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Summer 2009

Special Issue: Greening Up in Kansas

Washington County

Nathan Busy with the Bees!

The new buzz in beekeeping: Brown’s Honey Farm seeks to capture health, fitness market

By Tom Parker

In the beginning there was tea. And, there was honey. Both were natural, both were beneficial, both were filled with nutrients a body needs. But the honey industry stopped at the honey bear.

“We think we can do the exact same thing as what the tea industry did,” Nathan says. “We can promote the health benefits of honey, but also we can make it more convenient.”

Riley County

Mason by Day, Farmer 24/7

By Cynthia Harris

The Schardeins“I'm not a farmer,” says Bill Schardein. “I have some cows!” he laughs as he sits on a stool at the kitchen island in his home located on University Park Road in northern Riley County. Bill and his wife, Susan, have lived on the same land since 1974. Susan's father heard about the farm and told the young couple they needed to buy it. They bought the farm and lived in the two-story house until a few years ago when the old house made way for the new one designed by Bill. From the office window you can see bright colored fish swimming in the old basement that was turned into a pond. “I kept the foundation, stones,” Bill explains how he built the pond. “It helps the folks who lived here remember where the old house once stood.”

Jefferson County

Rolling Prairie Farmer’s Alliance: A Venture in Sustainable Life

By Barbara Higgins-Dover

Throughout the Kansas growing season, lush rows of green cover the rolling hills of Bob Lominska’s property. Situated just six miles north of Lawrence in Jefferson County, this 69-acre tract of hilly land is known as Hoyland Farm; it stands as an agricultural venture into sustainable life.

Lominska uses his farm to grow prairie grasses, timber and safe, natural habitats for wildlife. But his focus is predominantly on the growing of fresh healthy vegetable produce. His growing practice extends far beyond what he can raise for himself; his contributions help to reach the kitchens of residents from surrounding counties, communities and towns in a very profound and collaborative way.

Sustainability is most certainly a catalyst that leads to healthier lifestyles, however Lominska suggests, “We don’t need to be 100% sustaining, I like bananas and oranges, but we should be able to grow a huge amount of food of our own.”

Marshall County

Honoring the ancestors -- single-mom organic farmer branches out into the all-American hotdog

By Tom Parker

Silver brackletsNancy Vogelsberg-Busch wants to tell you a story.

Actually, she wants to tell you a lot of stories, because she knows that stories are the individual threads weaving the fabric of our lives. They are the weft and warp, the underpinning, the foundation...your own personal polar star.

If you ask, Nancy will tell you that her polar star was her father, John Vogelsberg, an organic farmer before organic was the craze. She’ll tell you of the land and what it means to her, and of cows, too, especially cows, and one in particular named Bossie. She’ll talk of her farm—just north of Home—how she’s the first real owner since it was given to a widowed Civil War bride by Abraham Lincoln, and of hard times and hard work, of doubts and fears and a few stunning successes, of what it means to be a single-mother female organic farmer-entrepreneur.

Hamilton County

JL Farms

No Rain, No Till: Hamilton County Couple's Farm Growing

by Michele Boy

Jess and Laryce Schwieterman, two fourth generation (at least) farmers, wed in 1997 and began their life together farming in Southwest Kansas.  “I grew up where my mother worked right alongside my father,” says Laryce.  “That is what I wanted to do.  We put a lot of hard hours in but we are not a slave to the clock; day in, day out 7am to 5pm.”

Note: The final chapter of the Bartleson Biography will appear in this Fall's issue.

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Last Updated July 29, 2009
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