danger of battle, the loneliness of imprisonment, the agony of torture, or the pangs of starvation, you are more blessed than five hundred million people in the world. If you have money in the bank, in your wallet and spare change in a dish, you are among the top eight percent of the world’s wealthy. If you woke up this morning with more health than illness, you are more blessed than the million who will not survive this week. I urge you to count your blessings in this time of beauty and harvest. Then, give thanks to God for his grace, provision and protection. a


The Valley, November 2011

Lewistown Hospital Welcomes Therapy Dog Lewistown Hospital welcomes Booker, a therapy dog and the newest member of their dedicated staff of volunteers. Booker will be visiting the Hospital on a monthly basis and only visits patients with their permission and as their medical conditions allow. Booker is an American Bull-

through Therapy Dogs International (TDI®). TDI is a non-profit, volunteer organization dedicated to regulating, testing and registration of therapy dogs and their volunteer handlers for the purpose of visiting nursing homes, hospitals, other institutions, and wherever else therapy dogs are needed.

Wendy Anderson and her therapy dog Booker outside of Lewistown Hospital

Booker waiting for his turn to visit patients and bring them joy and hope. It is a tough job, but Booker is a willing volunteer.

dog and St. Bernard mixed breed and weighs approximately 98 lbs. He is a registered therapy dog

Wendy Anderson and her family adopted Booker two years ago from Mutts to Mastiffs

Rescue in Chambersburg, PA. The organization had rescued him from Florida. Anderson and her family who live in Honey Grove, Juniata County, also have rescued horses, as well as two other rescued dogs. One of the dogs, 9 month old Bubba, will soon begin his therapy dog training. Bubba was recently adopted from Rescue Our Furry Friends (ROFF) in Burnham. Booker is a frequent visitor at Elmcroft of Reedsville Assisted

Booker the therapy dog ready for work, and no one can doubt what a great job it is producing smiles.

Living and Locust Grove Retirement Village in Mifflin. He also visits Mountain View Elementary School in Mifflin. He attends Nancy Brackbill’s 5th grade reading class each week and also Beth Norman’s learning support reading classes for grades 2-5. The students look forward to reading to Booker! Mountain View Elementary School has shown great success already with using therapy dogs to increase reading skills. This is the

second school year that Mrs. Norman has been bringing her therapy dog, Harley, a golden retriever, to class each day. Fifth grade reading scores have increased 78%. The addition of Booker will only add to the success of this unique teaching technique. For more information, call Lewistown Hospital Volunteer Services at (717) 242-7225. a

The Valley, November 2011


Woods, Water and Wildlife with Bob Sleigh

The Cure Comes Soon You may notice that some of your fellow co-workers seem to be a little different this week. Many will have a far away look in their eyes, a look of distraction and anticipation rolled into one. Don’t worry they will be fine. The condition is temporary, and although it will get worse as the week drags on, by the end of next week, most will be back to normal. I call it pre-buck season fever and the syndrome infects nearly one million Pennsylvania residents yearly. It is the time when every deer hunter is able to find and bag that rack of a lifetime over and over again — in his or her mind. If you’re a hunter, you know what I mean. You have found the perfect hunting spot and visions of huge antlers moving towards you fill your mind as often as a teenage boy thinks about girls. Every

hunter gets that trophy deer, in his mind, countless times before the season even starts. Ahhh, but there are many more reasons why so many hunters look forward to the first day of buck season like a five year old looks forward to Christmas day. For some it is the camaraderie of their fellow hunting partners, for some it is just spending time in the woods, and for others it’s party time in the mountains away from family, work and life in general. No matter what the attraction is, the number one reason for so many hunters to — as my youngest son puts it — get up at four in the morning and go sit in the frigid woods freezing their you know what off, is a huge set of antlers. Even though so many will spend a lifetime looking for that perfect rack and learn everything

they can about the animal that sports that rack, few actually

know very much about that which causes so much of a frenzy among hunters. To begin with, antlers and horns are not one in the same. Horns such as those carried by sheep, goats, antelope and buffalo

are actually a mass of hairs that become hardened and shaped into distinctive shapes. Horns are not shed every year as antlers are, and will continue to grow throughout an animal’s lifetime. Antlers, on the other hand, are shed and regrown yearly with age being only one of the factors contributing to the growth of the calcified tissue Young male deer begin life with two protuberances on their forehead called pedicles. It is these bumps that have spawned the term “button buck” and it is from these bumps that the antlers will grow at a rapid pace. Antlers such as those grown by whitetail deer, are the fastest growing tissue known to man. Cancer researchers have even studied antlers in an attempt to find a relationship between them and another fast growing tissue, cancer tumors. Deer antlers can grow at an amazing rate of .39 inches per day, a rate only eclipsed by elk

with a rate of 1.05 inches per day. The heaviest antlers are carried by none other than a moose and can exceed 60 pounds in weight. There is no dormant period for antlers; once last year’s set is dropped new growth begins from the pedicles immediately. It is not true that the new antlers cause the old ones to fall off. It is a drop in testosterone levels in deer that causes the antlers to fall off. Older deer in general will lose their antlers throughout February and March while a young deer may maintain its headdress until May. It is a rise in testosterone levels that causes the furry covering known as velvet to dry up and peel away from the fully-grown antlers during late summer and fall. There is so much more to a set of antlers than just something to hang on the wall and look at. Very few things in this world can turn macho hunters into a quivering basket case more than the sight of polished antler tips mysteriously floating through the brush in the twilight of an opening day of deer season. Its what gets us out of a warm bed and into the chilly woodlands year after year after year. Good luck in the woods this year and may all your racks be monsters. a


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The Valley, November 2011 Returning to our roots from page 11

potatoes or other root vegetables. You can also try sautéing small chunks, slices or julienne strips. Carrot seasonings are appropriate for parsnips. That means nutmeg, parsley, dill, and orange flavoring. Roasted garlic with its nutty and sweet flavor is also a good seasoning. How do you bring all this rooted goodness to your table this fall and winter? Try some of the recipes below and tell me what you think. Roasted Root Vegetables with Herbs I make this ALL the time in the fall. It is my “go to” side dish. Feel free to substitute with other winter vegetables. I often add Brussels sprouts and red peppers even though they are not root vegetables. They add such nice color and flavor. Ingredients: 3 medium red-skinned potatoes, washed but unpeeled 3 small turnips, peeled 3 medium parsnips, peeled 3 medium carrots, peeled 1-1/2-pound butternut or other winter squash, peeled and seeded ( or sweet potatoes) 1-2 small sweet onions, peeled 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (may need a little more) 2 teaspoons kosher salt 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper Olive oil spray 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil or 1 teaspoon dried .I have also used fresh rosemary and thyme. Directions: 1) Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut potatoes, turnips, parsnips and squash into 11/4 11/2-inch square chunks. Cut carrots into-11/2-inch lengths. Mix stock with half the oil and half the salt and pepper. In a large mixing bowl, pour mixture over vegetables and toss. 2) Put all vegetables except squash in a large roasting pan greased with olive oil spray. Roast 15 minutes. Add squash and cook 30 to 35 minutes longer, stirring a few times, until nicely browned and easily pierced with a fork. Toss with remaining oil, salt and pepper. Note: I sometimes include beets. Although they are lovely in color, if you add fresh raw beets to this dish and bake them with the other vegetables they will make everything they touch a shade of pink. To avoid this, I roast the beets in a separate dish and spoon them over the top of the other vegetables right before serving. Do not toss. Worth the extra effort.

Mashed Parsnips Root vegetables mash nicely by themselves or in combination with other root vegetables. Try them instead of the usual mashed potatoes. 1 1/2 pounds parsnips, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks 1/2 pound potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks Olive oil spray 1 large or 2 small leeks, white part only, halved lengthwise and washed thoroughly 1/2 to 2/3 cup skim milk, warmed 1 tablespoon butter, softened 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg Kosher Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste 1) Preheat oven to 500 degrees. Put parsnips and potatoes in large saucepan, cover with water. Bring to a boil and boil gently, about 12 minutes, or until very tender. 2) Meanwhile, spray a cast iron frying pan with olive oil spray. Halve leeks again, crosswise, if using only one large one. Add to pan and put in the oven. Cook about 15 minutes until nicely browned all over. Turn a few times to cook evenly. Remove, chop and set aside. 3) When parsnips and potatoes are cooked, drain well and return to the pan over low heat. Mash, adding milk as you do. Add just enough milk to give the texture you prefer - and leave a few lumps if you like. Fold in leeks and season with nutmeg, salt and pepper. Serves 4 to 6. P.S. If you do not want to roast the leeks, they can be sautéed in olive oil on the top of the stove. Turnip, Potato and Parsnip Gratin 1 tablespoon butter 2 tablespoons flour 1/2 cup chicken stock 1-1/2 cups milk Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste 1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg 1 pound turnips, peeled and thinly sliced 1/2 pound potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced 1/2 pound parsnips, peeled and thinly sliced 2 medium leeks, white only, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced 1/2 cup grated Parmesan 1/2 cup bread crumbs 2 tablespoons chopped parsley 1) Preheat oven to 350. Spray casserole dish with butter-flavor spray and set aside. 2) Heat butter in a saucepan until the foam subsides. Add flour and whisk a few minutes. Add stock and stir vigorously until well incorporated. Add milk and whisk until mixture returns to a

boil. Simmer a few minutes. It should have the consistency of a thin white sauce. Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg.3) Arrange half the turnips on the bottom of the gratin dish. Sprinkle with 1/3 of the leeks. Add parsnip slices. Then 1/3 more leeks. Then potatoes and remaining leeks and turnips, seasoning each layer with • Reliable Propane & Heating Oil Delivery salt and pepper. • Budget Payment Plan 4) Pour sauce Call today over, cover and to learn about our • 24/7 Emergency Service bake 30 minutes. NEw CustOmER • Heating Equipment Service Plans Mix cheese, sPECiAls! bread crumbs and • Safety Trained Professionals parsley. Sprinkle • Over 80 Years Experience on top and bake 30 minutes more uncovered. Serves 8. Root Vegetable Salads Our Business is Customer Satisfaction Root vegetables make great 717-248-5476 • 1-800-PROPANE (776-7263) additions to salads. Roasted or boiled until tender, toss them with dressnutrition, and bulk to soups and rutabagas, beets and parsnips, and ings when they are still warm so stews. When cut into bite-size learn what they have to offer in they absorb the flavors. pieces most root vegetables take taste and versatility. I like to put roasted roots such about a half a hour to soften. Perhaps you will start a new as beets in cold vegetable sal You can also make a comfort- family tradition for generations to ads. Here is how to roast them. ing winter soup by first makcome! They pair nicely with a variety of ing a large pan of roasted root As you gather to give thanks greens , sliced oranges, almonds vegetables of your choice. When this season may you return to your and feta cheese. Here is how to cooked spoon them into a soup roots as you honor your family roast them. pot or food processor and add traditions. Wishing each of you a Preheat oven to 425°F some chicken stock and favorite blessed happy, healthy and safe Wrap beets in foil and roast in seasonings. Puree this mixture Thanksgiving. middle of oven until tender, 1 to 1 with a hand blender or in a food Sue is a holistic nutrition 1/2 hours processor. If you like a creamy consultant and holistic health Unwrap beets and cool texture add a little half and half or educator. Her office is located at Slip skins from beets and halve canned evaporated milk. 54 Chestnut Street in Lewistown. large beets Root vegetables (with the To learn more about her business Cut beets into 1/4-inch-thick exception of potatoes and carrots) go to www.mynourishingjourney. slices are some of the most overlooked com She can be reached by Arrange beets on a platter and under-appreciated foods email at sue@mynourishingand drizzle with any dressing of around. I hope I have convinced or give her a call at choice. Mix in greens and any ad- you that these nutritional store242- 3132. ditional ingredients of choice. houses are hidden treasures References: Beets may be roasted and worthy of your attention. Not only with dressing 1 day ahead, are they available in winter when then chilled and covered other vegetables are hard to find, Root Vegetable Soups but they are also very a Root vegetables add flavor, sive. Experiment with turnips,

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Fine Featherheads from page 23 dyed, you won’t see any changes in the color of the feather as you wear it. Its the same as with human hair. If the feathers are dyed, after several washes you may see some slight fading depending on the quality of feather and the dye

used. So if you decide you want to do something a little wild and different with your hair, give Hair Feathers a try. Call your hairdresser and see if he or she has feathers, if not check out The Cutting Edge Salon’s selection. Sandy currently has a variety in stock and the cost of her feathers is $30.

She is excited about hair feathers and would be glad to show you what she has. Don’t worry about your age or your “style,” there’s a feather out there for everyone! I hesitated, but now I am hooked on Feathers! Stop by East Gate Feed & Grain and see my feathers IN my hair! a

The Valley, November 2011


“What’s with That” answers: 1. Alcatraz 2. Light house on the West Coast 3. Pelicans

Dairy Princess Memories by Macy Fisher Mifflin County Dairy Princess 2011-2012

Hi, I’m Macy Fisher the Mifflin County Dairy Princess and half of my rein is over. In six months we will have the pageant where I will crown the new Dairy Princess. I can’t believe that it is already November. Soon the time will change again and then it will really seem like time is flying. It soon will be getting darker earlier in the evening. I always like it when it gets darker out earlier. Most farmers would tell me that I am crazy and I half agree. I never like to do my chores in the dark, but this is a sign to me that the holidays are coming. I like all of the holidays although Christmas would have to be my favorite with Valentine’s Day as a close second. Most people would think that Easter, Thanksgiving, or here in Mifflin County, maybe Goose Day, would be second on the list.

However, I have a good reason to like Valentine’s Day. My birthday just happens to fall on Valentine’s Day. I’m not just the only person in my family with a birthday on a holiday. My cousin Brian is just two months older than me by being born on Christmas Eve. Three of my other cousins have holiday birthdays too. Zach was born on St. Patrick’s Day, Megan on Martin Luther King Day, and Brent was born on the ever so famous, Goose Day. My sister was also born on a holiday. She was born on October 10th. You may be thinking what holiday is that? Well she will argue that every few years, like this year, it is Columbus Day. Also every year on her birthday it is Thanksgiving in Canada. So you see I really like holidays in my family. We not only have really good food like turkey or ham, but we also have birthday cake! Even though I really like birthday cake, I still get really excited for all of the great food that we have on holidays. I just love all of the rich flavors found on our table at the holidays. For example, butter and

herb mashed potatoes, stuffing and gravy, and of course pasta salad! I know that may sound weird, but I absolutely love pasta salad, especially my Grandma’s. I don’t know what she does to it to make it taste so good, but I just can’t get enough of it. So as long as I can remember she has always made it for the holidays just for me! Once I fill up on the good entrée, I move onto dessert with my Great Grandmother’s pumpkin roll. If my birthday was in pumpkin season, I would request it as my cake. I have never tasted a pumpkin roll as good as hers. Now you know why I get so excited for the holiday season. Another one of my favorite fall flavors is cranberry. I love to eat dried cranberries as a snack. They are so tasty and they are very healthy for you. Well I decided to let you all in on my secret treat by adding it to another holiday favorite….cheese balls! Cheese balls are a great thing to sit out before your big meal or even as a nice appetizer at your next party. Have fun with them

by making some that are savory and some that are sweet. Then serve them with a verity of crackers. They are sure to add some flavor and conversation to your next event. By adding cranberries to different cheeses, you can really take advantage of your local dairy case. Play things up a bit, try some new cheeses. You never know, by taking a risk, you could come up with a new great recipe! Cranberry and Pecan Cheese Log 1 container (8 ounces) light cream cheese spread ¼ cup chopped dried cranberries 1 tablespoon grated orange peel ½ cup coarsely chopped pecans, toasted Assorted crackers Mix cream cheese spread, cranberries and orange peel until well blended. Shape into 6-in. log. Roll in pecans until evenly

coated on all sides. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes. Serve as a spread with the crackers. Gorgonzola and Cranberry Cheese Ball 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened 1 cup (4 ounces) crumbled Gorgonzola cheese 1 cup dried cranberries 2 tablespoons each finely chopped onion, celery, green pepper, and sweet red pepper ¼ teaspoon hot pepper sauce ¾ cup chopped pecans Assorted crackers In a small bowl, combine cheeses. Stir in the cranberries, vegetables and pepper sauce. Shape into a ball; wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 1 hour or until firm. Roll cheese ball in pecans. Serve with crackers. a


The Valley, November 2011

Modern Energy and Alternative Heating

with Curt Bierly

The International Solar Power Show! Greeting from the International Solar Power Show in Dallas Texas. My son Stan and I flew to Dallas on Monday and are attending the show on Tuesday and Wednesday. Our company has

sold and installed solar thermal (i.e. heat water using solar energy) since 1975, but we have not installed Solar PV (Solar Photovoltaic, produce electricity using solar energy), choosing to wait until the technology matures and systems become more affordable. We were very surprised at the large attendance at the show and the number and quality of the displays. Suppliers attended from all over the world. Our heads were spinning when we left. Solar PV technology The author learning about the string inverter at the has surely come a International Solar Power Show. long way and the

prices are falling! We are hopeful this great source of energy will continue to grow and prosper. For sure it is time for our company to begin installing this technology. The solar panels in which we are interested are made up of sixty 6” x 6” solar cells. The solar panel (6 cells wide x 10 cells high) in bright sun produces approximately 250 watts of electricity. Each panel measures approximately 40” wide x 66” high x 2” thick. A typical solar array is 20 panels which produces approximately 5000 watts (5 KW) of Direct Current (DC) in bright sunshine. The DC is converted to Alternating Current (AC) by a DC to AC Inverter. You wire the AC from the inverter into your home’s main panel box. And here is the

exciting part—when your house is using less power then the solar array is producing your electric meter runs backwards and that reduces your electric bill. When your house is using more power then the solar array is producing, the amount necessary to “makeup the difference” is drawn from the power company. As with solar thermal, the cost of solar fuel (the sun) is ZERO. Easy! There is still a 30% Federal tax credit for Solar PV. Have I grabbed your attention? Ok, how do you know if the panel is a monocrystalline or polycrystalline? And what type of inverters are available. The monocrystalline cell is made from a 6”x 6” block of silicone and cut into thin wafers. The surface appearance is very smooth and the corners of the wafer are cut at 45 degrees. Usually the surface of the panel

How about a solar charging shed for your Chevy Volt? Can you say free transportation power?

has white squares where the cells meet. This type of panel has the highest efficiency in the industry (estimated up to 19% efficiency). The polycrystalline solar cell is made from a 6” x 6” block of silicone that has multiple crystals. The surface appearance is crystalline and the corners of the cells are not cut at 45 degrees. This panel is less efficient than the monocrystalline panel (estimated up to 15% efficiency). There are two types of inverters. A string inverter converts the DC to AC from all the panels in the solar array and it is usually located near your home’s main panel box. The micro inverter

Continued on page 33

The Valley, November 2011


Recipes-Crafts-Gifts With Debra Kulp Football Pepperoni Pizza Dip

Yield 8 - 10 servings 1 pkg (8oz.) cream cheese, softened 1/2 cup sour cream 1/8 tsp dried oregano 1/8 tsp garlic powder 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper 1/2 cup pizza sauce 3/4 cup chopped green pepper 10 pepperoni slices, quartered 1/4 cup sliced green onions 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese In a mixing bowl, combine the first five ingredients. Spread into an ungreased 9 inch pie plate, or serving plate. Cover with pizza sauce, top with green pepper, pepperoni and onions. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. Sprinkle with cheese. Bake 5-8 minutes longer or until cheese is melted.

Creamy Fettuccini with Peas and Ham

My maternal grandma made this dish with left-over holiday ham from Christmas. Great comfort food for cold days! 1 (9oz.) pkg fresh fettuccini 1 Tbsp butter 1 tsp minced garlic 1 cup frozen green beans 2/3 cup half and half 1/4 cup pre-shredded fresh parmesan cheese 1/4 tsp black pepper 1 cup (4oz.) thinly sliced ham cut into wide strips Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt. Drain. Meanwhile, melt butter in large skillet over medium heat.

Add garlic, cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add peas, half and half, cheese and pepper. Bring to a simmer. Cook 3 minutes, stirring frequently (do not boil) Stir in pasta and ham. Yield 4 servings.

Maple-Nut Pie

One of my favorites from my maternal grandmother! Great for Thanksgiving or Christmas. 1 unbaked pie crust 1 1/2 cups pure maple syrup 3 eggs 6 tbsp butter, softened 1/3 cup granulated sugar 1/4 cup packed brown sugar 2 cups coarsely chopped walnuts, toasted 1 tbsp vanilla 2 tbsp light rum (optional) 1/4 tsp freshly ground nutmeg 1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Prepare pastry and line 9â&#x20AC;? pie plate. Prick bottom and sides of pastry with fork. Bake until crust is lightly browned. Cool. Reduce over to 350 degrees. 2. In a saucepan, bring maple syrup to boiling, reduce heat. Simmer uncovered for 10-12 minutes or until reduced to one cup. 3. In a bowl, beat eggs with mixer until thick and lemon colored. 4. In a separate bowl, beat butter with mixer at medium speed for 30 seconds. Add both sugars, beat to combine. Beat in syrup and eggs, fold in walnuts, vanilla, rum and nutmeg. Pour into pre-baked crust. 5. Bake pie on baking sheet in lower third of oven 35 minutes, or until set around edges. Cool; serve with ice cream. a

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The Valley, November 2011

Through the Window: glimpses of nature from the Juniata Valley Random photos shot by amateur photographer, Doug Sabin, Sr. Pastor of Kish Valley Grace Brethren Church, Reedsville. Doug and his wife Barb live in Milroy.

Whatever your passion, Fall in Pennsylvania is bound to please Hair Feathers by Traci Hanna Yoder

Have you ever stuck a feather in your cap, how bout in your hair? Who would have thought that feathers would have gone from the farm to fashion in the latest trends of hair feather extensions? Some credit American Idol judge and rocker Steven Tyler, who made feathers popular when he started wearing them in his hair. I first considered feathers in my own hair when I was at Sandy Stroup’s Cutting Edge Salon in Belleville getting my gray... ummm I mean getting my hair cut. I have to admit the thought of feathers was kind of odd but also intrigued me. So it was time to do some research on Hair Feathers. There are lots of synthetic and fake feathers and you can expect to see even more as the

demand for the fashion trend continues to increase and the supply decreases. You need to know what to look for if you decide try this fashion statement. The hair feathers you having been seeing in celebrities this year, are a particular type of rooster, not just any old rooster will do. The type of rooster producing these feathers are genetically engineered and took over 30 years to develop to they quality they are today. These roosters were specifically raised to produce these beautiful feathers for fly tying. Whiting Farms has the biggest name for producing some of the best feather quality in the world. Before Whiting Farms, Metz (recently bought out by Umpqua Feathers Merchants) was the largest commercial producer of saddle feathers in the world. As early pioneers of genetic engineering techniques, Metz in Belleville, selected and raised stock specifically for fly tying hackle production. Metz is now a division of Umpqua Feathers, and a name synonymous with quality feathers and fly tying. Fly tying is an art of twisting these feathers around hooks to imitate a bug. Fly fishing shops nationwide have

found themselves at the center of this latest hair trend. Supplies at stores all over the country are running out and feathers are fetching 5 to 10 times more than the usual price. Its not uncommon to find a package of rooster saddle feathers that would normally cost $40-$60 at a fly shop, going for $200 to $400. The type of feathers that work best with your hair are Rooster Saddle Feathers. The saddle is the part of the rooster that produces the longest feathers. You may come across “rooster capes.” They are from the neck area of the rooster. These feathers from the rooster necks are short and could be used better to make earrings. Don’t confuse Rooster Saddles with Hen Saddles. Hen saddles are short for hair, but could be used to make earrings or other jewelry. Hen feather has some of

the most interesting colors, shapes and textures of feathers. Local hairdresser Sandy Stroup of Cutting Edge became interested in the latest trend of hair feathers. Although hesitant about how the fashion statement would take off in a small rural area, she took the risk and started carrying the feathers in her store. Through researching the available supply, Sandy chose to go with the Fine Featherhead Feathers. What made the Fine Featherheads stand out? They are easy to install. The salon purchases a tool for crimping a metal bead around your hair and the quill of the feather. This patent (pending) technique of bonding the feathers means the feathers stay in place longer, up to two months depending on how they are cared for. The Fine Featherheads are natural, high quality, hand crafted and re-useable. The most popular of the Fine Featherheads consist of four feathers bonded at the tip to create one extension, ranging in length from 8-12 inches. They can be brushed, crimped, curled (up to 450 degrees F), straightened, blown dry—basically treated like real hair! They will last up to four

months, depending on how they are cared for. Hair Feathers are the latest way to create visually appealing effects, color, or patterns in your hair with nature’s highlights. Fine Featherheads has several product lines including Originals, Wispers, Accents, Shorties, AND.....Pet Plumes. The Original Featherheads are feathers bonded at the tip. The Wispers are individual feathers. Accents are wide individual feathers. Shorties are shorter feathers bonded at the tip. Pet Plumes…Well they are for your furry friends. Feathers are available in over

40 natural and dyed colors. The most popular natural colors are called Grizzle, Furnace, Ginger, and Badger. Other natural colors include Black, Light Dun, Cream, Brown, and White. If you get natural colored feather that aren’t

Continued on page 19

The Valley, November 2011


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The Valley, November 2011

Walking on the wild side by julie shultz smith

I would like to introduce myself to every one—my name is Julie Shultz Smith. Growing up I have always had animals of some sort. In that time I have had everything from dogs and cats to horses and goats, sometimes even a pet deer here and there. I was a graduate of Penns Valley High School, and while in school I was involved with Penns Valley 4-H and I then moved on to becoming a member of the Penns Valley FFA showing beef cattle, goats, and horses. I also have a degree in animal science. In the years of growing up until this day my step father and mother have owned Centre Hall and Jersey Shore Livestock. This has given me the opportunity of buying, selling and taking care of all classes of animals. I have two daughters, Erica and Logan Smith, that I have also passed onto my love for animals. My daughters and I have done everything from showing goats, cattle, and pigs to team penning, game shows or just a trail ride with the horses. We have bred and owned great danes for a while as well. I now reside on a farmette in Penns Valley Area with Herb Grove and his daughter, Amanda. We own horses, goats, dogs, a buffalo and even a zebra. Everything I have done in the past has had a hand into where I am today. A year and a half ago I opened E & L Supplies located on Rt. 45 in Spring Mills PA. At E & L Supplies we have a little bit of everything—ranging from mulch, stone, topsoil to Bog boots and Purina, Blue Seal, California Natural and Science Diet feeds. We also have a pet spa in-house as well. If you need anything for your pets, livestock, wildlife or farm, stop in. If we don’t have it, we can get it. About two months ago Herb, the girls and I went out on a mission to make a childhood dream come true. We were headed to Ohio to the exotic animal sale. I wanted to purchase a zebra and Herb wanted to bring home some buffalo. We got to the sale and they had so much more than just zebra and buffalo. The girls loved seeing all the animals, they had animals ranging from wolf pups to camels, lamas, kangaroos, elk, and any kind of bird you could

imagine. The barn was full of just about every exotic animal. But to my disappointment, the zebra just wasn’t what I wanted to bring home—it was a little too wild for me and the buffalo went for a little more than we wanted to spend. So we came home with an empty trailer, but that was ok—what a learning experience it was! We also met some really nice people along the way. The night we got home from the sale I found an ad on the internet for a grant zebra filly that was a year and a half old. So here we go again—another walk on the wild side. To Maryland we go! When we pulled in to see Zahara (the zebra), I knew I was in love. There she stood in a paddock with a little donkey. Zebras don’t do well alone as they are more of a herd animal than horses are. We walked into the paddock with her and she was a little un-trusting of strange people as many animals are. It was getting late so we loaded Zahara and Donk (her donkey buddy) up into the trailer and headed for home. So now we have a zebra we can’t even touch—what are we going to do with her? I want to ride her in time. I know most of you are saying to yourselves, “you can’t ride zebras!” Oh, but you can. It is going to take a lot of time and trust, but it can be done. In the journey of finding Zahara, I have met a lot of really nice people, one of them is Sammi Jo from Texas. She has a zebra that she is not only riding, but she is jumping him 2’ 9” and has him trained to pull a cart. If I never get to ride Zahara, that is ok too. Did you know that there are different types of zebras? The grant zebras are vertically striped in the front, horizontally on the back legs, and diagonally on the rump and the hind flanks. This causes a V-shaped pattern about the middle of the sides. Their stripes are also wider. Grant zebras average 53” in height and weigh between 500 to 700 pounds when full grown. Grants also stand out from other plains zebras as grants have the striping the whole way down their legs to the hoof. Another zebra is the Grevy’s zebra, which grows 50” to 60” in height and weighs anywhere from 770 to 990 pounds

as adults. The gestation period for the grevy’s zebra is 13 months where other zebras are 12 months. People think zebras all look alike, but really you will never find two zebras with the same markings. They are so much alike, but yet so different. Herb had talked to a local man before we went to the sale about purchasing some buffalo that he wanted to sell. So when we got home we planned out a trip and yet again we find ourselves on the road. We ended up not only bringing home one or two buffalo like Herb wanted, we now have a little herd of seven. Two bred cows, a yearling heifer, and four calves from this year. I find myself at ease to just sit and watch them as they graze in their pasture—they seem so peaceful. The two cows will come up and eat out of your hand. Now that we have the buffalo home, we have lots of learning to do! Did you know that buffalo were just about extinct? Or that they can run at 35 MPH for up to an hour? Buffalo are pretty amazing animals! We had our First Annual Fall Family Day at E & L Supplies on Saturday October 22, 2011. It was a little like walking on the

wild side. What a blast it was! We had animals, Scott’s Roasting, pumpkin painting and much more for the whole family. It

was a day to remember, that’s for sure. Watch for our next article of Walking On The Wild Side for details. a

The Valley, November 2011


Goat Shed from page 9

barn, but tall enough on one side that we can walk into it. To keep the rain out we used rolled roofing, and once again I put Jake into service in placing and nailing up the roofing. He was a trooper and did all that I asked of him. He nailed the roofing in place, and in the course of the day did a lot of work. In this whole process he’s learning Here Jake is bolting the 2 X 6s to the posts skills that will serve him throughout his life. once I had the cement poured Below, the around the posts in the hole. When project is finished. We designed Jake said the posts were straight it so we can put up siding in the and level, I double-checked just to winter and take it off when the ensure plumb. weather is warm. Currently the We let the cement dry for a temperatures during the days are day, but then we got busy on the in the 90s, so we’re leaving siding roof. Again we decided to make off. a the roof on the cheap, so its construction is just 2x4s and OSB. We bolted 2X6s to the posts at the height we wanted the roof to be. Once that was done, we cut off the 4X4 posts with a sawzall. This gave us the pitch we needed. We made it low enough so that with the two goats, their body heat will help warm the

Mail Pouch Books by Carleen B. Grossman Little Heathens:

Hard Times & High Spirits on an Iowa Farm During the Great Depression By Mildred Armstrong Kalish Copyright 2007 This book’s original title was “Tales That Grandmother Told”; how could you go wrong with a story about that? Even with its change of title, the biographical book still captures an

octogenarian’s memories of times that were difficult yet life forming in positive ways. You will chuckle as you read of experiences about learning to use swear words, meal preparation boon-doggles, outhouse fiascos and even a skunk scare. There are also many other well grounded tales such as working with honeybees, making cheese, going on mushroom forays and caring for the farm animals. Being a person who loves meaningful quotations, I was delighted with the abundance of quotes this author coins...i.e. “What a tonic memory can be” and “I was the master of my fate.” She sandwiches her own quotes in along with those of famous persons like Benjamin Franklin’s...“Waste not, want not,” Don’t pay too much for your whistle” and “Hunger is the best pickle.” And of course, you would not want to miss out on all the

great recipes for food and home remedies as they are interspersed with useful tips for vinegar, egg membranes, beets, baking soda and more! This book is filled with practical material not just sentimentality or embitterment. It is simple and honest! MORE NON FICTION TIPS:

Making Supper Safe:

One Man’s Quest to Learn the Truth About Food Safety By Ben Hewitt Copyright 2011 Can you safely put together your Thanksgiving dinner---or for that matter any meal? Explore the past, present and future of how bacteria in our food impacts our nation.

The Town That Food Saved:

How One Community Found Vitality In Local Food By Ben Hewitt Copyright 2009 In these times of our challenged economy, learn how local food-based enterprises can be used to create sustainable

economic development. An inquisitive peek into a town that succeeded.

The Story of Charlotte’s Web:

E. B. White’s Eccentric Life in Nature and the Birth of an American Classic By Michael Sims Copyright 2011 E.B. White wrote what he knew about from his own passionate life on a farm filled with pigs, geese, rats and spiders! Learn how these characters from the barns he grew up with made him a famous author around the world. a


The Valley, November 2011

Grosze Thal Nachbaren

(Big Valley Neighbors)

by Jeptha I. Yoder Ein Grusz in Gottes Namen. Mir hen leichter Reifen gehabit. Aber mehr schöne Sonniche Tagen. Wir hören noch Kröten abends. Der 2, October waren meine Eltern ans Joel E. Yoders fürs Mittag-essen. Ich war ans Unkel Christs abends, Andere dort waren Eli S. Zugen, Eli S. Hostetlers, und Mose C. Yoders und Familien. Christ M. Yoders waren ans Mose N. Hostetlers fürs mittag und ans Rudy S und Sam N. Yoders nachmittages. Die (Sam R.) Malinda K. Hostetler war ans Rudys fürs mittag. Esra Y. Hostetlers und Familie waren ans Mose Cs. Daniel Y. Hostetlers waren ans Eli S. Hostetlers. Ost Milroy Gemein war ans Christ M. Zugen Jr. West Lang Leen war ans Isaak Y. Hostetlers. Der 9, waren wir in der gemein ans Unkel Jesse S. Hostetlers. Von McClur waren Amos Js, Joseph Js und Familien, Esra Ss und Abner C. (Iddo M.) alle Hostetlern. Von Lang Leen waren Eli Johannes Yoders. Nord Milroy war ans Jonas A. Hostetlers. Ost Lang Leen war ans Issaak R. Hostetlers. Der 16, gingen meine Swester und Ich in der Kirchengasse Gemein ans Uria S. Hostetlers. Von McClur waren Solomon C. Solomon C. Zugen und Familie und David S. Hostetlers; Von andere gegenden waren Jesse Ss

und drei Töchter, Ruben Ds, Jonas und Fräney (Johannes M.) alle Hostetlern. Ost Milroy war ans Tobias P. Zugen. West Lang Leen war ans Menno R. Hostetlers. Meine Eltern hatten Besuch fürs mittag, nämlich Jesse Js und Rudy Ns und Familien beide Hostetlern. Der 23, waren wir in der gemein ans Esra B. Hostetlers, Von McClur waren Joseph J. Hostetlers und Familie. Von Penns Thal waren Henry M. Speichers und Familie. Von andere gegenden waren; (Daniel M.) Leah E. Zug und drei jüngste, (Emanuel B.) Fräney N. und vier Söhnen, Mahlon Cs und Familie, Christ T. (Sam N.), Jeptha H. (Emanuel J.) alle Yodern; (Sam R.) Malinda K., Mose Js und sechs jüngste, Jacob Ms und Familie, Frieda, Jacob, Lydia und Fräney (Jacob Z.) alle Hostetlern. Lydia M. Hostetler (Yost I.) son McClur, kam mit ihre Swester die Mose C. Yoders. Singen war ans Esra Bs. Milroy Nord war ans Abraham J. Zugen; Ost Lang Leen war ans Rudy N. Hostetlers, so der Herr Will und wir leben, so ist unser Hinter Berg Weg Gemein ans Mose C. Yoders nächst mol. Der 20, war unser Nachbar Noah Y. Zug verheirathet mit Witwee (Emanuel J.) Lissie H. (Zug) Hostetler. Zusammen-gegeben durch den Neffe des Brautigams, Bish. Aaron L. Yoder. Gemein war

auch ans Abraham Zugen. Der 25 war Hochzeit-tag für Bish. Sam L. Hostetler und Lydia R. Yoder. Hochzeit ans Sam L. Hostetler Jrs. und Gemein ans Mose S. Hostetlers. Die Braut ist von McClur. Greetings in the Name of our Lord. Are having some nice fall days with corn husking in full swing. Is hard to believe it is time to again have a letter for “The Valley.” My last letter had some mistakes, mostly where I used the wrong names. Sorry about this. Hope I can do better this time. (Editors note, these mistakes could have been my fault as well, I have a lot more faith in Jeptha’s memory than I do my typing ability.) We have not had a hard frost yet, so we are still enjoying garden goodies. Still hearing frogs and even heard katydids on some warmer October evenings. My outdoor figs are still ripening. The bush in my unheated greenhouse is always earlier. But the last two years the outdoor ones are producing a crop despite freezing to nearly ground level over winter. I got them as unrooted cuttings five or six years ago from a gardener down south. In the meantime, my persimmons are coming to an end. They are a hardy American variety developed in Ontario. They are from seed I planted 9 or 10 years ago.

Being an American strain they have male and female flowers on separate trees. Only the trees with the female flowers bear fruit. This trait is only characteristic of the American strains. This one has golfball-sized fruit. The Asian varieties are even larger, but not as sweet. I have now harvested the Thinskin Baldwin apples. They are a winter apple. Also, I had some fresh cider made from our wild apples out along the fields. I have those fenced off so the cattle do not trample under the trees. One tree still has apples. These I usually pick in November. Grapes are over, but I am still finding red and yellow raspberries and even picked some elderberries (a southern type). It is time to get chicken coops cleaned and “winterized.” I should gather some hawthorns and rosehips. These are “fruits” that remain on the bushes after the leaves start falling and serve as food for wildlife. Now back to some community news. New arrivals are: A son Sammy to Noah M. and Emma N. Zook; A dau. Hannah to Noah R.J. and Elizabeth B. Hostetler. Sorry, I do not have the dates. Grands to both of these are Rufus J. and Mary N. Hostetler; Christ M. Sr. and Barabara A. Zook. Thur., Oct. 20, was the funeral of Lydia J. Speicher, 69 yr. 5mo. 29da., of McClure. By Min. Sam H. Yoder. Pallbearers were: Samuel J.S. Hostetler, John J. Speicher, David D. Jr. and Joseph S. both Zooks. Hauled by Andy C.Speicher. Thursday the 6th, a load went to Lawrence County visiting relations. Came home same day. They

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were: widower John D. Zook, Christian Z. Peichers, Joseph S. Yoders and dau. Elizabeth, Moses Es, and Johnathan Ns both Hostetlers and Sam R. Yoders. The Tobias Speicher family moved from her parents’ at Sulphur Springs to property they acquired on Salem Road. On the 27th was the funeral of Christ D. Yoder (49 yr. 9 mo. 14 da.) Born Jan 11, 1962 he was a son of Lydia B. Yoder and the late Seth K. Surviving are five sons and three daughters. Three youngest are at home yet. Wife Katie S.(Zook) of 900 Church Lane, Reedsville, PA 17084; His Mother Lydia B. of 135 Stucky Lane, Reedsville. Four brothers and one sister survive: Jonathan S. married to Elizabeth R. and Rudy M. married to Leah Y. both of Milroy; Nancy A. married to Michael D. Zook and John R. married to Mirian A(Zook) both of Ovid, New York area; and Seth K. Jr. married to Elizabeth A. of Reedsville. Preceded by his Father Seth K. Sr. and a sister Franie B. Had funeral at two places, by David S. Zook (with Freundschaft) and S. Christ Hostetler. Pallbearers were: John Lee, Korie H., Eli J. and a son of Christ R.J., (was it Rudy?), all Yoders. Hauled by Joshua D. Hostetler. Well, I must wind down now. As I wrap this up on Friday morning the 28th, we are having a frosty 27 degrees. Oh, I was sorry not to make it to the surprise “get-together,” of writers of “The Valley” for Wayne and Lynn. Someday I’ll get to meet you, fellow writers, hopefully! Remember the sick and sorrowing. Jeptha I. Yoder a

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The Valley, November 2011

Answers in an ad in this issue


Completing the first non-stop, solo, transatlantic flight

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The Valley, November 2011

The Chicken AND the Egg! by Mike Flanagan

The Black Jersey Giant (Thanksgiving every month)

Aah, November! I happen to find autumn to be the best time of year. Great sleeping weather, no heat waves, not too cold, not too much rain, usually no snow, football is in full swing, and

its name implies, these typically mellow chickens are impressive in size with mature roosters weighing 13 pounds and the mature hens weighing 10 pounds, making them the largest purebred chicken breed. The original intention of the Black brothers was to create a chicken that could potentially replace the turkey as a premium table bird. The standard developed for the birds A pair of 6 month old “Blue” Black Jersey Giants. included a gigantic THANKSGIVING! Yes, I am one frame, single comb, yellow skin color, relatively rapid maturity, of those people who falls asleep in the recliner after over-indulggood vigor, and fine foraging abiling. ity. The Jersey Giant was recog In our house we start our nized by the American Poultry feast at half-time of the 1 o’clock Association (APA) in 1922. Today game but the pies don’t even get Jersey Giants are accepted in cut into until the evening football the APA Standard of Perfection game starts because I’ve already in three color varieties – black, stuffed myself on turkey, sweet white, or blue. potatoes, corn, biscuits, dressing, Jersey Giants are dual gravy, cranberry sauce, well you purpose chickens, but they excel get the idea. The only thing I reas a meat bird with their great gret about Thanksgiving is that it body size. They are well-suited only comes once a year. But that to producing very fine and large might just change in our house capons. The young birds grow next year. relatively quickly but take time The main reason it only hapto fill out their hefty frame to pens once a year is because there produce a marketable bird – most are only two of us in the house take up to 8 or 9 months to reach now and we actually get sick of a harvestable size with good body turkey before it’s all gone. What proportions. They are an excellent we need is a small turkey that roasting bird when fully mature. Concerning egg production, gives us two, at most three, meals. the hens of this breed tend to lay But this is America, the land of more eggs than those of other “bigger is better” and excess heavy breeds. Their eggs are extra purely for the point of excess. large in size with color varying And nobody is breeding a smaller turkey. So what’s a fella to do? from dark brown to light cream. Enter the Black Jersey Giant When incubating eggs, the Jersey chicken. Giant breed sometimes takes 1–2 The Jersey Giant chicken days longer to hatch than most was developed between 1870 and chicken breeds. 1890 by John and Thomas Black Well, I am planning to try my in Burlington County, near the hand at a different kind of bird town of Jobstown, New Jersey. As next spring. I’m going to raise

some Black Jersey Giants. The Black part comes from the name of the two brothers who developed the breed, although it could just as easily refer to the striking black plumage. (That’s feathers for you folks who don’t like fancy language.) Why? These birds fit perfectly in the niche between those big old 20+ pound turkeys and the typical 4-6 pound chicken. Cindy and I usually get one meal from a roast chicken, with enough leftovers for one of us but not both. So a Jersey Giant that is two to three times as much bird should be just right for two meals and some chicken salad sandwiches for work. Imagine that. A chicken that grows big enough for a family of four to have a Thanksgiving feast once a month with no leftovers, and none of those whining “not turkey again” comments a week later. Sounds like a win-win situation to me. Personally, I doubt that my Jersey Giants will live long enough to lay eggs though. I’m just in love with that monthly Thanksgiving feast idea. Hmmm, now if I can just convince Cindy to make pumpkin pie once a month too. While you’re contemplating this idea take a few moments to remember what Thanksgiving is truly supposed to be about. It’s supposed to be about giving thanks to God for the blessings bestowed upon us over the last year. All too often, due to the machinations of the Madison Avenue advertising moguls, we Americans have forgotten where we came from and how we got here. Contrary to what they would have us believe, it’s not about “spend, spend, spend” or owning the latest and

greatest new fandangle thing. I’ve lived long enough to know now that owning more “things” not THE most prolific egg layers doesn’t bring happiness. Close of the heritage breeds; the Rhode family, good friends, and caring Island Red. neighbors, on the hand, can and Until then, remember, support do bring happiness. And it was your local economy. Buy local, America’s veterans that have eat local, and live well. made all of this we cherish possi(Generous excerpts courtesy of ble. This Thanksgiving celebrate the American Livestock Breeds them and our families and friends, Conservancy website.) a not the beginning of the Excessive Christmas Shopping Season. Next month we’re going to talk about getting your birds through winter and one A white and black, Black Jersey Giant, who are among the largest of, if

of all chickens.

The Valley, November 2011


NEW DAY CHARTER SCHOOL IS NOW ACCEPTING ONLINE APPLICATIONS FOR THE 2011-2012 SCHOOL YEAR! New Day Charter School is presently enrolling students. New Day Charter School is a Pennsylvania Department of Education approved grades 7 - 12, tuition-free public school that designs flexible instructional programs based on individual student learning plans. Online applications are available at

Locations in Huntingdon and Mifflintown Daryl I. Smith, Principle 256 South 5th Street Huntingdon Pa, 16652 888-541-5830 / 814-643-7112

a man with an unusual business from staff reports

A local man’s hobby of collecting and restoring antlers began with a gift on his 12th birthday when Annie Stayrook presented Jon Helfrick with a discarded display of an 8-point deer rack, four deer feet and a mirror that she had obtained from her brother-inlaw, John Dan Yoder. She knew it would fall right in line with Jon Helfricks love of animals and all things related to them. Jon began picking up a few more antler displays at sales or wherever else he found them and soon found himself deep into a new hobby.

In the mid-70s record-holding antler racks began to be reproduced, making it possible to hang magnificent mounts in homes and businesses at considerably less cost than the originals. Although there was no hunting story lived out by the owner of a reproduction, they still became popular investments. Jon’s hobby now became a business when he began buying the reproductions, staining the white plastic antlers, and having them attached to deer manikins which were covered with deer capes to make attractive mounts

for walls or as free-standing displays. Jon himself does not hunt, but loves to hear hunting stories and would be happy to hear more as he shows his trophies and tells about the ones that didn’t get away! His finished products are on display and for sale at his business, “Whitetails and More” located at the John Kanagy Bake Shop property on Route 655 between Belleville and White Hall. They can be seen on Wednesdays,

Julie Mac from page 8

sizes of jars in a 200°F (93°C) water bath for 15 minutes. Now that you’ve had your leftovers and desserts you can settle in for a special adult drink. Homemade liquors are very easy to make and taste so much better than the ones you can buy at the store. I like to try unusual recipes that are not easily found at your local market. FALL SPICE CORDIAL RECIPE For this recipe, Fall Spice Cordial, you can use apple cider (the kind you get in the refrigerator case, not the alcoholic stuff) instead of apple juice. Do not use artificial vanilla flavoring! The dried orange peel is usually available in the same section of your grocery store as the spices and other baking ingredients. White

brandy is much preferred over golden brandy; in any case, don’t use an expensive brand of either brandy or vodka. This is based on a recipe in Sir Hugh Plat’s “Delightes for Ladies” (1609), although he would not have had vanilla or allspice, which are both New World foods. Scale ingredients to 1 servings 1/2 cup light brown sugar 1/2 cup white sugar 2 1/4 cups apple juice 1 tsp real vanilla extract 1 tsp ground cinnamon 1/2 tsp ground ginger 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg 1/4 tsp ground cloves 1/2 tsp ground allspice 1/2 tsp dried, chopped orange peel 1 cup white brandy 1/2 cup 100 proof vodka

completely dissolved and the butterscotch chips and butter are thoroughly melted. Increase heat to medium-low and continue cooking, stirring constantly until the topping starts to thicken and becomes glossy, about 5-7 minutes. Do not allow the topping to boil or it may taste burned. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the vanilla. The topping will finish thickening as it cools. Ladle the butterscotch topping into hot jars leaving ½ inch headspace. Using a plastic knife, remove any trapped air bubbles. Wipe the jar rims and threads with a clean damp cloth. Cover with hot lids and rings. Process both

spring, summer, and fall, or by appointment. For more information, call Jon at 717-935-2703. Story provided by Jane Cullen Note: It is illegal to sell Pennsylvania game animals and game birds in the state. I have three different states that I buy my capes, hides and skins. The states are Idaho, Minnisota, and New York. Bring brown sugar, white sugar and apple juice to a boil over medium-high heat. Add cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, allspice and orange peel. Boil for four minutes and remove from heat. Let stand until just warm. Transfer to a clean 1-quart aging vessel. Add vanilla, brandy and

If the customer needs a specific mount done, I can do custom work as well. I have Mule Deer, Whitetails, and Pronghorn Antelope for sale. Please come by and look around on a Wednesday. Thank you, Whitetails & More Jon Helfrick a

vodka. Cover tightly and let stand for 1-4 weeks. Filter out solids before bottling. I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving! We here at “The Valley” are very blessed to have you as our guests every month. a

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The Valley, November 2011

For The Love of Small Town America

100 Stine Drive Lewistown, PA 17044


Toll Free 877-248-6405

by Sarah Hurlburt

Some things disappear because something much better takes its place and there is just no need for it anymore, like the first cell phones that were about the size of a half gallon of milk and cost close to $4,000. Those we can be glad were put aside for the small convenient little things we carry everywhere now. Imagine how hilarious it would be to see everyone carrying those big things around texting. However, small town America is not one of those things. It’s the heartbeat of America, and we cannot let it die. The death of small town America will, in my opinion, be what finishes off this great country. Our great Nation is sliding down a slippery slope and we must gain some traction and stop it before it collapses in ruin. Our founders, our previous generations, our military and this present generation have worked too hard to build this beautiful country into what it is and we cannot easily let it go. We must fight for the life of our country! And I’m not talking about literal fighting, I pray to God it does not come to that, but I’m talking about the little things we can do to make a big difference. You will hear people say, “I’m just one person what can I do that would make a difference?” And here is what I think we can do—we can fuel our own local economies by supporting small local business in a big way. I will be honest, there is some “inconvenience” to supporting small local businesses and running to different stores around the area to get the best local goods from different spots. But, it is more than worth it in many ways. For example, you may find that getting local beef from Peachey’s Meats is totally worth it because it’s a good feeling to know where your meat comes from and that it has not passed through some huge processing plant and traveled many miles to make it to your table. Try it and taste the difference! Plus they have some great beef sticks! The awesome thing is it’s not just healthier for you and your family, but you get the satisfaction of supporting a small local business and keeping your money right here

in Mifflin County. You can easily make one trip up to Peachey’s Meats and get enough meat to keep ya grillin’ for a month. Another great benefit to heading to Peachey’s Meats in Belleville is that you can stop at Peights Store and stock up on a great selection of lunch meats, cheeses, baking supplies and spices at great prices. They have fresh eggs and Amish country butter that can’t be beat as well. Take the whole family and stop at A.J. Peachey’s on the way home for a treat! If anyone is interested in local milk, stop in at Cenn Penn dairies right near Metzlers on 655 and you can get some milk from local cows that is processed right there on site. I just think food that is close by and does not have to be transported and stored for long periods of time has to be way better for us. Not to mention again, we keep our small local businesses alive and thriving and in turn keep America from turning all corporate, which ushers in more big government. I am not against big business, but there must be a balance. All of our money cannot be sent to China and all of our small local businesses cannot be shut down because no one wants to take the extra time to support them. When small local places close, people leave, and small towns shrink away to nothing. People have to understand we cannot all live in big cities and have no small towns with good ol’ country folk living in them and sustaining themselves and those around them—it won’t work. The system will collapse if everyone starts depending on government and big corporations only. As we saw with hurricane Irene, when things go bad in a city or need to be shut down for emergency purposes, it only takes a matter of hours for grocery store shelves to clear off. Convenience comes with a great cost greater than that of running to a few places to gather supplies for your meals this month. So, let’s work together wherever we live to search out those good little local spots where we can get fresh supplies and keep our money close to home, supporting our neighbors and keeping our communities thriving. We can save America one small business at a time. a


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The Valley, November 2011


Mifflin County Model Railroad Club

please let me digress here a little. The second year the club held an open house. This writer attended with my sons. There was a nice replica of the Horseshoe Curve and Altoona Yard in operation. As I recall, the rest of the room had just one lone train running around on benchwork with very little scenery to look at. I was less than impressed, but I was also very shortsighted as to just what this group had in mind for the future. Over the next few years the club members continued to work on their layout and have

by Ed Forsythe About 50 years ago, several local men gathered together with an idea and an interest in building an “HO” train layout in each others homes. Over time, more men and boys got involved and ideas were bounced around about building one large layout as a club of railroading enthusiasts. They started looking around as to where this idea could become a reality. They got together with the necessary people and formed what is still the “Mifflin County Model

Railroad Club.” A semi suitable location was found on the third floor of an apartment building on Valley Street in Lewistown. This space was pretty much just that, SPACE. A new floor had to be installed, improved lighting, and other improvements made before any layout structure could begin. Several years after beginning the layout with many, many hours of hard work in an extremely hot room in the summer and very cold in the winter, the layout did indeed come to fruition. This layout featured a replica of what is known as the “Middle Division” of the Pennsylvania railroad, Harrisburg to the Altoona area with a Horseshoe One small section of the layout. The complete layout would be Curve as the almost impossible to get in one shot, it is enormous. high point of

interest. Now, please remember, a train layout is never really complete, but after about ten years, many hard hours of work and a lot of support from the community at their open house shows, this layout came close to being completed to the point of operating as a real railroad, not just running trains around more than half a mile of track. The club had even hosted the mid-east region of the Railroad Association Convention in 1975, bringing several hundred people into Mifflin County to see the layout and several other attractions including the making of real train wheels at Standard Steel. On the extremely cold New Years Eve of 1989, a fire that destroyed several buildings on the block, also consumed the train layout. The club members only recovered two pieces of rail, about 15 inches long. These were located in the basement, three stories below where the layout had been. Many “scratch-built” buildings, replicating the East Broad Top Railroad, the Lewistown Station and many others including engines, cars, power systems etc.,

were lost. The club had no insurance to cover their losses. Facing a total loss one would have thought these men would have just gone home and enjoyed their personal layouts. Well, this was not to be, they began regrouping, and found another home in the basement of the old Giant Food Store on Third street, Continued on page 36 which was the Buffington Office Equipment store. Again, much clean up work, painting and electrical installation had to be done before a new layout could be built. Three years later, this determined group ran their first train on their Another section of the clubs humongous layout. The new layout. Now only way to appreciate the work involved is to see it in



The Valley, November 2011

Back Talk by Dr. Joseph Kauffman

What Is A Herniated Disc?

Most of my topics that I write about come from either patients or other people I know asking me questions about how chiropractic might help certain conditions. After I explain to them how it works, I often think that the public may have the same questions. If you would like me to cover a certain topic, please contact me. Today’s topic comes following an inquiry at church. I was asked about how Chiropractic could help a herniated disc. Due to time constraints when I am answering questions, I sometimes feel as though I cannot give as thorough of an answer as I should. I am sure many people would like information on herniated discs so I am going to tell you what it is and how the medical profession diagnoses and treats them. I will elaborate on how Chiropractic works to help herniated discs and then, you, the reader, can make an informed decision on which route is best for you or your family member. What is the spinal disc? The spinal disc is a soft cushion that sits between each vertebrae of the spine. This spinal disc becomes more rigid with age. In a young individual, the disc is soft and elastic, but like so many other structures in the body, the disc gradually loses its elasticity and is more vulnerable to injury

What happens with a ‘herniated disc’? As the spinal disc becomes less elastic, it can rupture. When the disc ruptures, a portion of the spinal disc pushes outside its normal boundary--this is called a herniated disc. When a herniated disc bulges out from between the vertebrae, the spinal nerves and spinal cord can become pinched. There is normally a little extra space around the spinal cord and spinal nerves, but if enough of the herniated disc is pushed out of place, then these structures may be compressed. A herniation is a displaced fragment of the center part or nucleus of the disc that is pushed through a tear in the outer layer or annulus of the disc. Pain results when irritating substances are released from this tear and also if the fragment touches or compresses a nearby nerve. Other names given to herniated discs include slipped discs and bulging discs. You may also see disc spelled as disk. A herniated disc may occur suddenly in an event such as a fall or an accident, or may occur gradually with repetitive straining of the spine. Common symptoms of a herniated disc include: •Electric Shock Pain

Pressure on the nerve can cause abnormal sensations, commonly experienced as electric shock pains. When the compression occurs in the cervical (neck) region, the shocks go down your arms. When the compression is in the lumbar (low back) region, the shocks go down your legs. •Tingling & Numbness Patients often have abnormal sensations such as tingling, numbness, or pins and needles. These symptoms may be experienced in the same region as painful electric shock sensations. •Muscle Weakness Because of the nerve irritation, signals from the brain may be interrupted causing muscle weakness. Nerve irritation can also be tested by examining reflexes. •Bowel or Bladder Problems These symptoms are important because it may be a sign of cauda equina syndrome, a possible condition resulting from a herniated disc. This is a medical emergency, and you should see your doctor

immediately if you have problems urinating, having bowel movements, or if you have numbness around your genitals. How is the diagnosis of a herniated disc made? Most often, your physician can make the diagnosis of a herniated disc by physical examination which includes testing sensation, muscle strength, and reflexes. An MRI is commonly used to aid in diagnosing a herniated disc. It is very important that patients understand that the MRI is only useful when used in conjunction with examination findings. It is normal for an MRI of the lumbar spine to have abnormalities, especially as people age. Making the diagnosis of a herniated disc, and coming up with a treatment plan depends on the symptoms experienced by the patient, the physical examination findings, and the x-ray and MRI results. Only once this information is put together can a reasonable treatment plan be considered. Most often, treatments of a herniated disc begin conservatively, and become more aggressive if the symptoms persist. The first treatment is to rest and avoid activities that aggravate your symptoms. Many disc herniations will resolve in given time. Ice and heat application can be extremely helpful in relieving the painful symptoms of a disc herniation by helping to relax the muscles of the back. Physical therapy and lumbar stabilization exercises do not directly affect the herniated disc, but they can stabilize the lumbar

spine muscles. This has an effect of decreasing the load experienced by the disc and vertebrae. Stronger, well balanced muscles help control the lumbar spine and minimize the risk or injury to the nerves and the disc. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs) are commonly prescribed and often help relieve the pain associated with a disc herniation. By reducing inflammation, these medications can relieve some pressure on the compressed nerves. NSAIDs should be used under your doctor’s supervision. Oral steroid medications can be very helpful in episodes of an acute (sudden) disc herniation. Medications used include Prednisone and Medrol. Like NSAIDs, these powerful anti-inflammatory medications reduce inflammation around the compressed nerves, thereby relieving symptoms. Other medications often used include narcotic pain medications and muscle relaxers. Narcotic pain medications are useful for severe, short-term pain management. Unfortunately, these medications can make you drowsy and can be addictive. It is important to use these for only brief periods of time. Muscle relaxers are used to treat spasm of spinal muscles often seen with disc herniations. Injections of cortisone can be administered directly in the area of nerve compression. Like oral anti-inflammatory medications, the idea is to relieve the compression on the nerves. When the injection is

Continued on page 36

We fix computers !

International Solar Power Show from page 21 converts DC to AC at each panel and the unit is mounted on the back of each panel in the array. If there are 20 panels in an array and 10 panels are wired together in series, there will be two “strings” wired back to the inverter near the electrical panel. If any of the solar panels are shaded due to clouds, trees, etc., the output from all the panels in that string will be reduced to that of the shaded one. With the microinverter, a reduced output from one panel does not affect the output from the balance of the panels; in addition, each solar panel can be monitored to confirm the output. We will give you updates on this important technology in future articles. Curt Bierly is president of the bierly group incorporated of which Stanley C. Bierly (HVAC System Design and Installation) 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 cbierly@bierlygroup. com. a

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The Valley, November 2011


Joanne Wills’ Contentment Quest Edit...

Lately, there have been a number of slow and steady workings occurring in my life. I can’t seem to fully explain it, but I feel as though God is reshuffling a lot of things in my life. I guess one could say it’s a process of “edits” of sorts that is taking place. I am confident that God is at the helm of this because I have a strong feeling of peace and certainty regarding the changes and transitions. I know that God is working in my life, with my best interests in mind; he is gently editing my life. In the past, during most of my lifetime, I would have desperately wrestled and hung onto things, people, and ways; even if God was trying to remove such things.

I would have clawed and clenched to keep them – to feel as though I had some measure of control in the matter – rather than easily release them. But, I have been growing; I have been actively listening and seeking the truth – the still small voice. Several different dictionaries define the word “edit” in general as an action to “prepare for (written publication)… by correcting, condensing, modifying, revising, or adapting. Hmm… there definitely is a sense of editing happening in my life. I will share some of the details with you… Correcting – Sometimes I feel as though there is a big bold red pen making “X” marks on a few of the words I speak and thoughts I

think. There are times when my thoughts and words could have been kinder – I recognize that in retrospect. Sometimes instead of an “X”, a full strike through (of the words I utter or the thoughts I entertain) is more appropriate because the string of words or thoughts was better left un-materialized. Other times, it is most appropriate to bold or underline the words that have tumbled from my brain and spilled forth from my mouth because they have manifested energy of compassion, love and kindness. Recently, I am much more conscientious of when the big bold red pen should appear for an edit. In fact, I find myself “erasing” words and thoughts mid-stream in my consciousness negating the need for the big bold red pen to make an appearance. I’ve been striving for more bolds and underlines and less “X” marks and strikethroughs. Condensing – There are areas of my life that have become abbreviated. As of recent, happenings have been set in motion to bring forth a sense of clarity and wisdom regarding areas of my life that have been abruptly abridged. Just as a researcher combs page after page, book after book, and volume after volume for facts in expectation of presenting clear and concise information; I have taken a magnifying glass

to the situations that have swiftly become abbreviated in hopes of gaining a better understanding of why certain things are curtailed in one’s life. And, I have grown to accept and appreciate the happenings or situations that get cut short and spark the motion of change. Condensing, clearing, and simplifying often prove to be blessings in disguise. Modifying – There are modifications happening in my life. There is a palpable shift, a reordering of sorts, within a variety of the relationships in my life. I haven’t asked for these modifications. I haven’t submitted a requisition form petitioning for alterations within relationships in my life – personal and professional – but certain relationships are being edited. I haven’t asked God to reorder or remove people and things from my life, but in small ways he has done so. Neither have I asked him to strengthen some other relationships, but that is exactly what has transpired. I have come to realize that some relationships have been renewed, while others, without intention, have become static. The relationships in the story of my life are being edited – and I am at peace with what will prove to become the final draft for the current chapter known as the story of my life. Revising – There are areas in my life that are currently being reworked. It is as though an ironsmith is hammering and working with an iron rod that has been pulled from the searing flames of the ironsmith’s furnace. An iron rod cannot be worked and molded if it is cool. The rod must be scorched in a sizzling fire before it is pliable enough to bend – to mold and rework. Revisions are in process, my life is in the midst of a rework, and I do not fear the fire. I am ready to

emerge strengthened and inspired from the experience as my life is shaped anew. Adapting – I choose to continue to acclimate myself, to continue to climb upward and onward in life, to gain solid footings as I climb, to know when to rest, and to acquire a clear vision on the “edits” that transpire in my life. Our life’s story is constantly evolving – always being edited. The story is written day by day – everyday. It is a work in progress and a series of rough drafts formed into chapter after chapter. As you look back over the years – over the story that is “your life” – can you distinguish that which was enhanced by editing? What edit marks did the big bold red pen make in “your” story? Where the “X’s” and strikethroughs in balance? Did the bolds and the underlines grab your attention and bring a smile to your heart? Have you discovered that which you wish you could erase? Do you feel as though a revision or modification would be beneficial? I urge you to review your life’s story – to read and examine what has been penned thus far. Your life’s story is a work in progress. Every single day you decide what will be written by your choices that you make. What will “your story” convey? Penned to ponder…. “The simpler you say it, the more eloquent it is.” ~ August Wilson “A professional writer is an amateur who didn’t quit.” ~ Richard Back “You write to communicate to the hearts and minds of others what’s burning inside you. And we edit to let the fire show through the smoke.” ~ Arthur Plotnik “It is with words as with sunbeams. The more they are condensed, the deeper they burn.” ~ Robert Southey a

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The Valley, November 2011 What’s with that answers 1. Charles A. Lindbergh 2. Paris, France-May 21, 1927 3. Ryan NXP

Life in the East End by Rebecca Harrop

I’m Rebecca Harrop with another edition of “Life in the East End.” If you didn’t know by the calendar you would surely know by the slightly cooler temperatures we have been having, that fall is here. If you watch the local farmers you also know by their activities. We are busy chopping corn for silage to fill silos or Ag bags. The Ag bags are those long white tubes you see in our fields that look like giant worms. Some farmers decorate them by putting faces or other things on them. I always think that is neat when I see them. Maybe I can put something on ours this year, if I can think of something really good. We are also picking or shelling corn and soon we will be harvesting soybeans. If we can get it dry, there is still some hay to be made. It can be difficult to get hay dry this time of year due to shorter days and temperatures not as warm. We have to make sure our barns are ready for cattle being brought in from summer pasture. That also means hauling manure so the barns are nice and clean. This fall it is tricky getting all this done between rain showers. We have been fortunate in our area because while we have gotten lots of rain, we haven’t had the flooding issues some areas near here have had. It is something to see whole fields of crops laid flat by flood water. Soybeans, especially, will have the grain knocked out of the pods so they are pretty much worthless. Corn stalks get all busted up making it difficult to harvest. All the trash and garbage that gets picked up by the flood water gets in the fields, which can end up in the harvesters causing delays, major damages and expensive repair bills. My Dad always says farmers have to have lots of faith to plant seeds every spring and pray the conditions are right for the seeds to germinate, grow, and produce a good crop without some disaster wiping out your efforts. That’s why he says fall is his favorite time of year because he gets to see the results of their labor. He also said we need to remember that God is responsible and thank him for all we have. You will also know it is fall

because hunting season starts. I’m sure most people think hunting season is just to get out there and shoot stuff. I think it is much more than that. It is an opportunity to be in the outdoors, to get some exercise, and see all the beautiful surroundings we live in. Some of my favorite times have been walking through the fields and back at the mountain with Dad or my brothers hunting. Believe me, we do more walking and sitting, and just enjoying our surroundings than shooting. I’ve learned more kinds of birds, trees, and wildlife while hunting than any other way. I’ve learned to appreciate the environment and how important it is to take care of it. I’ve learned to sit quietly and observe what is around me. I really enjoy going hunting with my Dad and brothers. This hunting season I went deer hunting during Muzzleloader season using my brother Ernie’s inline muzzleloader. Before the season started he took me to shoot it to make sure I could handle it. My Dad and brothers are really obsessive about gun safety. Ernie took me to one of his tree stands at the end of the field behind our calf barn when I was done feeding calves. After we were sitting there for about half an hour, we heard some deer coming. When we saw them there were about five of six deer. It took me awhile to get one in the scope because I wanted to shoot at one that was standing still. When I finally got a shot at one, and I waited for the smoke to clear, I saw the deer running through the field, so I thought I missed it. But then it stopped moving. Ernie reloaded the gun and went to check and see if it was dead, and it was. It was a little doe, but I’m glad I finally got a deer. Then we had to drag it out of the field. By the time we had it out, I was exhausted. Then we had to gut it and skin it. My brother did that for me since it was my first deer and I didn’t know how, but I helped him. If you are going to hunt, you have to be prepared to do the rest—it’s not just about shooting a gun. Getting my first deer was really exciting. a


The Valley, November 2011


Home-Grown! A Homeschooler’s Perspective By Mary Eck

Qualifications, Please!

So, this week I was asked, for the umpteenth time just this school year, “Oh, you’re a teacher? No? Then what exactly are your qualifications?” Which, of course, really translates to something like, “What in the world makes you think you are more qualified than the ‘trained professionals’?”…and with that snarky undertone that continues the thought, “How absurd! Teaching your own children without the proper credentials; what IS the world coming to?!” Thankfully, such inquiries no longer rile me like they use to. I’ve learned not to waste my time and energy on folks determined to talk AT me instead of WITH me! The whole volatile issue seems incredibly foolish. The simple answer is, Yes, I am indeed qualified to determine the best educational option for MY children, just as you are qualified—by sheer biological authority—to choose how and by whom YOUR children are educated. I refuse to believe that just because I’ve not taken a certification exam, or endured hours of progressive (read “liberal” here) instruction methodologies, I am somehow unfit to teach my own young’uns. I could cite independent studies and a truckload of

statistics attesting to the fact that homeschooled students consistently outperform their public school counterparts by a large margin, regardless of whether or not the parents have been “rubberstamped” by some state bureaucracy. Believe me, the evidence clearly confirms that the National Education Association (NEA) is NOT the lone source of capable teachers it claims to be! Again, I COULD dazzle you with that evidence, or I could critically assess all the dubious aspects of our state’s certification process. But, that is another exciting column idea for the near future! My point to ponder for this month is, why does my schooling choice bother someone else? It’s actually nobody else’s business, if I may be so blunt. So, what gives?! I’ve never quite understood the ferocity critics vent toward us. I don’t look down upon or condemn parents who choose the public option for their children, despite a bevy of undeniable faults and failures that have plagued public schools for decades. I mean, it’s not exactly a secret that our public education system is in crisis mode. Ah, but therein lies the rub! If homeschool naysayers are so sure that we amateurs cannot

possibly do the job of adequately teaching our child(ren), why fight us? It seems to me the best way to get rid of the supposedly detrimental homeschooling movement is to let it be; let it turn out thousands of ill-prepared students and citizens to the point that momentum shifts and parents in droves turn back toward the public school bureaucracy, sufficiently humbled. There would still be the millions of impeccably-educated public school graduates to run things and their parents would get to revel in how right they were. So, there’s no real harm in letting this dastardly homeschool experiment run its course…right? That IS what (gasp!) “competition” is all about. Right?! Silliness and taboos aside, all choices have pros and cons to them; and homeschooling is not exempt from that truth. But when public school enthusiasts attack or belittle our decision to teach our children at home, it’s high time for the pot to leave the kettle alone! For me, it is NOT a competition. It is about my responsibility to see that my children receive a good education. And I choose homeschooling, as that’s my right. Respect it, won’t you?! a

Back Talk from page 33

to remove the herniated disc, and free up space around the compressed nerve. Depending on the size and location of the herniated disc, and associated problems (such as spinal stenosis, arthritis, etc.), the surgery can be done by several techniques. In very straightforward cases, endoscopic or microscopic excision of the herniated disc may be possible. However, this is not always recommended, and in some cases, a more significant surgery may need to be performed. Chiropractic is conservative care, which means it is non-surgical and drugless. In treating low back “slipped discs”, most spine experts agree that conservative care should be tried before surgery is considered, except in severe cases. What is the chiropractic approach to conservative care of the disc?

First we should address a misconception. Chiropractors do not attempt to “pop a disc back in place” with forceful adjusting or manipulative techniques. There is a form of disc insult to a nerve with low back instability, often resulting in a quite dramatic lean of the low back with spasm that responds well to traditional chiropractic adjusting. However, all other disc conditions are treated in chiropractic with a gentle program of low-force techniques. Another misconception is that chiropractic care involves a few quick treatments, again usually seen as popping the back, which will fix the disc. Instead, chiropractors who treat disc conditions integrate their low force adjusting techniques in an organized proto-

used, the medication is delivered to the area of the disc herniation, rather than being taken orally and travelling throughout your body. Spinal injections are usually done on an outpatient basis, using x-ray or fluoroscopy to identify the area where the injection is needed. Is surgery necessary in the treatment of a disc herniation? As mentioned, treatment of a disc herniation usually begins with the steps listed above. However, surgical treatment of a herniated disc may be recommended soon after the injury if there is a significant neurological deficit to your problem. Most often surgery is recommended if more conservative measures do not relieve your symptoms. Surgery is performed

Continued on page 43

Poor Will’s Valley Almanack from page 41 the entire year, the only S.A.D. (seasonal affective disorder) Index ever devised, and scrambled word puzzles that offer readers the chance to win cash each month. To order your autographed copy, send $20.00 (includes shipping and handling) to Poor Will, P.O. Box 431, Yellow Springs, Ohio 45387. Bill’s website, www.poorwill-

Mifflin County Model Railroad Club from page 32

open houses each year. I didn’t attend for one reason or another, but I remember a couple times friends telling me about what they had seen when they attended the open houses. I remember thinking maybe someday I’ll get there again. In late October 1997, I decided on a whim to stop in at the club since I had opened train repair shop. I was completely blown away with what I saw that night. There was an even nicer Horseshoe Curve, a four track mainline railroad replicating the Middle Division, a scale model of the Harrisburg train station and many more recognizable structures and areas including the Rockville Bridge spanning the Susquehanna river. All of those years I had a very wrong opinion of what I had seen before. I had not known that these men would be building a model of a real railroad. I joined that night and have enjoyed helping this group build their layouts for 14 years. Yes, I said layouts, not just that layout. In 2002, after having had their most successful open house show with over 2000 people from all over Pennsylvania and surrounding states plus one family from Japan, we lost our basement space and had to destroy the layout ourselves and try to find yet another new home to enjoy our hobby. Here again, one would have thought that after all this group had been through this would have been the end. But again, this was not to be. Here let me remind you this is now several decades after the beginning of our club and we have lost members due to aging and other reasons. We have only one original member, Bill Corbin, still with us. We put as much as possible in storage in a friend’s garage, held meetings wherever possible and made things come together again., 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

We again received support from members and the local community and held our open house with temporary layouts in the old First National Bank building while we looked for another new home. The club finally located a new home in the basement of the old Montgomery Wards Store located on the square in Lewistown. Once again the members started cleaning, painting, lighting and finally building what is today the third “HO” layout of the Middle Division of the Pennsylvania Railroad, although this layout does not have a Horseshoe Curve, it does have many great areas to enjoy with many trains running. Also available for your enjoyment is an “O” and “G” gauge layout in an adjoining room. Two years ago even this “HO” layout went through a damage period when a water pipe in the ceiling above the Lewistown Yard area broke loose and water poured down onto the layout for over six hours, doing several thousand dollars in damage. The club is still trying to recover from this financial setback, but we are indeed still running trains and working on scenery. This year’s open house shows will be held in conjunction with the Ice Festivval in downtown Lewistown on December 1st and 2nd from 5:00PM to 9:00PM, December 3rd 10:00AM to 3:00PM and December 4th, 11th, 18th and 31st from 1:00PM to 4:00PM. The club will be running many different trains each of these days and will feature vintage trains from the 1920s to 1960s on December 11th and a special day with Thomas and Friends on December 31st. As always, we love having people come and enjoy this local attraction and we are always looking for more people to get involved with the club. For more information just ask a club member or contact me, Ed Forsythe at Ed’s Train Repairs and Sales in Vira. See my ad on page 10 in this issue of The Valley. a


The Valley, November 2011 Chestnuts from page 5 protection from your livestock, particularly the goats (more on them in a bit). Young chestnuts, especially seed grown, may branch out low. Trimming the main trunk clear of branches up to a height of about five feet during the first three years or so will make it easier to keep the ground underneath clean. So, you’ve planted, watered protected and waited. The chestnut trees have taken on a slightly rounded shape, the branches stretching and twisting in interesting patterns. One spring, after the new leaves have spread, you’ll notice thin, bright green “fingers,” three to five inches long, growing from the tips of some of the twigs. Soon, they’ll be covered with cream-colored fuzz, looking, for all the world, like caterpillars. In a “good” year, a mature chestnut tree can look a bit like a giant pom-pom. They’re easy to spot from a distance when they’re in bloom and you may be surprised at how many there are in your neighborhood. Soon, the tiny beginning of the chestnut burr can be clearly seen, hugging the twig where the blossom turned brown and dropped off. As summer progresses, the burrs grow, covered with prickly, hypodermic-needle sharp spines. “They’re there to protect the treasure inside. Go put on a pair of gloves,” my Mother would tell me when many, many years ago I would complain about getting stuck. They work well, too, those spines, since even the goats, who regularly chow down on all manner of sharp things, avoid the burrs like the plague and wait for easier pickings. By late September the burrs start to stir as the seasons change. Any time now, the chestnuts will begin to drop, so keep your larger animals away from the trees or you’ll be fighting them for the nuts. I know of which I speak, having been shoved out of the way by large goats intent on getting to the chestnuts I was gathering. Horses, too, are as good as vacuums when it comes to cleaning up the day’s drop – crunch, crunch. I’ve no experience with cows, but better safe than sorry. As for swine, well their reputation for plumping up on foraged food is well deserved, so if I raised pigs, they’d be far away from the chestnut trees come fall (check out Foxfire 3 if you’re curious about the mountain folk’s tradition of turning out the live stock to feed off of acorns and chest-

nuts–sylvan pasturing before the phrase was coined!). Check your trees daily now. As the weather cools down, gaps will appear on the sides of the burrs. Cold, frosty nights followed by warm, sunny days will pop them open and the sound of dropping chestnuts will greet the morning along with your roosters. Some of these opened burrs will remain on the tree, with the occasional chestnut still clinging to the smooth interior of the burr, but the slightest breeze will send these reluctant nuts to join the rest scattered on the ground. Occasionally, a particularly nice chestnut will be found still lying in a half opened burr, hence the good idea to have those gloves with you when you go gathering. Any burrs blown down unopened can be stomped and rolled, but chances are they enclose nuts that are pale and immature. First thing in the morning after the sun has had a chance to warm things up and in the afternoon after the day’s winds have worked on the trees, are the best times to gather. No matter how or when they come down, however, the chestnuts will lay only so long before marauding squirrels will appear to dispute your claim to the harvest, so keep your eyes peeled and act accordingly. If you can’t beat them to the trees every time, there’s always squirrel stew with chestnuts – yum, yum! The actual chestnut is quite attractive, with a shiny (never keep a dull shelled chestnut), smooth, reddish brown shell covered with a fine down at the tip. There are usually two in a burr, lying like twins with their flat sides together and occasionally you’ll find a few that had the burr to themselves–large, almost round

and destined for special uses. Burrs containing three have nuts that are sometimes small enough that you might consider sharing them with those ever-hungry goats (or squirrels). The size of the chestnuts will increase as your trees mature. It takes fifteen years or so for them to hit their stride (even longer with the American Chestnut), but you’ll probably be so excited with the first harvest that you won’t care how small they are. It’s much later, during bumper years, when you’re hauling them in by the bushel basketful, that you get a bit picky about the size and the smaller ones get left for the critters. Baskets of buckets are better for gathering if you’ve got a big crop since they can add up to quite a weight. Once gathered, they should be brought indoors and allowed to sit for several days to allow the starches to develop into sugar. Spread them out, so they’re not more than two chestnuts deep and stir them around each day to help prevent molding, more often if they were damp. The longer they sit, the sweeter they’ll become. Our very first crop sat around for a good week, by which time we had boxes of chestnuts marked by a tiny, perfectly round hole. Underneath the ‘holy’ chestnuts was a layer of plump, cream-colored chestnut worms. Boy, did the chickens eat well THAT day. There had to be a catch. We’re dealing with Nature after all, and she loves to throw us loops when we’re not paying attention. Unlike the black walnut worms, which are OUTSIDE the shell and are an integral part of us getting to the nut, chestnut worms are INSIDE the shell and are an

integral part of getting to the nut before we do. Since our chickens do a good job nabbing most crawling intruders that venture into our planting, the egg laying mamas must have flown in. Spraying, other than the occasional spritz of kelp, is not a consideration. Besides, the presence of worms in our chestnuts varies from year to year and though we haven’t taken the time to keep records to identify the possible triggers or a “wormy” year, we have learned and adapted. Also remember that your situation will be different from ours and you may never see hide nor hair of a chestnut worm. We’ve learned to let freshly gathered chestnuts sit for three days, time enough for them to gain some sweetness, but not enough for too many worms to take hold. In addition, we clean up under the trees religiously at the end of the season and burn what isn’t used (branches make great kindling and bags of dried leaves are set aside for wintertime goat snacks). Maybe next year we’ll take the time to hang some traps in the trees to see what manner of bug the worms come from. Maybe. Anyway, the chestnuts have sweetened up for a few days and are ready to use. Now what? Like all produce from garden or farm, there are many ways to handle the chestnut crop. “Chestnuts roasting on an open fire...” come first to mind and there are very good guidelines in books and other sources to help you learn this fine tradition. Our route is a bit different. The first thing we do is to partly cook and peel the chestnuts. Although they can be allowed to dry in their shells for later use, the worms nix that idea

and the cook and peel method is good, evening sit-down work. Fill a two quart pot half full of chestnuts and cover with water by an inch or two. If any float, throw them away; since the shells many take several years to completely break down in regular compost piles, our floater’s peeled shells and rejected nuts get thrown on a burn pile where the chickens get to do a pick through. Bring the pot of chestnuts to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for thirty minutes or so. We don’t cut the shell in any way, though some sources recommend this to prevent explosions. We’ve never had any, but suit yourselves. Leave the nuts in the hot water as you work, using a spoon to lift them out, so have a towel handy. Keeping them very warm makes the softened shell easier to cut into and the inner skin that wraps the chestnut much easier to peel off. Like shucking corn, everyone approaches chestnut peeling differently. Slicing off the thick, pale bottom then pulling off strips of the shell generally does the trick and the inner skin that wraps the chestnut SHOULD peel off easily with the help of a knife. Just use patience while you develop the skill. Extra help and good conversation enliven the process, but good music or a good movie to listen to, work as well. Yes, you will occasionally find a cooked worm. You will also sometimes find that part or all of a peeled chestnut is streaked with brown and/or slightly slimy. Needless to say all of these go into the scraps. Once you start peeling, you’ll quickly get the knack for spotting the bad ones at the first cut which will save much

Continued on page 39

The Valley, November 2011


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The Valley, November 2011


Medic 29 at Lewistown Hospital Closing

Lewistown Hospital’s Medic 29 Advanced Life Support program will be closed effective December 31, 2011. Advanced Life Support (ALS) services will continue to be available for Mifflin County residents through Fame Emergency Medical Services (EMS). For people living in Juniata County, Port Royal EMS and Central Juniata EMS will provide coverage. Central Juniata EMS is in the process of establishing an advanced life support service and plans to be operational by December 1, 2011. ALS squads augment the staff of existing Basic Life Support (BLS) ambulance teams that operate in the region. During an emergency call, the ALS squad is dispatched, along with the BLS ambulance and meets the BLS ambulance on the scene or en route to the hospital. This ensures that the public receives the best care as soon as possible. “Since 1989, Medic 29 has been an excellent provider of advanced life support services to the people in Mifflin and Juniata Counties and filled the void when the service was not available in our communities,” noted Kirk Thomas, VP of Operations for Lewistown Hospital, “However, our goal is to consolidate ALS operations and work cooperatively with other organizations to create improved operational efficiencies. We know that the public will be offered a high quality service through Fame EMS Port Royal EMS and Central Juniata EMS. We also want to assure our current Medic 29 members that their membership will be honored throughout the membership period by these three existing EMS providers.” In recent years, hospitals across the state of Pennsylvania have closed their ALS programs because of budget constraints and a growing gap between operating costs and reimbursements. Since 2000, the number of hospitals providing stand-alone ALS services in Pennsylvania has decreased from thirty one to ten. If you have any questions concerning the closure please call (717) 242-7365.

Hospital Offers Celebrating a Time of Change Workshop

Lewistown Hospital’s Family Health Associates (FHA) is offering a “Celebrating a Time of Change” workshop on November, 10, 2011 at Lewistown Hospital from 5:30 – 7:30pm in Classroom 6. This workshop is designed especially for mothers and their adolescent daughters, ages 9 - 12 years. Registration fee is $10.00 for each mother/daughter pair. The focus of the workshop is to assist mothers in educating their daughters on changes that occur at this time in their life. Informational booklets for mothers and daughters are given to reinforce information presented. Space is limited. Pre-registration is required. Call 242-7379 to register and for more information.

Lewistown Hospital Hosts Free Diabetes Educational Dinner and Event

Lewistown Hospital’s Diabetes Resource Center is hosting a free educational dinner and panel discussion: “Diabetes Care: Everything You Need to Know from Head to Toe” on November 9, 2011 from 4:00 – 8:00pm at Cedar Grove Brethren in Christ Church in Mifflintown. Doors open at 4:00pm for informational vendors. Dinner served at 6:00pm. Panel discussion begins at 6:30pm. The event, moderated by Kay Hamilton, President and CEO, at Lewistown Hospital will feature a panel discussion about preventing diabetes before it starts; symptoms and testing for diabetes; choosing treatment options; monitoring and avoiding complications; as well as what medical, educational, and support resources are available in our area. A complimentary dinner will be catered by Bread of Life Restaurant. Guests will be encouraged to submit questions for the panel discussion. Seating is limited so please pre-register by November 1 by calling (717) 242-7364. For more information, visit www.lewistownhospital. org.

Family Health Associates Welcomes New Pulmonologist

call (717) 242-2711 or visit www. .

Subaila Zia, MD, joins Family Health Associates (FHA). She is a board certified pulmonologist specializing in lung diseases and will be working with Jose’ R. Acosta, MD, FCCP, and Kennedy Eneh, MD, at FHA Pulmonary Services in Lewistown. Dr. Zia comes to Lewistown Hospital from a Critical Care Fellowship at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in Manhattan, NY. She completed a previous fellowship in Pulmonary Medicine at the Bridgeport Hospital/Yale University Program in Connecticut. Dr. Zia earned her medical degree in Pakistan and completed her residency at St. Barnabas Hospital, Bronx, NY. Dr. Zia is currently accepting new patients. For more information,

Chestnuts from page 37 time. A good, peeled chestnut will have a pale yellow-tan color, a smoothly convoluted surface and a wholesome odor. Cooked, peeled chestnuts freeze well. Gallon-sized freezer bags, the ones with the double seal tabs, work well. They can be filled gradually, and stored flat, which saves on freezer space. This gives you recipe-ready chestnuts any time you want them and you can also thaw a few out and snack on them just as they are. Rather than freezing, the prepared chestnuts can be dried at this point. They will dehydrate more thoroughly if they are split, which is easily done as you peel them. Chestnuts have two halves; just squeeze them gently and they should separate. Store them in airtight containers in a cool, dry place. Soak for use in cooking, or grind them for a chestnut flour that can be used in many interesting ways–pasta, polenta (Italian

for what we call mush), cakes, etc. Don’t limit your chestnuts to stuffing the holiday turkey or goose. Cook them as a side dish, sautéed in butter and herbs. Roast them along with the root vegetables around a pot roast or chicken. Add to soups and stews or, one of our family’s favorites, to your next pot of chili. Experiment with desserts. All in all, chestnuts are a delicious and nutritious addition to your larder and well worth the wait (and the work). Town or country, consider giving chestnuts a special space in your plantings and they will reward you for decades to come. To order chestnut trees: St. Lawrence Nurseries Northern Climate Fruit and Nut Trees, 325 State Highway 345, Potsdam, New York 13676, Tel: 315-265-6739, www.sln.potsdam. This is a great company with a useful, information-filled catalog and they sell American Chestnut trees! Let’s help to restore a native treasure!

Miller Nurseries, 5060 Country Road 16, Canandaigua, New York 14424-8904, Tel: 800-8369630, A good source for fast growing Chinese chestnuts and much more. For ideas using chestnuts: The Craft of the Country Cook by Pat Katz. Did you get your copy yet? The Frugal Gourmet Cooks Three Ancient Cuisines: China – Greece – Rome by Jeff Smith. Although he sneaks in a couple of Water Chestnut recipes (a horse of a TOTALLY different color), Smith did his usual excellent job with a short history of the chestnut and then some GREAT ways to eat them. The source for the nutritional value of chestnuts was: Foods that Harm–Foods that Heal: An A-Z Guide to Safe and Healthy Eating by The Reader’s Digest Association. This is quite a handy book to have around for quick reference. a

The Valley, November 2011


POOR WILL’S VALLEY ALMANACK for November of 2011

If you are afflicted with melancholy at this season, go to the swamp and see the brave spears of skunk cabbage buds already advanced toward a new year.... See those green cabbage buds lifting the dry leaves in that watery and muddy place.... They see over the brown of winter’s hill. They see another summer ahead. -Henry David Thoreau

THE STARS An hour before sunrise, before the first color gives the time of day away, look south, and imagine it is still evening instead of close to dawn. Then you’ll see the sky has moved into its evening position for spring equinox. Regulus, centered overhead, announces the first bloom of crocus. June’s Arcturus is well up in the east. Warm Spica lies along the horizon. The Corona Borealis, the crown of peonies and iris and lilyof-the-valley, rises nearby. Vega has come full circle, is guiding Deneb and the Swan back from the northeast. THE PLANETS Venus in Ophiuchus flirts with the eastern horizon before dawn, and with the western horizon around sundown. Find Mars in Leo (east of Cancer) about 3:00 a.m. Jupiter in Aries will be setting into the west at that time. Saturn in Virgo rises just before dawn. THE SUN On Sunday, November 6, Daylight Savings Time ends at 2:00 a.m. Set clocks back one hour before you go to bed on Saturday, November 5. By November 7, the sun’s will be approximately

seventy percent of the way to winter solstice. THE SHOOTING STARS The Leonid meteors fall after midnight on November 17-18. The rising moon could complicate finding these meteors, but the Leonids are usually numerous and bright enough to make it worth your while to stay up to watch them. NOVEMBER - WEEK 1 THE TRANSITION WEEK TO LATE FALL LUNAR PHASE AND LORE The Second Spring Moon waxes throughout the period, coming into its second quarter at 11:38 a.m. Rising in the afternoon and setting in the early morning, this moon is overhead in the evening. Lunar stress is lowest at the beginning of the week, increasing steadily after the upcoming weekend. Planting of garlic and winter bulbs should be most successful in Pisces on the 4th and 5th. Fishing and hunting are expected to be most productive in the late afternoon, as the moon reaches its zenith, or at the second-best lunar time, early morning. All creatures should feed more and be more active as the November 2 and 6 cold fronts approach. WEATHER PATTERNS The chances for warmth in the 70s drop to just ten percent by November 4. Highs just in the 30s or 40s were relatively rare during the final week of October, but by the 5th of this moth, they occur 35 percent of the time, and chances rise to over 40 percent by the 10th.The coolest days in this period are typically the 6th and the 7th, both of which have only a 15 percent chance for warmth in the 60s. In addition to its chilly winds, the 6th ushers in the snow season for this part of the country, flurries or accumulation emerging into the realm of possibility, at least a ten percent possibility per day

between now and Spring. Chances for a thunderstorm virtually disappear until February, but all-day rains increase. With the increase in rain, comes an increase in cloud cover. Chances for a completely overcast day surge from Halloween’s 25 percent all the way to 60 percent after November 4. NOVEMBER – WEEK 2 THE FIRST WEEK OF LATE FALL LUNAR PHASE AND LORE The Second Spring Moon becomes completely full at 3:16 p.m. on Monday, November 10. Rising in the afternoon and setting in the morning, this moon is overhead in the middle of the night, making that time the best for fishing (and creating a second-best lunar time at noon for hunting). Dieters traditionally have more difficulty staying away from food at full moon time. Livestock and children may be more troublesome, and crime usually rises. By the next weekend (November 1516), however, lunar stress should abate. This week is especially favorable for putting in holiday bulbs indoors and garlic outside under Taurus, November 9 & 10 and Cancer, November 14 & 15. WEATHER PATTERNS Late Fall almost always arrives the second week of November, a transition time when the last leaves fall, skies darken, wind speed increases, hard frosts put and end to the year’s flower and vegetable cycles, harvest is completed on the farm, and last preparations for snow are made. Late Fall’s high temperatures shift decidedly into the 40s, and lows average 32 or worse. High pressure systems, accompanied by clouds and rain or snow typically arrive around the 9th and the 14th. The 9th is historically the wettest day of November’s second week. The 11th and 12th are the sunniest, and the 13th is the driest. At least one partly cloudy afternoon in the 60s or 70s comes six years

out of ten during this time of the year, but cold and precipitation are the norm. Heating degree days are now more than double those of October, and freezing nighttime temperatures are recorded an average of 55 percent of the time. NOVEMBER: WEEK 3 THE SECOND WEEK OF LATE FALL LUNAR PHASE AND LORE The moon wanes through its third and fourth quarters throughout the third week of November, rising in the middle of the night and setting in the middle of the day, moving overhead (its most powerful position) in the morning. It enters its final phase on November 18 at 10:09 a.m. Lunar lore suggests that hunting and fishing should be most successful with the moon above you well before lunch. Dieters, however, may have a hard time resisting glazed doughnuts at 10:00 a.m. As the barometer falls in advance of the November 20 and 24 cold fronts, expect all creatures to feed more heavily. WEATHER PATTERNS The third week of November is the second week of Late Fall, and the cold intensifies. Chances for weather in the 60s are still 50/50, but a high in the 70s only happens once in 20 years this time of year, and days in the 30s and 40s are becoming common. The 15th, 19th and 20th are the days this week most likely to be mild. The fifth cold front of the month comes through near the 20th most years, and the 21st brings a slight possibility for a high only in the 20s. This year, the moon will turn new on the 25th increasing the likelihood that a major front will come through this week, snarling holiday travel. NOVEMBER: WEEK 4 THE THIRD WEEK OF LATE FALL LUNAR PHASE AND LORE The Second Spring Moon wanes until it becomes the San-

dhill Crane Migration Moon on November 25 at 1:10 a.m. Rising in the morning and setting in the evening, this moon will lie overhead, calling the sandhill cranes to theirs wintering ground in the Gulf region, in the afternoon. Fish and hunt after lunch when the moon is above you, especially as the cold front of November 28 approaches. Indoors, water the last of your paperwhite bulbs and amaryllis bulbs for holiday flowering. Also, start your first seeding of bedding plants for spring. Outdoors, water all trees, shrubs and perennials before Late Fall comes to and end (December 8), especially under Capricorn on the 26th through the 28th. WEATHER PATTERNS The fourth week of November is the stark and windy week that marks the fall of average highs below 50 degrees throughout the region, and the end to any real chance of a day above 70. Nights below zero even become possible now. The sixth cold front of the month, arriving around the 24th, ordinarily brings rain or snow on the 23rd (there is a 70 percent chance of that). The seventh high pressure system generally arrives on November 28, preceded by rain 80 percent of the time on the 27th (the 27th is the wettest day in the month’s weather history). November 28, 29, and 30 have the best odds of the month for snow. The 28th is the gloomiest day of November, historically speaking, carrying just a 20 percent chance for a peek of the sun. Most of the other days are cloudy too! A DAYBOOK FOR NOVEMBER November 1st: Late bulbs, garlic, shrubs, and trees can be planted in November throughout Pennsylvania. It might be wise to plant as soon as possible, preferably before the weather turns much chillier around November 4. Also


The Valley, November 2011 do late shearing, trim hair on goats, slaughter livestock, give vaccinations, treat for internal and external parasites under the dark moon. November 2nd: If major storms occur this month, weather patterns suggest that they will happen in the following periods: November 2 - 5, 14 - 16 and November 22 - 27. Full moon on the 10th increases the likelihood for bad weather during the mid-November storm window. New moon on the 25th increases the chances for trouble around Thanksgiving. Since the moon may exert less influence on ocean tides and on human and animal behavior when it comes into its 2nd and 4th quarters, you might find it easier to transport animals or perform routine maintenance for your livestock on or about November 2 and 18. Surgery on people and animals is also often recommended near these dates. Tidal lunar forces have been shown to be greater at full moon and new moon times. You might expect more trouble with your flock, herd, children or in-laws, therefore, on or about November 10 and 25. Some studies have shown that accidents and crime increase at full moon. Health care workers and public service employees often report a higher incidence of job-related problems at that time. November 3rd: Cabbage worms still eat the cabbage. Some years, houseflies still get in the back door. Crickets sing in the milder afternoons and nights. A few butterflies hunt for flowers. Grasshoppers are still common. Small tan moths, like the first to emerge in March, play in the sun. The last robins follow the valleys south.All across the North, most tree lines show no color. Only an occasional Osage gives life to the horizon. In town, though, willows are only half turned. Decorative pears are a deep red, prolonging middle fall in the cities. Dogwoods will be pink, magnolias gold for a few days longer. Poplars are yellow but holding. Gum and beech are still full. Beneath them, privet and spicebush will remain strong throughout much of the month. Silver maples seem to be untouched by the radical shift in the season; they hold until the nights go into the teens. November 4th: Gardeners should test the soil, and mow the lawn for the last time. Farmers should plant the final winter wheat and complete the harvest of corn, sugar beets and soybeans. November 5th: Late Fall, a three-to-four-week transition period of chilly temperatures, gray

skies, and killing frosts, usually arrives by today. Today is also the pivotal day for autumn cloud cover to intensify, and darker skies continue through February. A lack of sun means slow drying for wet hay, increased likelihood for mold in feed supplies, and a surge in seasonal affective disorders in humans and beasts. November 6th: Mock orange and forsythia are thinning; their leaffall measures the progress of the last phase of autumn. November 7th: Fertilize trees and shrubs. Remove tops from everbearing raspberries. Supplies should be on hand for the bedding plant season, which usually begins with the first pansies and begonias under the new November and December moons. November 8th: From today through the 20th is the normal rutting period for whitetail deer in the central part of the country. Male deer lose their antler velvet, rub and scrape on branches, and chase does. Rutting is also thought to contribute to the great increase in the number of accidents involving cars and deer. Half of those incidents happen between 6:00 p.m. and midnight - and almost all of them occur when weather conditions are mild and clear. November 9th: Throughout the nation, practically all weeds and wildflowers become dormant. Only in subtropical Florida do Bermuda and Johnson grass, chenopods and amaranths continue to bloom. November 10th: Nearly all leaves have fallen by this date along the 40th Parallel. Trees that have held out until now suddenly turn color overnight. Fall isn’t over yet, of course; your collards and kale are holding out; your mulched beets and carrots are doing fine; but four hundred hours from now, the bitter transition to Early Winter is often underway. Full moon increases the likelihood of freezing temperatures tonight. November 11th: Rose of Sharon shrubs are half bare. Honeysuckles weaken, berries becoming more prominent. Across the countryside, the woods are dark and empty. November 12th: Fertilize pastures for improved winter hardiness and stimulation of growth in early spring. November 13th: Sugar maples, burned by frost, gradually drop their foliage. Almost every junco has arrived for winter. Indoors, your older Christmas cactus is budding or even blooming. November 14th: In the fields, most winter wheat has sprouted. In the garden, strawberries can be

mulched with straw. November 15th: Between showers and flurries, work gypsum into the soil where salt, used to melt winter’s ice, may damage plantings. Feed the lawn - fall is a better time than in the spring - the winter’s rain and snow, freezing and thawing, will gently work the fertilizer through the soil. Mulch the wet perennial beds to prevent drying, January’s heaving, and cold damage. November 16th: The poinsettia crop is typically shipped this week. The day’s length falls below ten hours along the 40th Parallel, and low temperatures in the single digits become a possibility. November 17th: The last crickets die in the frost. Lawns may have grown since their October cuttings, can be long and thick in warm, wet years. Colors deepen in the swamp. Protected by the water, cress brightens; dock and ragwort grow back beside the dead field grasses. Skunk cabbage has already pushed to the surface and is ready to bloom in a gentle December. November 18th: Beech, honeysuckles, boxwood, forsythia, and the strongest of the maples, Osage, pears, and sycamores keep scattered color in the landscape past Thanksgiving. When Early Winter arrives between the 8th and the 15th of December, however, it takes almost all the holdouts. November 19th: The fourth cold wave of November is due to cross your land within the next three days, and this is a front that carries snow to the North four years in a decade. Fertilize after harvest with organic matter, phosphorus and potassium to reduce soil compaction. November 20th: Bring in oregano, rosemary, parsley and thyme for winter seasonings. November 21st: Stake and wrap weaker shrubs and trees. November 22nd: This is normally a pivot day for the arrival of much colder weather. The sun has now moved to within two degrees of solstice, and enters the Early Winter sign of Sagittarius today. November 23rd: Now it’s clean up time all around the farm and garden. Don’t wait for February; do what you can before your mind gets set on spring. Finish mulching and updating plant markers. Fertilize everything after testing the soil. Put the vehicles in shape; polish the tools; paint when the sun shines; repair the fences when the wind is quiet. By solstice, everything should be waiting for April.

November 24th: Throughout Pennsylvania, chances for an afternoon in the 70s are now only one in 200. On March 2, they rise again. November 25th: In warmer climates like that of southern California, daisy trees and golden sennas are in bloom. Pink blossoms appear on the silk floss trees, and maroon and ivory flowers on the Dutchman’s pipe vine. In the Southwest, the cascalote trees are blooming. In Baton Rouge, the exotic gingers are still open. November 26th: All the major harvest is complete; fall seeding should be done; the garden’s pretty well picked clean and the cover crops have sprouted. Supplies and feed are lined up for the winter, hopefully enough to weather the worst January cold spells. November 27th: Stormy weather accompanying the new moon today should keep you indoors where you can seed your bedding plants for April and May. November 28th: In the woods, second spring, the late greening of the undergrowth, is halted by November’s most bitter weather. The most stubborn leaves fall, down from the heads of the thimble plants explodes in the winds. November 29th: Sunset reaches to within one minute of its earliest time of the year. Along the fencerows and in the woods, foliage of garlic mustard, sweet rocket, sedum, leafcup, henbit, hepatica and wild ginger hold on against the frost. November 30th: The last bulb planting (including the garlic crop) and perennial transplanting should be done in anticipation of the arrival of Early Winter at the end of next week. PROMISES In spite of a spiritual imperative, articulated in the call of the geese and the robins, to abandon the cold, I am spending winter in the north again. I’ve done my raking for the year. The strawberries are covered with straw. The gourds are aging, and the apple cider is made. The garden is filled with manure. Sweet Williams, spinach and garlic are planted and covered for April. With summer scattered and withered, I count each of my allies, from my wife and daughters to the birds at the sunflowers. The tropical plants I have inside the greenhouse are budding, needing care and reminding me of choices I have made. It is too late to run, to merge into the flyway corridor away from January. After the nostalgia that accompanies migration and the sad-

ness of leaf fall, my brain receives new signals, defiance and a call to survive. I am already counting days, attempting to demystify the time ahead. Six weeks to solstice, twelve to the center of winter, maybe sixteen to the first hours of early spring. A finite, divided winter is already mastered. Soon it will seem too short, I tell myself, the hibernation not long enough. Garlic mustard is already waiting all across the woodland floor. It sprouted fourteen months ago and has persevered with only a cluster of basal leaves all summer. The worst freeze will not kill it. It is ready for the first of May. There is a faith in its roots, a knowledge I can use against my suspicion that the end of the year mirrors too closely the end of human existence. Far wiser things than I have absolute faith. They give promises that the sun has and will come back again. Storms and the snows arrive to test the woodpile and my fantasy of self-sufficiency. The corner is turned. The grieving for summer and fall are over quickly. In a few weeks, it is no surprise to see bare branches. I look for what is there instead of what is gone. Christmas cactus blossoms and aloe spikes rise to bloom in early December. Paperwhites send up their foliage. My violet hibiscus blossoms, remembering some tropical dictate, faithful here, finding just the right amount of light to make its seeds. In the sun, the starlings, staying here within reach of my safe feeder, swing in the back trees. Window parsley is growing new leaves. I go out finding second spring foliage from sweet Cicely, chickweed, sweet rockets, waterleaf, cinquefoil, violet cress, hemlock, parsnip, avens and next September’s zig-zag goldenrod. There are days when it could be March, hazy skies, cardinals singing, temperatures in the warm fifties. I walk the swamp and find Thoreau’s “brave spears of the skunk cabbage, buds already advanced toward a new year. “They see over the brown of winter’s hill,” Henry David promises my last doubts. “They see another summer ahead.” Copyright 2011 – Bill Felker The 2012 version of Poor Will is now available: It contains 300 pages full of essays by Bill Felker, reader stories (including some fine outhouse tales), weather outlooks, a calendar of holidays for gardeners, ranchers and homesteaders, a daybook for

Continued on page 36


The Valley, November 2011


The Valley, November 2011 Back Talk from page 36

Vote for Truth vote molek district attorney


col of evaluation and treatment. Throughout a program of chiropractic care for disc conditions, patients are asked questions regarding their progress. Evaluation of progress using neurological and chiropractic tests based on comparison with the initial findings are essential aspects of this chiropractic protocol. If a patient is not responding to conservative care using this protocol, the chiropractor will refer the patient for imaging studies and spine specialist consultation. I do not teach my patients that medication and/or surgery is not necessary. But instead, I try to teach them not to try them as the first method of treatment. It is wise to start out with the least invasive method and then progress to a more invasive method if the first one doesn’t work. The steps listed above state to start out conservatively. The administration of pain-relieving medication does not solve the problem; it masks or covers up the symptoms which usually start out as pain. On the label of Tylenol

or Advil, it even states, “For temporary relief of minor aches and pains”. Even the most perfect drug that can eliminate all of your pains is still toxic to your liver and kidneys and is thereby invasive to your body. In some cases, surgery may be your only option. And, even with a successful surgery where the problem is fixed, you may never be the same again, because in order to get to the spine, a surgeon must cut through five layers of muscles in the back.

If they enter your body in the front, they must cut the abdominal muscles and work through all of your organs in the abdomen. Beginning with Chiropractic care is a wise place to start. It is the least invasive method of all. If you think you may have a disc herniation, call our office at 2482506 or 935-2027 to set up an appointment for an examination. Dr. Joseph Kauffman

Your Source For…Farm, Auto, Home, & Life Insurance Year Round Tax Planning 4417 East Main Street, Belleville 935 935--5858

The Valley, November 2011



You have the right to expect toughness, fairness and professionalism from your District Attorney. Dave Molek

District Attorney

To the Voters of Mifflin County: I am a candidate for District Attorney of Mifflin County. I am a conservative lawyer with 37 years across-the board experience in the criminal justice system. I want to bring my ideas of Prevention, Prosecution and Principles to the office of the Chief Law Enforcement Official in Mifflin County. Prevention: My goal is to make and keep the people of Mifflin County safe and secure. A great deal of responsibility and power lies in the hands of our DA. The District Attorney has the direct responsibility for the establishment and execution of all law enforcement policy for Mifflin County. I intend to promote the safety of our people by prosecuting those who break the law with a stronger emphasis on property crimes. Prosecution: I intend to aggressively prosecute criminal activity and enforce our laws without prejudice, bias or political purposes. I take seriously the responsibility for seeking justice on a daily basis for the citizens of Mifflin County. The DA is responsible for deciding who to charge and what crimes to charge. However, it is not just about trying cases, because the DA currently tries less than one-half of one percent of the criminal cases that go to court. Many decisions on pleas, bargains, dismissals and sentences are done on a day-to-day basis on over 99% of the cases. So leading the office and making the right pre-trial decisions are important. Principles: I intend to operate the office with the highest professionalism and ethical standards. I understand the importance of keeping the DA’s office out of politics and witch-hunts. I intend to bring openness and accountability to the DA’s office. Common sense and core values will lead the way. I intend to be the Peoples’ Lawyer. I am conservative, pro-Constitution, pro-gun and have strong Christian values. I will do my best to apply my principles and values as District Attorney. I would greatly appreciate your vote on November 8. Thank you.

Tough H Professional H Fair

The Valley - November 2011  
The Valley - November 2011  

The November 2011 issue of The Valley. A free newspaper serving Mifflin County and the surrounding area.