Winkler Homestead Happenings Winter 2017

Sorry I have been MIA folks. These past couple of weeks have been crazy! Just this week we have been back and forth from the farm 3 times. It’s an hour and a half each way, craziness. Why? We…

Source: Winkler Homestead Happenings Winter 2017


A Lunatic Encounter and other Fall Fun

Last week it was strangely warm, even by my friend visiting from South Carolina’s standards. This week it truly feels like fall! Saturday morning we got up and tossed up a few ideas before loading up and driving to Kansas. I had free wristbands to the Mother Earth News Fair in Topeka and we decided to take advantage.

We really wish we had left Friday and enjoyed the whole weekend, but we only attended Sunday. Though, we were one of the first dozen cars there and chased out at the end by 3 security guards! More about that later. 😉

Our break point on the way was the Turtle Playground in St. Louis and dinner. I was so sad that we didn’t get to eat at Tucanos (they had a 2 hr wait), but that’s ok. The boys enjoyed the day very much, even if they did drive us crazy in the car! lol!!

We stayed on the Kansas side of Kansas City, arriving about 10PM. Kansas City is MASSIVE,, by the way. City lights stretched for MILES!

We left after packing up and breakfast for the last hour leg of out trip. The country side really spread out, but there were still lots of trees! The doors at the Expocenter wouldn’t open until 9AM, but we were there, waiting, before many distributors even arrived. Matt and I flipped through the paper schedule, trying to decide what talks would be best and which booths demanded a visit.

The first talk of the day was at 9:30, Salad Bar Beef, by Joel Salatin of Polyface Farms. Matt really wanted to catch this one (I did, too), but I felt it pertinent to catch the Garlic Talk, since we have 6 lbs to plant this week. We decided to divide and conquer. Though I learned a bit, Matt’s texting of messages like , “This man is a genius!” made me wish I could have heard Joel. Matt and I both read “Folks, this ain’t normal” by Joel Salatin, but hearing him speak is truly an awesome thing, as I would see later in the day when I listened to the final talk, Joel’s Benchmarks of Truth. In between we listened, talked, tasted yummy things, and pet adorable animals.


After the last talk ended, a bathroom break was a must before getting on the road. Then some talking with another homeschool family. As we prepared to walk out, the center was ready to shut us out and start clean up, Joel just happened to be standing in the doorway!! Not only did he autograph Matt’s “Salad Bar Beef” book and take a picture with me, he talked with us 10- 15 min. We all actually had to be asked to leave by 3 different security guards. Joel Salatin is a genius! He is also kind, devoted, full of life, vigor, and creativity. Apparently, according to his bio, he is also a Christian libertarian environmentalist capitalist Lunatic farmer. It was a pleasure to be amongst a Lunatic Farmer! 🙂


We stopped about halfway through Missouri for the night and made an hour pit stop at the St. Louis Zoo before driving home. The fair was a learning experience and I am thankful we were able to attend.

Yesterday we drove to the farm. It was a great night for camping it the cabin! This morning we had fire-perculated coffee before tilling up a garlic row, asparagus row, and scooping 2 Gator beds full of mud to fill in a low spot in the front yard. It was such a beautiful day!


How is Autumn in your neck of the woods??

Many blessings my friends! ❤










Many of you probably read that I am out of space on my  Der Bauernhof Blog for pictures. If you are a regular reader, you know I LOVE sharing photos. So until I find an alternative (or fill this one, too, lol!) I will put new posts here and share the link on Der Bauernhof.

I love Autumn! I do battle some depression this time of year as we travel through the anniversary of loosing Levi, but there is great joy in this season, too!!

We pick apples, hike in the changing woods and crisp air, and pick pumpkins. In school, the boys and I have been learning all about pumpkins. We talked about how they grow, the difference between gourds and squash, made pumpkin seed art and jack o lanterns, pumpkin goodies, and made our yearly homeschool trip to Goebel Farms.  Enjoy our past few weeks of pumpkin fun!!

After we read the Pumpkin Patch Parable and carved our pumpkins, I cleaned and dyed some seeds with food coloring. I let them sit in a strong dye for 3 days before daring, rinsing, and drying. Then the kids glued them onto a tree outline for a pretty picture.


We read lots of pumpkin books! Gabriel seems to fully understand the difference between Fiction and Non-Fiction. Here is a list of the books we enjoyed this week and last.

  • Pumpkin, Pumpkin by Jeanne Titherington
  • By the Light of the Harvest Moon by Harriet Ziefert
  • How Many Seeds in a Pumpkin by Margaret McNamara
  • Pumpkin Circle by George Levenson
  • The Biggest Pumpkin Ever by Steven Kroll
  • Seep, Sprout, Pumpkin Pie by Jill Esbaum
  • The Pumpkin Patch Parable by Nancy Munger

We just love our teary trip to Goebel Farms in Evansville! Jenelle Goebel, a homeschool mama herself, gives a fabulous tour! I just adore the touches of the Lord added. Jenelle made sure to let us know that God helps the pumpkins grow by providing what they need. We learn about wheat, corn, pumpkins, other squashes, and gourds. After, we are taken on a “straw” ride to pick a fruit from the field. When we return, there are corn mazes, a huge barn play area with a slide, animals to feed and love on, apple cider slushies to enjoy, and great friends to visit with. I always enjoy my time out in the field talking with Jenelle about our farm and theirs and her squash suggestions for the year! I am still hooked on Autumn Cup as the yummiest winter squash EVER! I prefer it over pumpkin in most recipes. I love it’s creaminess. It is also sweeter than pumpkin, so I can reduce added sugar in my recipes (usually by half!). Here are some fun shots of our day. I forgot my camera, so excuse the cell shots.


I have plans for LOTS of pumpkins and squashes at Der Bauernhof. I have so many seeds I have saved. Praying next year is the year of the Pumpkin Patch!


I hope all is well for you, dear friends. I have missed blogging. I really hope to figure out a better solution soon. Meanwhile, thank you for reading! Many Blessings!!






Happy New Year!

We spent NYE on the road, in the ER at Riley with Gabriel, my 5 year old, on the road more (about 6 hrs total) with a very cranky, tired grouch of a daddy. Learned nothing new. Got home at 8:30… 😦 Our usual NYE of appetizers, puzzles, games, movies, and cookie baking has been postponed. We will be having a Happy 2016 party tomorrow instead. I will NOT travel and I WILL spend the day in my PJs (and apron).

If you are out and about tonight be safe!!

Please pray the 2 hrs of sleep is going to get my husband through work tonight and home safely tomorrow. K, please??? Happy New Year!


PS- I have a cornbread post, but I will have to share tomorrow! Night!

Horse Progress Days

It was a dreary type of Friday. Light mists, fog, lots of gray. All the better!! As soon as Matt got home from work and changed clothes, we loaded up and headed to Odon, IN. The drive was nice, we had time to chat as a family and listen to our audiobook (We are on #5 in the Little Britches series, by Ralph Moody).

As future small farmers, the thought of doing as much as we can the “Old Fashioned” way is idealistic to us, if not a bit naive at times…lol! We dream of our farm being ran by horsepower! As in 4 legs! Or, more than likely, 8! 2 HP!!! Woohooo! 😀 So, a few weeks ago, when I found out about an event showcasing draft horses at work in the Amish area an hour north of us, I knew we should go!

Being a holiday weekend made it a bit rough with Matt’s crazy work schedule, and he only got 5 or so hrs of sleep today, but we were thrilled to go and wished we could have spent all day. Sadly, we missed the parade of breeds. And the auction proceeding it, which might be a good thing, knowing Matt! Ha!! And we didn’t get to watch as much as we would have liked. It was BIGGER than I expected! People came from all over to attend. Many were Simple Folk. We always feel right comfortable in their company, as their ideals are so much more on track with ours than 90% of America. So we were cramming it in! And if you know my husband, personally, you know he doesn’t avoid good conversation. 10 minutes with the Bee Guy here, 15 with the walk behind tractor guy there, and a nice 20 or so with the Amish gentleman from Iowa!

And did I mention it was muddy? As in I REALLY shoulda wore my rubber boots. But, nope, I went in flip flops. I saw several young Amish ladies barefoot, and the idea was carefully considered on my part, but I decided against it.

There was a playground area, booths, a petting animal tent, and one booth even had a Gypsy Vanner!!! Yes, my friends, it is my dream horse…. ❤ They also had the neatest restore Gypsy Cart! Enjoy the pictures!

We arrived, parked in a pasture, directed by sweet Simple young gals on horseback. We rode a school bus (the boys were ECSTATIC!) to the entry of the event, and from there took a wagon in. Our wagon going in was a pair of mules, coming out was Clydesdales. On the way on the bus, it was neat to see all the buggies grouped together! We had seen plenty of buggies grouped together before, but not HUNDREDS! A sea of them!

july33 july34


The first stop for us was this lovely High Tunnel green house. The tomatoes!!! Wow!! We plan to see what one would cost for our garden.

july36 july37

We watched the horse for a bit working the ground with sprayers and such. I apologize that I only had my cell for photos today. I was worried my camera would get rained on! We did get closer than this photo, but I forgot to take any pictures!!! :/


These few are the Gypsy and Petting Animals.

july38 july313 july300 july30 july39 july310 july311 july312 july314

After we left, we stopped at Stoll’s, an Amish Buffet, for Supper and looked at West Boggs Lake before driving home. It was so nice and cool! A lovely family day!!

july319 july318


Tomorrow is Independence Day. God Bless America. My prayers for this country are of healing. We are broken right now. How we got here isn’t the concern, only to learn, to unite again. I pray for this fervently. For my children and grandchildren, and so forth. So they can have freedoms, not have them taken. And I pray for those who fight for those freedoms. Amen.

Be safe tomorrow!