Time to 2017 Spring Gathering








The count down to the Gathering has begun!  In just a very short time, we will welcome fellow homesteaders to our homestead for a day of fun activities, learning, teaching and socializing.  Some of the presenters and their presentations have been introduced in these two posts, Spring 2017 Presenters and More Presenters for the Spring Gathering!.  We have, mowed, trimmed, cleaned, and readied the farm for you.  In the next few days we will do more cleaning, cooking and preparation to try to make sure the day runs smoothly for you.  We do have a chance of rain between now and then, so you might want to wear your boots, as we do have a bit of mud around the place.  ūüôā  Don’t forget your lawn chairs, camera, notebooks and friends!


The planned schedule includes day long demonstrations of outdoor water bath canning fruit syrups, knife making/blacksmithing/knife sharpening, a working moonshine still, rag rug making, quilt top piecing, raising meal worms, carding and spinning wool, rope making, inoculating mushroom logs, and more!

Educational presentations will be 50 minutes long, every hour on the hour from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. as follows:

  • 10:00-10:50     Carding and Spinning Wool
  • 11:00-11:50     Raising Pork
  • 12:00-12:50     Rag Rug Making
  • 1:00-1:50         DIY Cleaners
  • 2:00-2:50         Inoculating Shiitake Mushroom Logs
  • 3:00-3:50         Raising Meal Worms

Take a look at our no-till, deep mulch garden at 11:00 or 2:00

We will offer a simple lunch of BBQ Beef sandwich, chips, dessert and drink for $5 from 11:30-12:30, or bring a picnic lunch and toss your picnic blanket down on a grassy area and enjoy a good old fashioned picnic in the country.

Debbie Wiillhite lives on a¬†“little farm” south of Rolla with husband, Bob. While her husband¬†drives a truck, Debbie attends local Farmers Markets where she offers homemade breads and hand made rag rugs.

Debbie was interested in the old crafts as a child and spent a lot of time with her grandmother and great aunt in Georgia where they lived their lives in the “old ways” in a fairly primitive setting. ¬†From them, she learned the value of using everything God gave you. ¬†She learned to hand sew, darn, repair clothing and quilt. ¬†She also shelled bushels and bushels of black eyed peas and butter beans!

Debbie learned the craft of crocheted rag rugs, from her husbands grandmother 42 years ago, after they relocated to Missouri from California as newlyweds. ¬†She had taught herself to crochet and her new Grandmother-in-law share an old “Workbasket” magazine with a pattern for a crocheted rug and the rest is history. ¬†Over time, Debbie has experimented and found what holds up best, is the most economical to use, and easiest to find in the way of materials.

According to Debbie, rug making is a very simple craft, which she fell in love with after she made braided rugs and was not satisfied with having to resew the rings all the time. When Bob’s grandma Norma showed her how to do the crocheted rugs she was ecstatic!  It is a way the old farm folk used to use old sheets, blankets, clothes to give them another life. They brighten up your house and are useful.

I won’t spoil her presentation by giving you the details she gave me on how she makes them, just come and learn directly from the crafter! ¬†She does say they are a portable craft that she has made while out in the semi truck with her husband, during her all day IV chemo treatments over the last 3 years and she works on them at the Farmer’s Markets and at the Baker Creek Heirloom Days. ¬†If we are lucky she may have a few items for sale with her if you would like to own one of her one-of-a-kind rugs.

Visit Debbie on Facebook at Debbies Bread or Little Shaggy Workshop.


Jenni McGrady will be joining us and piecing a quilt top throughout the day. ¬†Jenni runs a quilting business from her home, east of Greenfield in Dade County, Forget-Me-Knot Quilting. ¬†She sells completed quilts and does custom machine quilting for others. ¬†Though she lived most of her life in Alaska, she and her husband Rick moved here 3 years ago, when they fell in love with area after visiting their son who had relocated here. ¬†They bought a small farm and looked forward to retiring to live the life of their dreams “homesteading” in the Ozarks. ¬†Unfortunately, Jenni, lost her husband very recently and now shares the farm with her son and daughter-in-law. ¬†Her grandchildren frequently visit the farm and enjoy the pigs, chickens, ducks and cows, along with time with their Grandma. ¬†I think the Grandkids favorite spot in the evening is out by the fire pit, where Grandma Jennie seems to have a never ending supply of marshmallows, chocolate and graham crackers.

Jenni has been quilting 20 years and does a beautiful job not only quilting projects, but her selection of fabrics and color combinations are stunning.  I look forward to seeing what surprise she in store for us for the Gathering quilt top.  In addition, Jenni is a major supporter of our efforts in hosting the Homestead Gatherings.  She has graciously donated a lap quilt for us to give away to those who also wish to donate to our efforts.  See more information below.

The quilt pictured below was donated by Jenni McGrady of Forget-Me-Knot Quilting to be given to one lucky person who donates to the Gathering. ¬†This couch cozy quilt is lap size, 44″ x 61″ and is perfect for those cool evenings when you need just a little something over your lap, while you sit and unwind from a hard days work and plan for the next day. ¬†For each $1 donated toward the expenses of the Gathering, you will receive 1 chance at the quilt drawing. ¬†Donate $5 and receive 6 chances to win! ¬†We appreciate Jenni’s donation as we do all donations given for the expenses of the Spring Gathering and future Gatherings. ¬†With these donations we can continue to make these events free for everyone! ¬†Thank you, Jenni! ¬†Be sure to come see us, Saturday, May 20th, 2017, near Miller. ¬†Times and more details can be found here, or you can email us at modernmissouripioneers@gmail.com.

We strive to keep the price of our products reasonable. Due to the larger size of many of them, shipping may be more than the item itself. We have no control over this, and will only charge the actual shipping charges. To help offset the high cost of shipping, we encourage you to buy several items in one, allowing us to combine shipping on the items. Dismiss

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