Tag Archives: Missouri

Book A FarmStay!!

12 Stones Farm Guest House

As promised, more information is coming your way about my amazing friends and their outreach to better the lives of others.

First up, are my friends, Eric & Hope Bright, who owned and operated a profitable dairy on their farm with lovely Jersey cows grazing and gracing the green hills of north Missouri.

Enjoy following along families, children, duck, chicken, and cow adventures on Instagram or Facebook.

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Alas, once their children, who were homeschooled like ours, flew the coop, they moved to warmer clime in south Missouri, just a 30 minute easy drive to Branson. We miss them being our neighbors. 😦

12 Stones Farm Guest House is a unique farm stay with children enjoying bottle feeding dairy calves, rounding up the ducks into their pen each evening, feeding the chickens, collecting eggs (then fixing those fresh eggs for your own brekkie!), milking gentle Jersey cows (and enjoying the milk!), playing with the cats, watching the dog guard the fowl from aerial predators (he takes his job seriously!), helping with the garden if you like, or launching a kayak in the Swan Creek just outside your cabin door.

If active farm stay is not your cup of tea, enjoy the peace and tranquility of a rural setting as you relax into your private hot tub just off the master bedroom with sounds of a tom turkey gobbling occasionally and the splash and gurgle of nearby Swan Creek. Then you might be off to take in the sights and sounds of the ever popular shows and attractions in Branson, MO. Each evening, build an outdoor fire, roast marshmallows and enjoy brilliantly starlit skies.

Enjoy eggs and milk fresh from the farm during your stay and extend the memories and enjoyment by purchasing extras at the 12 Stones Mercantile located on the farm.

As the weather warms, availability may become an issue as families and couples seek to get away from the city and breathe fresh air and relish peacefulness. Start your enquiry at 12 Stones Farm Guest House (sleeps 5) on AirBnB, VRBO, Flipkey, through Eric and Hope’s website, or just give them a ring!. You won’t meet nicer hosts! Also, if you need a really private getaway, take a look at their 2 person cabin on the same property but just a bit away. Available through AirBnB. Eric and Hope have 5.0 star reviews and are Superhosts!

The master bedroom accommodates a queen size bed and a twin size bed.
French doors adorned with quilted window dressings lead to your private outdoor hot tub!
Forgive my terrible photo, but i include it anyway to give you an idea of the spaciousness of the open areas of the 5 person cabin. Behind the DeKalb sign is the loft with 2 twin beds for low ceiling sleeping. Cabins are fitted with all the comforts of home. Quick snapshot in between packing water to Eric who was laying tile in the fabulously upgraded yet still retaining its rustic feel shower and bathroom. Yup, i was helping!

Don’t even hesitate to book this 2 person cabin on the same property and enjoy the same amenities as the 5 person cabin. This trip was the first time i have seen it finished (it was in the infant stages when i visited before) and, as expected, Eric, with his amazing carpentry skills, and Hope with her eye to artistry and detail, have created another oasis.

My Amazing Friends!

I am so blessed and thankful to have the most amazing and amazingly talented friends. Thankfully, they accept me as well having opened their doors to my extended stays these recent weeks- but oh my goodness, did we talk so fast to catch up with each others’ lives these past several years of being scattered around the Midwest and the process of becoming empty nesters and seeing our children well ensconced into lives as productive citizens, scripturally sound, biblically moral young people.

So, over the course of the next several weeks, i plan to unabashedly promote their websites, start up businesses, well established businesses, and almost there after 5 years businesses. All are meeting needs which benefit the lives of others.

The upcoming spotlights will include;

1) Barb Buchmayer – she and her husband, Kerry, recently retired from decades of owning and operating an organic grass-based dairy (we bought our raw milk from them for years) located here in north Missouri. She has now written a two volume, 300 page each, set of books designed to help you train your dog using positive encouragement. Positive Herding 101 & 102 To get a glimpse of her training methods as we are awaiting the arrival of her books, check out and subscribe to Barb’s Youtube Channel – Positive Herding Dog

2) Nadean Eudaly is a dear friend with whom our friendship is growing leaps and bounds actually since our children graduated from our respective home schooling endeavors. Although, we lived only about 45 minutes apart, our ‘circles’ didn’t overlap much during those years. However, now residing in Texas, Nadean, in addition to continuing to work alongside her husband at his established business White River Productions, has now embarked on providing quality Longhorn cattle to area landholders who want regal, easy care cattle gracing their vistas and offering a cabin for rental on their property. Well on her way to busting out with full service, check our her new businesses at Bell & Brook Ranch. She is located near Palestine, Texas.

Book this well appointed eco cabin which overlooks a gorgeous oxbow lake. Well, obviously, when i took the photo, i was focusing on the horses and pasture. Head on over to Nadean’s website for contact and booking information.

3) Kevin Eudaly, editor and owner of multiple train, railroad, diesel engine magazines and books has been living the dream of his 12 year old self when his love was of photographing trains. Although a stint as an environmental chemist was his career out of college (actually, he and Nadean met at work with them both being chemists! God works with amazing precision). All things train are well represented at White River Productions. I had the privilege of previewing the hard copy/finished Timber Titans book at their home during my visit and although i’m not familiar with trains and the massive amount of historical documentation this book records, i can recognise an enjoyable, yet important record of train and rail history well put together. The super old black and white photographs contained within are sharply improved as if they were taken using today’s camera capabilities. This book is more than a coffee table centerpiece – it’s an historical piece.

This book is a recent stunner published by White River Productions. Timber Titans: Baldwin’s Articulated Logging Locomotives

4) Eric & Hope Bright who now live outside Forsyth, Missouri also is a homeschooling family in our circle here in north Missouri and also a dairy family. Their children, too, are off changing the world for the better and now Eric and Hope have time to devote to their love of sharing rural living with as many as they can. Check out their hospitality at 12 Stones Farm. A real, hands on farm stay the Bright’s offer the opportunities of bottle feeding calves, feeding chickens, ducks, and geese, collecting eggs, gardening, and milking cows. Kayaking, roasting marshmallows over an outdoor fire, and, for those of you not used to a dark sky, be amazed at the night time stars displayed in all their glory. If you don’t want to do the farm stay – that’s okay, too. Enjoy beautiful, private accommodations with a private hot tub, then head to nearby Branson for evening entertainment. This is a small working farm with fresh eggs, fresh milk, and grassfinished beef available most of the time. Find them on AirBnB, Flipkey, and VRBO. Also, they have a new cabin available listed on AirBnb. But, honestly, don’t hesitate to contact them directly. Awesome hosts.

Contact Hope to book this well appointed studio sized cabin for your own use or as use for an overflow of family and friends renting the much larger cabin nearby.

Okay, that was a little teaser – hope you have time to follow along later as i explore each of their new endeavors more fully in upcoming blog entries!

Discrimination or Mostly Not

Discrimination!!!! it’s a word bandied about like we are all snowflakes and deserve a bed of roses atop a pedestal to which all others bow down and throw money at. Stop with the craziness!

Here’s an article i spotted on ewg.org – i was only looking for non toxic shampoo ideas, but get hammered with politics instead.

Now, i’m all for everyone getting a fair shot of the American dream, but when people groups are selected for unfair advantages, it gets a bit under my skin – the democrats are playing the ‘race’ card once again driving the wedge deeper and deeper amongst Americans. But that plays to their power, control, and self righteousness. Disgusting.

Several years ago, i was asked to participate in a survey – one on one interview – in regards to applying for and working through USDA-NRCS farming programs. I said ‘sure’. The lady asked her canned questions and time and again tried to get me to say that i felt discriminated against because i was a woman. I refused to comply for indeed, i felt (because it’s all about feelings, right?) that our Linn County, Missouri USDA-FSA-NRCS people helped me tremendously in providing all the information and tools needed to successfully navigate the red tape of applying for and completing the projects.

I have just lost a lot of respect for EWG now for jumping on the bandwagon of discriminating against those who are most qualified.

Oh my goodness! Now, i see EWG actually provides a filter to sort for products made by people with a certain skin color – can we say ‘discrimination’? I’m done with EWG.

Our country needs to get back to neighbor helping neighbor and kick the government back to its constitutional duties only. But i fear we are too far gone…….

From visiting student enrolled at University of Missouri in Ag Econ Master’s program to close fast friend with our common interest in agriculture. Daughter Jessica travelled to DRC and visited Clement’s mom’s farm.

Home > News > News Releases > National Black Farmers Association and EWG Applaud the Justice for Black Farmers Act

National Black Farmers Association and EWG Applaud the Justice for Black Farmers Act

Contact: Alex Formuzis(202) 667-6982alex@ewg.orgFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: MONDAY, FEBRUARY 8, 2021

WASHINGTON – The following is the statement of John Boyd, founder and president of the National Black Farmers Association, and Scott Faber, EWG’s senior vice president for government affairs, on the reintroduction of the Justice for Black Farmers Act, by Sens. Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Raphael Warnock (D-Ga.), Tina Smith (D-Minn.) and Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.).

The Justice for Black Farmers Act is the most ambitious legislative proposal ever developed to address historic and ongoing discrimination against Black farmers. As NBFA and EWG recently documented, Black farmers have been systemically denied access to land, subsidies, loans and other critical tools through government and private discrimination, and the institutional racism that has driven Black land loss is being reinforced through the USDA’s broken policies. 

By providing new access to land and credit and providing debt relief, the Justice for Black Farmers Act will help right these historic wrongs. By providing new oversight and accountability within the USDA, the Justice for Black Farmers Act will help address the roots of the USDA’s racist history. By making an unprecedented investment in training through historically Black colleges and universities and groups like the National Black Farmers Association, the Justice for Black Farmers Act will ensure that Black farmers have the tools they need to succeed.

These reforms are long overdue. We applaud the leadership of Sens. Booker, Warren, Gillibrand, Warnock, Smith and Leahy, and we urge Congress to act swiftly to address the USDA’s long history of discrimination against Black Farmers.

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The Environmental Working Group is a nonprofit, non-partisan organization that empowers people to live healthier lives in a healthier environment. Through research, advocacy and unique education tools, EWG drives consumer choice and civic action.KEY ISSUES: 

FARMING

FOOD

WATER

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Prairie State Park

Before i lay into the management of the park, let me be clear that i haven’t a clue as to the constraints and regulations a state park must adhere to. Also, don’t hesitate to visit the park – winter is certainly not its most beautiful season. I did see about a dozen bison.

Covid stuff has made doing stuff a bit awkward – i didn’t see a soul at this park – rangers or visitors. The Prairie State Park visitor’s center was closed, so i back tracked to the camping area and with a bit of driving around, discovered an outdoor privy. It was gross, but didn’t gag me – maybe because i was desperate.

Anyway, that relieved, I drove back towards the visitor’s center – there was one long trail near the privy, but it was too late in the day for me to conquer it. I found one much shorter which was only a path through a burnt out field of native prairie – or what is accepted as native prairie.

Let me admit my bias up front; for regular pasture/field/timber management, i think fire is stupid. It destroys the micro organisms, small critters, and sends amazing amounts of carbon into the atmosphere – not to mention it is dangerous and takes careful management so that the fire doesn’t get away. Typically, it does the exact opposite of what it is touted to accomplish.

There, having said that, fire can be a necessary tool for emergency renovation if we haven’t managed a parcel and now need to jump start healing – a one time deal – if other practices have been exhausted.

As i drove around the park, it appeared to have perhaps half of the property burnt to the ground. I almost didn’t take the time to make this hike, but so glad i did. This was the first time, i’ve explored, examined, encountered the devastating effects of fire on pasture/range/prairie.

Path of the Scorched Earth – would have made a better title.
The grasses are completely burnt, leaving not only no cover, but scorched soil. Any nutrients and saliva provided by bison are burnt up as well. Hopefully, the plants were allowed to grow enough to develop deep root systems to facilitate fast growth in the next growing season.
Oodles and myriads of small rodents and other critters skeletons and bones completely stripped of any hide or sinew. Either these animals were eaten or died a very long time ago or they were caught in the fire.
Pieces of a turtle shell. No one can know for sure the demise of the turtle. We have so few box turtles in north Missouri, i hate to see their destruction. We do have a lot of snapping turtles though, which we could do without – terribly hard on ducklings and goslings.
Woody sprouts thick and getting out of control without proper grazing by bison. These are a result of very low density grazing which allows selective grazing. Once these tree sprouts, thorny vines, etc get started, it’s very difficult to restore the prairie without mowing or chemicals. Fire does not hurt them.
People of the Sky trail – more charred earth – it was getting cold and i’ve learnt a lot by walking on charred pastures.

Traditional English Toffee

This is so easy and so delicious, i may founder on it! Show some restraint!

TRADITIONAL ENGLISH TOFFEE

Ingredients:

1 cup pecans, chopped

¾ cup brown sugar, packed

½ cup butter

½ cup semisweet chocolate chips

Directions:

Butter a small baking sheet.  Spread pecans in a single layer.  Heat butter and brown sugar to boiling in a heavy saucepan, stirring constantly for 7 minutes (note – you MUST stir quickly and constantly or it will easily burn and don’t shorten the amount of boiling time).  Immediately spread mixture over pecans on baking sheet.  It cools quickly, so get is spread – you might have time to help it cover, but use the back of spoon – it’s too hot to handle.  Sprinkle chocolate chips over hot mixture and quickly cover with a plate or tin foil.  Let melt, then using that spoon, spread melted chips in an even layer.  Refrigerate until firm.  Break toffee into pieces.

Tip – clean up your pot as soon as possible or the toffee really sticks.

So cold outside right now, i just set outside to cool vs refrigerating. It’s amazing how hot the stone pan got with the toffee so i set it up on a baking rack.

Pops out easily and breaks nicely into pieces. Ready to eat!

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Experience the Holidays: Traditional English Toffee! So often we have those cherished childhood memories of homemade candy and cookies that accompanied holiday celebrations. They stick with us for life. I can remember being in eighth grade and determined to replicate a batch of my mother’s English Toffee. I waited for her to go into town and then pulled out her secret recipe. You know, the ones scratched on a 3.5”x5” card. More often than not, they showed a list of ingredients with instructions that simply said, “Bake at 350° for 30 minutes”. Let’s face it, that’s pretty vague compared to what we explain nowadays. As you can imagine, I melted the butter along with the brown sugar and stirred. And stirred. And stirred. So how come it wasn’t turning into this crisp crunchy texture of rich golden butter that fueled my addiction? What could I possibly be doing wrong? There…

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Quick Kansas Getaway

It’s ridiculous to take a short getaway, but guess i feel stressed and boxed in, so i left Monday afternoon – not really having any schedule though i did have some places i hoped to explore.

A lake at Watkins Mill State Park – not much to do here unless you have never seen a lake and want to walk three miles around it. Otherwise, mask wearing is required inside the museum and center – i skipped that.
View from high point of the Konza PrairieTrail south of Manhattan, Kansas – this hike is a must see and do. It’s not easy all the way through, but only bits and pieces are strenuous. By and large, it’s a casual hike. The views and foliage are stunning – not so stunning was the constant traffic noise. But don’t pass this up if you have time. It was cold and misty when i hiked and still enjoyed it a lot. Total i hiked this park was 4.4 miles, but total available to hike is 6 miles.
Truly it must have been a vision of heaven on earth as early settlers topped this hill and looked over tall prairie grasses, a wide river, and farmable bottom grounds.

Tallgrass native prairies grasses grow as tall as my head.

Next up was an enjoyable drive to The Land Institute. Unfortunately, due the china flu plandemic, they were not offering tours of their research and greenhouses, but they do have this land that can be hiked. It will be nice to go back to get the lowdown on if they are accomplishing anything worthwhile.
Part of the hike of the Marty Bender Nature Area and Trail. It was an easy hike and outing. Nothing fabulous, but good exercise. Worth the time.
Today’s hike was in high winds and an unusual heat wave for one day! It was 80 degrees when i started and 85 by the time i accomplished only 7.1 miles of this Tallgrass Prairie Hiking trails managed by The Nature Conservancy. I was almost back to the gate – like 100 yards – and there was a big ole bison on the path. They are unpredictable and warnings everywhere to turn back should this happen. But no way was i going to turn back at this point! i did take a wide berth by walking through the grass well away from him and not between him and the few mates a short distance away. This photo is taken at the Scenic Overlook 1495 feet. With the sustained winds at 30 mph and gusting to 48 – i was certainly walking and standing at an angle to be upright.
A new mate sharing the path with me.

After a hot afternoon of hiking at the Preserve, the next morning was greeted with a freeze warning – no different than Missouri!

On my way home, i discovered a farm run winery. I think it is important to support other farmers and ranchers by purchasing their good products. This one also provides a lovely wedding and reception venue.

White Tail Run Winery – Edgerton, Kansas

Here i’m enjoying a glass of wine from White Tail Run Winery by fall evening fire.