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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Putting chickens in a box and other fun activities…

By Alesha Thompson (Jennifer's sister) Fall in Wisconsin was in full swing when my husband and I decided it was time to sell the chickens. We keep chickens in the summer because they are fun, easy, and a great source of fresh eggs! But once it gets cold, which it always does in Wisconsin, the chickens become a whole lot of work that neither my husband nor I want to do. So every fall, my husband...
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The Honeybee Sisters are coming! Stay tuned…

My idea for my new "Honeybee Sisters" series was born on a beautiful September day on an Amish farm in northeastern Wisconsin. Our tour guide took us to a beautiful farmhouse on the outskirts of Bonduel and introduced us to the Amish woman who lived there. She had the most beautiful yard and garden with grape vines and chrysanthemums and pumpkins, and I fell in love with the place. This...
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Almost time for peach thinning!

It will soon be time to thin peaches. When the peaches are about the size of a walnut they need to be thinned. Peaches should be removed from the limbs leaving them about three to four inches apart. If the tree was pruned properly then not as many peaches will need to be removed. If the peaches are not thinned then the ones that are left will not grow big. It is better to have a few big peaches...
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