In addition to the afternoon sessions, discussed in more detail, here and here, we have several working exhibitions lined up for the morning hours of the 2016 Fall Gathering. Join us from 9:00 to 11:30 a.m. at the Matthews homestead near Miller for a full day of fun, learning and sharing. More information about the location can be found here. We hope you will join us! Bring a lawn chair, picnic lunch (or buy beans and corn bread with peach cobbler made by our Chuck Wagon cook), notepad, camera and a friend!
Now on to introducing the wonderful folks who will be with us on Saturday morning, October 29th!
Butch Pettengill worked as a butcher for 12 years, and spent 17 years as a meat inspector. He has lived in Dade County Missouri for 44 years where he and his wife, Ione, raised a son and daughter. Butch is a Vietnam Veteran and has dabbled in “a little bit of everything”. Butch and Ione owned the locker plant in Lockwood for a few years prior to the current owners. We are proud to have him come and share his knowledge of cutting meat as he processes a hog. I will warn you, we also plan to kill and butcher a second hog the day of the Gathering so that the process can been seen from start to finish. It will be a graphic activity, not for the faint of heart. While graphic, it is a necessary part of providing meat for yourself and your family.
Virgil Lippold moved to Lawrence County, Missouri with his son and daughter in law, from rural Nebraska. With four generations on their family homestead, there are many projects that combine both old and new ways. Virgil recently acquired a large cider press that the family can use to press fruits for cider and wine making. Virgil will be us during the morning, demonstrating the grinding and apples and pressing fresh apple cider. Cider is a true fall treat that is enjoyed by many. Some of the cider he presses will be water bath canned in a class in the afternoon.
Larry Matthews was born and raised on the location of the Gathering. This is his family farm which will be passed on to future Matthews generations. Larry will be demonstrating the rendering (cooking down) of hog fat to make lard. Lard was formerly a staple in any pantry, used for pie crusts, bread making, frying foods and other uses. While it has lost favor over the years to “vegetable shortening”, it is quickly becoming known that lard is actually a more nutritious choice than processed shortening, and is making a comeback in modern day pantries. The hog fat will be that from a neighbor who has asked if we could help with rendering, so the opportunity to do a neighbor a favor will become a wonderful opportunity to demonstrate and educate as well.
JD Matthews lives near Mt. Vernon and will be demonstrating how a moonshine still works to distill alcohol, making it suitable for enjoyment, using in tinctures, and other medicinal applications. JD is my son…..and I cannot get him to admit how long he has been studying and practicing the process of alcohol distillation….but I am understanding, that this is definitely not his first experience. 😉
Ken Brous was born and raised in Barton county, the youngest son of 7 children. They lived on a small farm outside Lamar and used draft horses often on tasks around the farm. They had a very diverse farm, raising chickens, hogs, milk cows etc. and of course, gardening. His father was a huge influence on his love of the past. The summers of his youth were filled with riding horses daily, working cattle or practicing for horse shows for 4H. He later went on to compete in riding bareback broncs and team roping in rodeos. He married Robin in 2002 and moved to their current home south of Lamar where they have enjoyed raising quarter horses and now have the best hobby of all, having fun with their grandchildren.
When Ken was young he went to Victory country school where, being the only first grader, he naturally graduated first in his class! He continued his education, earning a degree in engineering from MSSU. Ken chooses to farm. It is his love of the past and the outdoors that drive his desire to help educate young people of the simpler ways. From the Prairie Days to Boy Scout camps, he absolutely loves sharing his knowledge.
Ken has competed in chuck wagon cooking competitions and enjoys the wholesome atmosphere that it provides. He and a group of friends get together a couple of times a year and take authentic wagon trips just to keep the tradition alive. These times on the trail sleeping under the stars, cooking on the open fire with cast iron really make you appreciate what the pioneers endured as they traveled and settled our area. Ken will be demonstrating his skills as a chuck wagon cook during the morning and will offer up a lunch of ham and beans, corn bread and peach cobbler cooked over the open fire, with a drink for $5.00, while supplies last.
Steve Jones, a local neighbor who lives near the Dade/Lawrence county line, will be present demonstrating how rope was made years ago, and can still be made with a vintage rope making machine. This is a process that is enjoyed by young and old alike. You will see and participate it making a basic homesteading necessity. I cannot even begin to mention all the basic applications of a well made rope.
We will also have bacon smoking in the smokehouse, rabbit processing with information about the wonderful versatility of this meat source, pop corn shelling, sharing ideas and visiting. A representative from Hills Feed & More of Mt Vernon, Missouri will be there to discuss any feed questions you might have and discuss some of the ways they can get special mixes to meet individual needs. Missouri Sun Solar will be available to discuss an option for solar power for the modern homestead and will be happy to set up a free consultation. The Dollarhite’s will have their water purification systems available for viewing and will be happy to answer any questions you may have. Kevin Esterline of Prairie Wind Photography will be visiting to take pictures of the events. If you are considering family photos for the Holidays or are needing Senior pictures or an event covered, he is highly recommended and will be glad to set a time to schedule your event. We hope to see you Saturday, October 29. 12683 Lawrence 2022, Miller, MO. 2 miles north of Miller on 39 and 1 mile east on 2022. Watch for signs.