Peaches and Fuzz

| By Richard Gappmayer, Jennifer's dad | My father had about five acres of peach trees of several varieties. Each spring, before the blossoms came out, we would prune the peach trees. They had to be pruned quite heavily each spring or they would not produce big peaches, and if not pruned regularly, they would grow so much foliage that the root system could not support the tree and it would die. ...
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My (Sort of) Battle with a Skunk

| By Alesha Thompson, Jennifer's sister | On our mini farm in Wisconsin, we have lots of critters. Mostly our awesome tomcat, Pippin, takes care of them—mice, chipmunks, and even rabbits. But there is one critter that even Pippin can’t defeat. We know this because we will periodically smell the strong scent of skunk on him, and we’ll know he’s lost another round with a skunk. Anytime I...
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Horses on the Farm

By Richard Gappmayer, Jennifer's father In the 1930s and 40s farm tractors were available but most of the small farmers could not afford one. Some farmers would cooperate in the purchase of one and then share it. Because of scarcity of motorized equipment many farmers relied on the horse. My father owned several horses and we used them on the farm. My brothers and I spent many hours following a...
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Surgery on the Cow

By Richard Gappmayer Years ago bales of hay were secured with wire. Yes, metal wire. One of my father's cows became sick and would not eat, so he called the veterinarian. The vet thought that the cow might have been poisoned by fragments of this hay baler wire. The cow was put in a stanchion, and the vet prepared to operate on her. I don't know if he gave her an anesthetic, but she stood there...
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The Chicken Chronicles: Hatching the Beautiful Hen

By Jennifer's sister Allison Sharp Last month, I told you the sad-but-true tale of one cowardly rooster and two deceased chickens. I was particularly saddened by the death of the beautiful hen, a Polish chicken with feathers that looked like one of Phyllis Diller's hats. In the photo below, she is standing next to the cowardly rooster. Love her feathers! My husband decided to try hatching three...
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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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