German POWs

By Richard Gappmayer, Jennifer's father In previous posting I have discussed experiences with the German WWII POWs. Now the war is over and it is time for them to go home. My father, my sister Beatrice, and I had developed a rapport with these men and were sad to see them leave. They were all very nice, polite men who were victims of this war just like many others. My experience with them made me...
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I’d like to save the butterflies, but I can’t even grow weeds.

Ever since I wrote "The Honeybee Sisters" series, I have been quite concerned about bees and butterflies. I canceled my pest spraying service and have been looking at flowers to plant that bees and butterflies love. One reason that monarch butterflies are disappearing across the country is because milkweed is disappearing, and milkweed is what monarch caterpillars eat. With no food source,...
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The Rifle in the Cherry Tree

By Richard Gappmayer (Jennifer's father) When the German POWs would come to work on my father's farm they would, during the first summer, be accompanied by a guard. This guard would be armed with an M1 rifle. I don't know if it was loaded. I suspect that it was not. The guard would usually walk around with nothing to do while the men were picking cherries, or he would trade war stories with my...
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Prisoners of War on a Utah Farm

By Richard Gappmayer, Jennifer's father Near the end of WWII, German POWs were brought to the United States and housed in camps around the country. They were brought here because there was no place to keep them in Europe, and there was a shortage of labor here. One of these camps was located here in Orem. Farmers could get these men to work on their farms. My father would get ten POWs to help...
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War from the perspective of a nine-year-old boy

My father, Roy, was born in 1900.  He was too young to serve in WWI and too old to be in WWII. (I wonder how high those numbers will go.) Many of the young men from our small town served in the war. Wesley Graff came home burned and disfigured. Every time I saw him I was reminded of the war. George Rohbock spent much of the war in a German POW camp.  He came home and became a florist. Phil...
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Strawberries and Seagulls

By Richard Gappmayer, Jennifer's father. My father  planted fruit trees and while waiting for them to mature, he planted strawberries in rows between the trees. We would plant the berries one spring, and then they bore fruit the next spring and several springs to follow. We used a horse-drawn cultivator to stir up the ground between the rows of plants to remove weeds and to make the ground more...
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Pears, $3.00 a bushel

By Richard Gappmayer (Jennifer's dad) In September of each year after the pears had been picked, sorted, boxed and shipped, I would walk through the orchard and observe that many of the trees had a few pears left on them. Because there were just a few in each tree it would not be worthwhile to carry a ladder around to pick them. They were, however, still very good. Since they had been on the tree...
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Pruning, stacking, and burning limbs on the farm

Peach and apple trees need a substantial amount of pruning. Too much foliage on peach trees will result in small peaches and unhealthy trees. The same is true of apples. This pruning is usually done in the winter after the leaves have fallen and the trees have become dormant. My father would spend many very cold and dreary days in the winter pruning. I don't believe that he enjoyed it, but he...
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Codling moth, lead, and DDT

Apples and pears can both be victims of the codling moth. This moth lays eggs which hatch into worms which eat their way into either apples or pears as well as some other fruits. This, of course, ruins the fruit and makes it unsellable. My father fought this problem in his orchards for as long as I can remember. Some early sprays for this bug included lead arsenic, sulphur, and horticulture...
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Cherries, Rain, and Faith

Life on the farm for a young boy was usually very fun and exciting except for a few times when I had to perform some unpleasant task such as cleaning out the pig pen. This was also the case for my father, except the unpleasant task was trying to pay bills when the crop had failed. This happened several times and in different ways. One particularly brutal way happened one summer with the sweet...
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