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Heger Family Farms

Honoring the Past, Working Today, Preparing for the Future

Month

July 2016

For the Sake of Tomorrow

So in all honesty I started this post over a week ago and have been struggling with the direction I wanted it to take. The last week has forced my hopes to soar, my heart to hurt, and millions of questions in regards to “what is next” to flutter through my mind. So it is with the coincidental wise words of friends that I decided to be honest, to be simple, and ask a huge favor. Here it goes!

Lately, deep in my heart I have had the desire to throw my hands up, turn my heard, close my eyes, crawl in a hole and just give up. Living “off- grid” really doesn’t sound all that bad, right? I look out over the tragedy in the world and the politics playing out in this country and wonder what tomorrow will bring. I ask whether or not people have hearts, souls, and faith. I ask myself if as a nation we have become so entitled, spoiled, and self righteous that we don’t stop to look beyond the end of our nose or apply lessons from our past to our lives. Deep down, I wonder what my grandparents would have done, would they have set aside the foundation on which their ability to reside in this country was set on? Turning my head, throwing my hands in the air is not a solution, but part of the problem…. So, I shake my head clear and think about what is important and why “off -grid” is not the solution. 13558742_10206635918525175_5297340711586269329_oIt’s my family and the promise of each new day that tells me to find another way.

Tomorrow is what I desire to provide for my family, my friends, and neighbors. Tomorrow , quite frankly, is what I desire to make possible even for those whom I conflict with. Tomorrow is uncertain and that needs to change!

The question then become- HOW?!

I truly believe that it all goes back to me and you, you and I! We do not need others telling us how they can make things great. There is no trillion dollar plan that will solve our problems. Speech after speech, plan after grand plan will not make our troubles disappear. The solution is much simpler and greater than that…. it is you and I.

There is true magic in the power of 1! 10694475_10204851557547897_3429914000056718470_oThere is something heart warming in knowing that simple things like unconditionally greetings others, offering assistance, and providing people the opportunity to rise above temptation and make good choices.  Sure we can lock people up, take away their rights, provide hand outs so that they can get by. Heck, we can even blow them up, but it doesn’t solve the problems. Those actions are band-aids to a surface lesions with roots of origination in our hearts and minds. To change the need to band-aid actions, we need to cure the cause. The only prescription out there comes back to us. To morals, values, pride based on hard work and earned accomplishments, and God! We need to be able to stand on the footings on which our country was established, hold them high, respect them and live by them. We must stop finger pointing and take responsibility.  We must not let fear push us aside and become dependent and servants. We need to be able to think, problem solve, function in society- giving back, and we must be civil!IMG_6199

Tomorrow is full of possibilities- good and evil! The direction that it goes is up to me and you! Take time to examine what tomorrow will be… make it memorable, make it meaningful, make it make a positive difference for someone else!

We can do this… There will be a tomorrow to look forward to…America will be Great by the power  1 almighty God working within each of us!

 

 

 

In a Pickle

Good food is a passion of mine! Trying new things and / or  preparations keeps life interesting! So, when it came to seeing fried pickles in a menu- it was a no brainer- 1 order please! 

Pickles…. Are they really that big of a deal? Yah kinda! Sweet, spicy, refrigerator, garlic-ed… And then there is soggy – YUCK! 

Anyway, pickles are one of favorites. We ate jar after jar hanging out into the weeeee hours of the weeknights in the halls of the college dorm. When I get a craving for something sweet , it is a pickle I try to munch. And then there was the relish tray at every holiday gathering… Olives and crunchy pickles! 

So I had to try the fried pickles! Now there are two kinds- breaded or rolled in egg roll wrappers! The egg roll wrappers are the winner in my book! 

When you find a winner- why only have them for special occasions, right? Why not make them yourself for a snack or maybe on a day like today- for lunch! 

What do you need:

1 package egg roll wrappers

2 slices of Havarti cheese per roll

Clausen pickle spears- 1 per roll

Vegetable oil

Directions: 

Place on wrapper on counter so it looks like a diamond. Place 2 pieces of cheese just off center so they are slightly closer to you. Dry off the pickle spear and cut to the width of the cheese. Lay pickle on top of cheese. 


Wet the four corners of the wrapper. Fold corner closest to you over the top of the pickle and cheese. Fold/ tuck the sides like a burrito, the roll .
 Repeat until all wrappers are done!
Pour oil in a deep frying pan until about 1″ deep. Heat until oil sputters when when small drops of water are dropped. Gently place rolls in oil 3-4 at a time. Flip after about 90 secs or golden brown. Cook for 90 secs again. Remove from oil and place on paper towel to cool a bit. 


Cut in half and enjoy! 

GMO Labeling

There is steady chatter about labeling GMOS. Quite frankly I do not believe that it is going away anytime soon.

Chatter is one thing, but chatter about something that is not understood is another.

Right now there is the reality that food items will be labeled with a national QR code where if a consumer really wants to know more about the product they can scan it. This would be a national standard with a uniform symbol and unified information- not a patchwork. If there has to be a label, I can live with this, but it still sends my head spinning!

Spinning? Really? Is that really how I feel about this? Not happy! Why? Not for reasons you may think. I have no concerns over crops that are genetically modified being used, therefore I feel a label is unnecessary. I feel the general consumer has developed fear of the unknown and not taken to understand the process and is reacting to a marketing ploy.

Now before you scream, “what?” Or”this lady is crazy”, let me explain.

Labels of this nature signal that there is a safety concern. The longevity of research and approval by not only the USDA, FDA, and the EPA clearly states that there are no safety concerns. The process used in breeding plants, and thus seeds, is complex and time consuming, but simply boils down to replicating a process of resistance or tolerance that occurs naturally out in the environment, the Eco-system, over long periods of time. Several companies use this technology, it is not just one.

There is more research and approval given to the seeds I have available to choose from, then many of the medicines, dietary supplements, and vitamins you have in your cupboards, can purchase on the shelves, or get with a prescription. Just look at the labels and see which ones say “approval by FDA or USDA pending” or “statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration [FDA]”. Yet, we buy them without flinching. Why? Because someone told us they would do something for us, solve an ailment, or maybe even make us skinny!

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As a farmer, I am thankful for the availability of technology used and the research that goes into each seed we choose to use. Are we forced to plant a genetically modified seed-NO! Do we choose to plant them- YES, when it is the right decision. If a particular seed will allow me to reduce tillage and potentially pesticide and herbicide it is worth my consideration. If I can care for the soil by preserving its organic matter and reducing compaction, genetically modified seeds are worth my consideration.

So, I ask, why label something that has not risks, that isn’t a “thing” but a process. If we label this, then do we need to label all breeding techniques? Identifying genetic traits and breeding plants, thus seeds, is science, it’s nature, and it is something that advancement in technology and precision makes possible in a controlled setting, reducing variables and drastically cutting down on time- decades to be exact. We demand genetic identification of traits for disease, deformities, and cures for ailments; yet want to deny it when it comes to development in sustainability, preserving resources, and fiscal responsibility.

So, why label? Is it needed? Do we really even understand all “those” cute little designs, codes, etc? Do we really even know how to read or use the codes and pictures already on the package?

I do believe that a label for GMO’s is a waste and used for marketing, companies gaining a profit by protruding fear to the millions who have not idea what it means but that it must be bad because a product says “it doesn’t contain”, even if it never had a chance of it having it in the first place.

To label or not that is up to you- you have a right to your own opinion,  but will it really make a difference? Will you take time to understand what it means?

I encourage you to take minute to do a little more research:

Read an article by Mark Lynas, a former non- supporter of GMOs: http://www.marklynas.org/2016/07/time-compromise-gmo-labelling/

Watch a short video “What is a GMO?”

And visit the website below: 

https://gmoanswers.com/

or if all else fails ASK A FARMER or find a farmer at :  http://www.askthefarmers.com/

4H:A Family A- fair

So many times I find our family dividing and conquering. With 5 kids it always seems like we have at least 2 places to be at the same time. One thing that we have found that we can all participate in is 4H.

Now we may not always be working on The same skills or project at the same time, but we work towards the same thing- learning new skills, making useful items, raising the best animals possible to show, and spending time together.

All ending with quality time at the county fair, hence the family a- fair theme!

As we venture through projects and finding time and tact to guide kids through them, we share frustration, a few tense moments, realization that we didn’t leave enough time to get everything done, but without a doubt the best part are the smiles, laughs, and memories made!

4H in our house is a family commitment, one where we can explore and share our time and talents and grow together. Life skills are developed and “soft skills” such as planning, commutation, responsibility, service, problem solving and commitment grows. 4H is a program so much more than a club. It is a youth development group, one that our community is fortunate to have available!

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