Mush! Giddy-up! Haw!

Melissa Sandfort

Oh, that’s right, there are no horses in front of this wagon – it’s just for decoration. Every year, my Grandparents pull this wagon out of the shed and into their front yard for Christmas and decorate it with running white lights on the wheels. Horse-drawn wagons such as this were used to transport anything and everything on the farm. …

Agricultural Anthropology

Hot water bath anyone?

Melissa Sandfort

At first glance, this looks like a funky cookie cutter. Or a toy soldier’s hat. Or a broken top off of a flour sifter. But the technical term for it is a jar lifter. (I know, I’m using big words.) Another one of the joys of canning was the hot water bath. Unless you had hands of steel for removing …

Agricultural Anthropology

The Everything Basket

Melissa Sandfort

Do you have a favorite bag or basket or box that you use in the house to carry laundry or magazines or a stack of papers to be filed? I have a linen bag inside for just that reason, and a 5-gallon bucket outside for the same. Outside I fill my bucket with weeds from the garden, leaves and sticks, …

Agricultural Anthropology

The Popper

Melissa Sandfort

Our son is hooked on microwave popcorn. Or any kind of popcorn for that matter since we have an air popper, too. He knows when it’s movie night, it’s popcorn night. A 1:45 ‘bout in the microwave and he’s happy as can be. This is a photo of an old-time popcorn popper. They used to put the kernels in with …

Agricultural Anthropology

Have you lost your marbles?

Melissa Sandfort

Being in the business of agriculture public relations and communications, I get to attend numerous trade shows throughout the year and visit with producers across the country. It’s always gratifying to me to hear their stories, be able to share my story, and connect with those who raise the food my family eats. My husband also likes it when I …

Agricultural Anthropology

The Walnut Cracker

Melissa Sandfort

Remember me telling you about how Grandpa picks up black walnuts by the 5-gallon bucket full each year? They’re so potent you have to wear rubber gloves when you work with them, otherwise your hands smell like black walnuts for weeks. I’d hate to think what they do to your insides! Between the hours spent collecting them and the hours …

Agricultural Anthropology

Just in Case

Melissa Sandfort

Living out in the country, I don’t have the luxury of just running to the grocery store around the corner if I find myself in the middle of a recipe, missing ingredients. The closest grocery store is 10 miles away and it’s no bigger than my kitchen. The next store of any size is 25 miles away and it’s still …

Agricultural Anthropology

They Thought I Was Crazy.

Melissa Sandfort

I sat down at the lunch table one Monday noon (when I was 33 years old, not 12), pulled out my ground meat (not PB&J) and the “kids” at my table thought I was crazy. Ground meat? I guess to them it looked slimy and unfit for human consumption, but I on the other hand was looking forward to a …

Agricultural Anthropology

All About the Shoes

Melissa Sandfort

I have a number of idiosyncrasies. One is cleaning up while I cook. When mom and I were in the kitchen together, she’d turn to me and ask, “Where is that spoon I was using?”, and the answer was always, “In the dishwasher.” (Where else would it be – it was dirty!) Another might be hanging up shirts in the …

Agricultural Anthropology

Just in Case

Melissa Sandfort

Living out in the country, I don’t have the luxury of just running to the grocery store around the corner if I find myself in the middle of a recipe, missing ingredients. The closest grocery store is 10 miles away and it’s no bigger than my kitchen. The next store of any size is 25 miles away and it’s still …

Agricultural Anthropology