Friday, April 26, 2013

Family HIstory Friday # 11 - Jonathan Calvin Cunningham

    This past week I have spent some time doing research on the family of one of my 3rd Great Grandfathers, Jonathan Calvin Cunningham.  From a genealogical prespective he is a bit of a conundrum. Based on the information I already have it seems like it should be easy to identify his parents and siblings. However, I have had little luck in that regard.  A lot of the information I have about him comes from "The History of Baxter County", written by Mary Ann Messick.  It includes a number of interesting stories about Jonathan Cunningham. One of my recent genealogical goals is to carefully read the entire book to make sure I haven't missed anything important regarding family members in Baxter County.

   Let's start with the information I have found on various census records.  I first found Jonathan Cunningham on the 1860 Census in Barren Creek Township in Marion County, Arkansas. He is shown as 30 years old, living with his 30 year old wife, Sarah P. Cunningham, and their two daughters, three year old Elizabeth Cunningham and seven month old Nancy Cunningham.  Both he and his wife were born in Tennessee as well as their daughter Elizabeth. Seven month old Nancy was born in Arkansas. That would indicate they had moved to Arkansas sometime from 1857 to 1859. Jonathan Cunningham's occupation is that of a farmer and he is living on his own farm, valued at $330.00 with an estimated $200.00 of personal property. The census also indicated that he was a person older than 20 year of age who couldn't read or write.

    I also found Jonathan Cunningham on the 1870 Census, in Barren Creek Township in Marion County, Arkansas.  He is listed as 38 years old, living with his 22 year old wife, Mary Cunningham, and two daughters, ten year old Nancy Cunningham and one year old Mary E. Cunningham. He is still farming and the value of his farm is listed as $110.00.  His birthplace is still listed as Tennessee, but his wife Mary's birthplace is listed as Indiana. The two children were both born in Arkansas and Jonathan Cunningham was still unable to read or write. I'm not sure what happened to cause the the value of the farm to fall from $330.00 to $110.00. It may have been in consequence of the Civil War.

   Lastly, I found Jonathan Cuningham on the 1880 Census, still living in Barren Creek Township, now in Baxter County, Arkansas.  Don't blame Jonathan Cunningham for the change in the spelling of his name as he  still can't read or write. Jonathan Cunningham and Barren Creek Township didn't move, but Baxter County was formed from a portion of Marion County in 1873.  Jonathan Cuningham is now a fifty year old widower living with his three daughters, nineteen year old Nancy Cuningham , eleven year old Mary E. Cuningham, and seven year old Laura A. Cuningham.  Jonathan Cuningham's birthplace was still Tennessee, but his father's birthplace was listed as Ireland.  All three children were born in Arkansas, but their mother's birthplace was listed as South Carolina. a conflict with the information from the previous two census records. This particular census didn't list the value of real property so we don't know if the value of the farm had recovered.

    Jonathan Cunningham died in 1898 and is buried in the Heiskill Cemetary in Baxter County. His headstone lists his date of birth as 27 February, 1829 and his date of death as 26 September, 1898. There is a headstone for a Mrs. Cunningham with no dates or further description. This is more than likely the headstone of one of Jonathan Cunningham's wives. There is also a headstone for Tabitha Cunningham, Wife of J. C., born 11 June, 1844, died 2 August, 1927.  According to the History of Baxter County Jonathan Cunningham also married Minervia Casteel. After her death he was lastly married to Minervia's sister, Tabitha Casteel, whose headstone is noted above. The Mrs Cunningham headstone could belong to Minervia Casteel or to either of his two earlier wives.

    I searched marriage records in Baxter and Marion County, Arkansas and was able to find only one of Jonathan Cunningham's four marriages. On September 4, 1874 at the age of 45 he married 22 year old Manevia Castell(Casteel) in Baxter County. That means he was a three time widower when the 1880 Census occurred.  Since she outlived him, I would assume he married Tabitha Casteel some time after the 1880 Census.  We find Tabitha Cunningham (Casteel) on the 1900 Census in Baxter County living with two of her three children,  15 year old James and ten year old Annie.  The census indicated that Tabitha Cunningham had three children, all of whom were living at the time of the census. She lived near Randolph and Laura Sinor (Cunningham).

    I obtained some information about the Cunninghams from my mother that she got from her Aunt Ellar (Luellar Matilda Sinor, a grand daughter of Jonathan Cunningham.  It is from her that we got the full name of Jonathan Cunningham's second wife, Mary Erskins, who is the mother of Laura Cunningham who married Randolph Sinor. Since Mary Erskins was Luellar Sinor's grandmother I'm hoping there is a high likelihood that information is accurate. Aunt Ellar provided a fairly complete list of Jonathan Cunningham's descendants for several generations. It appears that he had at least eight children as follows:  Elizabeth and Nancy from his first wife, Sarah P. Cunningham. Laura and Eva  from his second wife, Mary E. Cunningham.  Jane from his third wife, Manevia Cunningham. Caroline, James, and Annie from his fourth wife, Tabitha Cunningham. Aunt Ellar used the expression "children that lived" several times. Aunt Ellar didn't include Annie in listing the children of Tabitha Cunningman, an indication that Annie didn't live to adulthood. She also used that expression with Manevia Cunningham's daughter, indicating there was at least one other child who died.  It would seem that Jonathan Cunningham had his share of sorrow and tragedy with the deaths of three wives, the deaths of several children, and the misery of the Civil War.

    The bottom line is that we have some kind of record documenting each of Jonathan Cunningham's four wives.  The first wife, Sarah P. Cunningham is listed on the 1860 Census. The second wife, Mary E. Cunningham (Erskins) is listed on the 1870 census. There is a marriage record for the third wife, Manevia Cunningham (Casteel). The fourth wife, Tabitha Cunningham (Casteel) is listed in probate records and has a cemetery headstone proclaiming her to have been the wife of J. C. Cunningham.

   The primary problem I've had investigating this particular genealogical line is locating Jonathan Cunningham in Tennessee.  The History of Baxter County has conflicting information as to where Jonathan Cunningham came from in Tennessee.  In one place it states he came from Covington, Tennessee (located in Tipton County). In another part of the same book it states he came from Whiteville, Tennessee (located in Hardeman County). I looked through the 1850 census for Tipton County and found no Cunninghams. I'm in the process of doing the same thing for Hardeman County. Indexes are nice but they don't always work right. I have located a number of ancestors looking through the census manually when I couldn't find them in the index. The other problem is finding his earlier marriage records. It appears he married his first wife, Sarah P. Cunningham, in Tennessee as his first child was born there according to the 1860 census. His second marriage to Mary Erskins (our direct ancestor) probably took place in Marion County, Arkansas. with the last two marriages in Baxter County, Arkansas.

     I found a number of mentions of Jonathan Cunningham in the History of Baxter County. Some stories were rather colorful. Jonathan Cunningham is purported to have grown up on a plantation in Tennessee. He objected to slavery and moved to Marion County, Arkansas where he cleared his own land, declining the loan of 16 slaves from his mother. He was apparently a serious gardener and was the first person in the county to grow large tomatoes.  The smaller cherry tomatoes had previously been the norm.  While he primarily worked as a farmer, he was involved in a few other business enterprises to include a steamboat landing and a whiskey distillery.  According to the History of Baxter County he also worked some as a steamboat pilot on the White River.  I previously wrote about his service in the Union Army during the Civil War. He reportedly had two brothers fighting in the Confederate Army. There is one story of how the distillery was built on stilts to protect it from flooding. Apparently some thieves drilled holes in the floor into the casks of whiskey and drained out some of the inventory. Jonathan Cunningham later confronted one of the thieves and bit off his ear in the fight that followed. That sounds like something out of a John Wayne movie.


Monday, April 22, 2013

Round One of the Package Bees

    We sold over 500 packages of honeybees this past week at the Beez Neez Apiary Supply. It was a very busy week and I am very grateful to my daughter Rachel and a number of our bee friends who helped out. I ended up hiving 5 packages myself on Saturday evening and Sunday afternoon. Of course Saturday was cold and rainy, just like most of the previous week had been, Now, after several weeks of  rainy weather the forecast for this coming week is sunny and warmer.  Its finally starting to feel like Spring is here to stay.  It was nice to see all of the bees flying.  I'm looking forward to the warm weather so I can do thorough exams of the hives that survived the winter.

    I took advantage of the nice weather to spend a good part of Monday working in the garden. I planted peas again, filling in the holes where either they failed to come up or something ate them.  I worked on weeding some garden beds and continued my sheet composting of the newly expanded garden area in the front yard. I'd like to get more beets and carrots planted this week and I'd like to get our squash started indoors.

    I have a broody hen setting on 10 duck eggs and two of her own eggs.  She has been at it for about a week now so I'm estimating the ducklings should hatch out around the middle of May.  I'm planning on taking the duck eggs away from her about a week before they hatch so we can improve on the survival rate over what I can expect from a hen. I will let her continue to sit on her chicken eggs so she will still get to mother something.

   Mrs Buzz Saw moved her kittens into LInda's side of the closet. Linda thinks it is a reaction to the fact that the kittens are starting to move around a bit more.  As we were sitting on the bed we watched several of the kittens trying to explore their surroundings while Mrs Buzz Saw kept carrying them back to where she wants them to be.  I expect she will lose containment pretty soon.  

Monday, April 15, 2013

April 14th Birthday Party

    We held a joint birthday party yesterday for my mother, Cozette Sinor Tunnell, my grand daughter, Lilly Kang, and me.  Mom turned 81, I turned 61, and Lilly turned 5. I have another grand daughter, Cozette Romero, who also shares that birthday and who turned 4 yesterday.  Unfortunately, the younger Cozette lives in Rockville, Maryland and couldn't make it to the party.  It was a grand occasion  simply having a good portion of my children and grand children here.  We had nine adults and thirteen children present. That is more than half the total clan. My wife prepared a fine meal of spaghetti, garlic bread, and salad, suitable for feeding a multitude.  We all shared one birthday cake with one symbolic candle.  I think 147 candles would have been a bit much.  The cake was the perfect size as I think it was all gone at the end of the evening. After cake and ice cream I enjoyed a lengthy game of "Mexican Train" with Mom, Sarah, Beth, Autumn, Chloe, and Hannah. Mexican train is a domino game my mother had picked up for Sarah during her annual winter migration to Arizona.
Mexican Train Dominoes

     I really love just listening to my grand children enjoying each other's company.  Its wonderful that so many of them are such close friends. It makes family gatherings pretty sweet. While we played dominoes, the kids had a great time with minimal friction. The biggest attraction of the day for the kids was not the cake and ice cream, but Mrs. Buzz Saw's four kittens. Linda told me that each of them has been named about 4 or 5 times by different grand children. What makes that even more complicated is the fact that the three white kittens have pretty much identical markings.  I'm thinking it might be a little easier to distinguish between them when they are a little older. Yesterday they were just one week old and one of them was just starting to open its eyes.  Sarah will probably have to check closely before she goes back to Oregon to make sure there isn't any kitten smuggling going on.

     Sarah's girls seem to really enjoy Linda's banana yellow tandem bikes.  They got a lot of use yesterday afternoon and this morning. They are a little bit of a challenge to ride. Its a bit like learning to ride a bike all over again.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Family History Friday #10 - 2nd Great Aunt Mary Jane Casteel (Sinor)

  I spent some time this past week perusing the 1900, 1910, and 1920 census records for Baxter County, Arkansas. Just about every page in the Barren Creek Township/Buford area has relatives. I   was looking at my 2nd Great Grandfather Randolph Sinor's family through the successive census records.  On the 1900 census we find Randolph and Laura I. Sinor (Cunningham) with all of their five children, Enos H. Sinor, Mary J. Sinor, Maude E. Sinor, Loueller M. Sinor, and Truman L. Sinor.  We have an Aunt Eller just like in Oklahoma.  It is often good idea to look at the adjacent families when looking at census records. Four houses away we find the widowed Laura Castell (Casteel) and her twelve year old son, Elbert L. Castell (Casteel), the future husband of Mary J. Sinor.  One of the nice bits of information also found on the 1900 census is the month and year of birth of each individual. . The dates of birth of the family members are as follows: Randolph Sinor, December, 1866, Laura I. Sinor, November, 1972, Enos H. Sinor, July, 1891, Mary J. Sinor, October, 1892, Maude E. Sinor, November, 1894, Lueller M. Sinor,  November, 1896 Truman L. Sinor, December, 1898.

   In the 1910 census we find Randolph D. Sinor and Laura Sinor with their two youngest children still at home, Ella (Loueller) Sinor (age 13) and Truman Sinor (age11).  They also had a three year old "boarder" named Pearl Hedrick. Personally, I find "boarder" a strange term to apply to a three year old.  Living next door are relative newlyweds, Harrison Ganes and his wife, fifteen year old Maud Ganes (Sinor). Living a few houses in the other direction we find the Thomas R. Haney family with their 16 year old son Don, the future husband of 13 year old Ella Sinor. Realize this is rural living in the Ozarks.  A few houses over in the census might well be a half mile away.

   In the 1920 census we find Randolph Sinor and Laura Sinor with their youngest son, Truman (age 20) still at home and 12 year old Pearl Headrick, now listed as an orphan rather than a boarder.  Living in the next house over is Elbert L. Cassteel with his wife Mary Cassteel (Sinor) and three children,  May, age 10, Hubert, age 8, and Velma, age 5.   Mary Jane Casteel (Sinor) died the following year in a tragic accident. She was picking blackberries along the White River bluffs and fell over a cliff. She is buried in the Fairview Cemetery in Baxter County, Arkansas.  The headstone inscription lists her name as Mary Jane Caststeel, born Oct 12, 1892, died May 31, 1921.  Note that Casteel has been spelled differently in each of the two census records and the headstone.  I can only imagine what a sad tragedy this was at the time. I'm sure she wasn't picking berries recreationally either. No doubt it was part of a serious effort to help feed the family. 90 years later,  Mary Jane Casteel (Sinor) has become symbolic of all the seriously obsessive-compulsive berry pickers we have in our family.  We have joked about instituting an annual "Aunt Mary Jane Memorial Berry Picking Foray". Unfortunately, we wouldn't be able to do that on May 31st, the anniversary of her death.  The blackberries ripen much later in the Pacific Northwest than they do in Arkansas. Even the salmon berries don't ripen that early up here.

    I asked my mother about Pearl Headrick.  She was Great Great Grandpa Randolph Sinor's niece.  Her mother, Bethany Hedrick (Sinor), was Grandpa Randolph Sinor's younger sister.  Pearl's mother died in childbirth and Grandpa and Grandma took care of her since she was two days old. She always called them "Mam" and "Pap" as they were the only parents she ever knew. It somehow seems very wrong to have her referred to as a "boarder" on the census. When my mother was living with her grandparents in Baxter County, Arkansas she attended a one room school house with about 15 other kids, All but one of those kids were her cousins. Two of them were Pearl Headrick's daughters and four of them were grandchildren of Mary Jane Casteel (Sinor). I will ask my mother to post her school group picture from her time in Baxter County.

Monday, April 8, 2013

General Conference Kittens

    As I watched General Conference on Sunday I noticed the absence of Mrs Buzz Saw. I was pretty sure I hadn't let her outside. I did a quick check to make sure I hadn't left one of the bedroom doors open. One of my main goals during Linda's absence was to avoid the "kittens under the bed or worse yet "kittens on the bed" experience. Finally at about 7:00 pm Mrs Buzz Saw showed up to eat dinner, noticeably less rotund than she had been in the morning. I surveilled her for about 15 minutes and discovered the location of her kittens. She had turned her nose up at the feline maternity ward I had offered and had instead chosen to have her kittens in the book shelves behind the computer desk. Linda has a lot of material stored there so I'm sure she found a nice soft place for her kittens. her choice was  considerably more secluded than the location I had offered her. Maybe she was looking ahead to the next time the grandchildren visit. I haven't seen a kitten yet but I did hear one mewing last night.

   We have no kitten photos yet as I'm not about to crawl back under the computer desk to find them. I think we may have to wait a while for the kittens' first photo shoot.

    I am feeling a little drug out at the moment as I stayed up late doing Genealogy. I must confess, I am a binge genealogist. I went down to the bee store for about three hours as the internet is pretty speedy there and I'd rather not  mooch paper or printing supplies from Mom. When I came home and started to organize what I had done, there was always one more thing I wanted to look up.  The next thing I knew it was 1:00 am.

One super fancy worm bin

    I moved my worm bin back outside a few weeks ago.  They seem to have wintered well in the garage, at least judging by the healthy population of worms in two of the containers I emptied onto the compost pile. It is back in its usual place near the goat pen. This is a pretty fancy four container heavy duty plastic worm bin that I inherited from my daughter, Sarah. I think she gave it up because her husband complained about the smell. This coming form a man who eats kimchee on a regular basis. I have never noticed any unpleasant aroma and the goats have never complained about its close proximity to their pen. I put it in the garage in late October and bring it back outside in mid March. The worms make quick work of most stuff, but they don't seem to make much progress on egg shells and cantaloupe seeds. I guess in the future I will throw the egg shells directly into the compost bin.
I know it looks disgusting, but it is gold for the garden

Shredded newspapers make great bedding for the worm bin

    My daughter, Rachel, gave me some artichoke starts last year.  I don't think I put them in a good location. First of all I have sunnier spots and secondly it was next to the wood pile so its one of the few safe havens the slugs have where they can hide from the ducks. This morning I transplanted two of the artichokes starts to our garden area out front.  That area is relatively slug free and is as close to full sun as we have. Since it will take them a while to get to any great size I decided to surround the artichokes with a square of beets. Hopefully we will have harvested the beets long before the artichokes are big enough to encroach upon them.

    I received a wonderful birthday gift from the Romeros on Friday.  They sent me not one, but six different varieties of honey from Germany.  Acacia, Rape Flower (I believe its in the cabbage family), "Forest Honey', "Mountain Flower", Lime Flower (Linden, as in "Unter den Linden"), and "Golden Selection".  What they sell as acacia honey in France is actually from an American Black Locust Honey, introduced into France in the 1700s. That is one of my five favorite honeys so I'm hoping its the same thing in Germany. The rape flower honey was crystallized which doesn't surprise me since its in the cabbage family. Beekeepers who pollinate the cabbage seed crop in Skagit County just north of here have to extract immediately after they remove their hives from the cabbage fields. If they delay even a week or so the honey will crystallize in the comb. I tried some cabbage honey once and it was a wonderful mild flavored honey.
Better than winning the lottery. My kind of gold

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Family History Friday #9 - Baxter County Arkansas during the Civil War

     Linda has traveled to Utah this week in order to attend General Conference. In her absence, I had planned to fill my lonely hours with genealogy, but I've been pretty busy so far.  March and April are very busy months at the bee store. As it turned out, Thursday night was the first real opportunity I had to put in some serious family history time.

    I spent some time looking for civil war records pertaining to Arkansas ancestors. I found a number of records indicating that a Jonathan Cunningham served in the Union Army in an infantry unit in 1862 and a cavalry unit in 1863. I was unable to view the actual record as that required membership in yet another genealogy website. I also found records pertaining to the service of James Sinor in the Confederate Army. I was also unable to view those records for the same reason.  However, I was able to put the records in the "shoebox" in family search so I will be able to easily find them again.  Jonathan Calvin Cunningham fought in the Union Army, but his daughter, Laura Cunningham, married Randolph Sinor, the son of James Sinor , who fought in the Confederate Army. I believe there is a similar "opposite sides of the Civil War" connection in the Heiskill family. John Bettis fought in the Confederate Army but his daughter married into a pro-union family.  It would appear they were able to lay the Civil War to rest and didn't let it continue to blight their lives long after the war was over.

   According to a book, "The History of Baxter County", Jonathan Cunningham walked to Springfield, Missouri at the beginning of the war in order to enlist in the Union Army. It stated that he served as a supply sergeant, but didn't tell much about his military service. There was one story of interest which I quote as follows:

     "Once he tried to buy a big fat goose from a farmer (Southern sympathizer).  The man refused to sell so Cunningham quietly "borrowed" an ear of corn from the farmers corn bin. As he started back toward camp, he shelled the corn, dropping kernels along the path, with the greedy goose in hot pursuit. When he reached camp, the goose was pounced upon and was soon cooking Indian style, in a pit covered over with hot coals.

     Directly here came the angry farmer, who searched the camp to no avail and stalked off, searching for the missing goose. As soon as he was out of sight and smell the soldiers enjoyed a fine meal of roast goose."

   There is another story in the same book as to how James Heiskill was loyal to the Union and decided to move his family to Missouri until the war was over.  I'm not sure where they went in Missouri or how long they were there but I can't find them on the 1870 census in either Arkansas or Missouri. The Heiskill family does turn up again in Baxter County, Arkansas on the 1880 census.

    While Baxter County (part of Marion County during the civil War) was not the site of any major battles, there were lots of skirmishes and raiding associated with the war.  After many of the men left to join whichever army they chose, the families they left behind were subjected to raids by bushwhackers, outlaws who owed allegiance to neither army.  Also there were "foragers" from both armies whenever they passed through the county.

    "The History of Baxter County" indicated that Jonathan Cunningham grew up on a plantation near Covington, Tennessee but had moved to Arkansas to get away from slavery.  When he cleared his land in Baxter County (then Marion County) his mother had offered him the loan of 16 slaves, which he had declined. The hard labor of clearing who knows how many acres of land would indicate some depth of commitment in his opposition to slavery. I'm sure he left his family to fight in the Civil War due to deeply held convictions. Obviously, there were significant sacrifices involved. I'm less clear on what motivated my ancestors who fought for the Confederacy as I'm not aware that any of them owned slaves.

    I spent a little time looking at census records in Baxter County, Arkansas. I was able to find relatives on about 10 consecutive pages of the 1900 Federal Census for Barren Creek Township.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Expectant Cat

   Linda's remaining cat, Little Miss Buzz Saw is expecting kittens soon. I guess we should just start calling her Mrs Buzz Saw now. She's not quite as little as she used to be and she has certainly passed the "Miss" stage as far as cats are concerned.  While Linda is gone to Salt lake for General Conference, I've been a little concerned that the cat might have her kittens in Linda's absence.  My main concern is where she might choose to have her kittens. I've been doing my best to keep all of the bedroom doors closed to eliminate all of the under the bed and closet options. I decided it might be wise to create a location that would met her privacy needs without damaging the carpets or bedding. and hopefully be suitable to all concerned.  I brought a box home from work, taped it shut and cut out a door large enough to accommodate a pregnant feline. I then lined the box with surplus wool batts.

Hopefully this will become the feline maternity ward.

    I introduced the cat to the feline maternity ward the other night. She seemed to like it as she readily entered the box. She actually spent about an hour laying inside the box, pressing on the wool batts with her front paws, and purring loudly. I haven't seen her enter the box in the last few days, but at least she knows about the box and seems to like it.

    I got to spend a little bit of time in the garden today. I planted some more shallots which I had harvested last fall then forgot where I had put them. If I plant enough of them there should be enough of them that survive the ducks. I also made some progress on the preparation of the recently expanded vegetable garden in the front yard. Now that the stumps are gone, the available space for garden in the front has doubled.
A close up of a Jerusalem Artichoke tuber.

   I managed to find some Jerusalem Artichoke tubers on Craig's List the other day. I picked some up today while running a bee store errand.  I read an article about them several years back and have been wanting to grow them. I was able to pick up a good sized bag of tubers this afternoon at a good price.  The scientific name, Helianthus Tuberosus, identifies them as members of the sunflower family. Some people call them "Sunchokes". The name Jerusalem Artichoke is a corruption of Girasole Artichoke, a name they were given after they were introduced into Europe. Girasole is the Italian word for sunflower.

    The Jerusalem Artichoke is native to North America and was harvested by the indians for food.  I'm not sure where the natural range of the plant was, They have numerous yellow flowers on stalks that usually reach over six feet tall.  The tubers are dug up after the first frost and can be eaten either raw or cooked. They are relatively pest free (like many native plants) and can be very productive. The biggest problems they pose to gardeners are finding a place to plant them where they don't shade other vegetable crops and keeping them from taking over the garden. Apparently it is difficult to harvest every last tuber so there are always some volunteer sunchokes popping up wherever they were planted the previous year.  Their flavor supposedly resembles the flavor of artichokes while their texture is similar to water chestnuts. It will be an interesting experiment. As it turns out they can also be fed to chickens so there is yet another use if neither Linda or I care for their flavor. I also expect they will give my vegetable garden style points as my sweetie expects a certain amount of cuteness in vegetable gardens.


Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Shoveling Manure

   I spent the bulk of the afternoon yesterday shoveling aged horse manure onto my vegetable garden. I have a bee store friend, Mark Salser, who has a 400 acre horse farm. They have an air injected composting system so their horse manure is pretty well composted. I put some of their compost on my garden last year and it did very well. I put this load on the garden area next to the duck pen. I still need to get one more load for the front yard vegetable garden. I'm sure the manual labor was very good for me, but I was pretty tired at the end of the day.  I had intended to butcher our surplus rooster yesterday evening so I could make chicken and dumplings for the missionaries tonight. However, I was too tired to butcher the rooster when I got home.  The missionaries will get rotisserie chicken from Fred Myers instead and the rooster will live a few more days.

The pastures at Polestar Farm
   Polestar Farms is quite the operation. Mark's wife, Meika, competes internationally in jumping competitions.  They board horses, offer instruction, and host some cross country jumping events. My favorite parts of the farm were the old red barn, the vegetable gardens, Mark's shittake mushroom logs, and Mark's wood shop.

My favorite barn

Mark's shop

Shittake Mushroom Logs

One of Two Horse Barns at Polstar Farms