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Around the Farm – Making Goat Milk Soap

Hello from the Koenig Farms soap shop! Somehow after a stressful day on the farm it relaxes me to come home and whip up a batch of soap. In fact, today I was at the farm all day and then came home to cut my most recent batch of soap into ...read more

Green Thumb – Ask the Master Gardeners About Herbs

When people ask you how you take such good care of your herb garden... Tell them you have lots of thyme! Herbs are in a special category of their own because they are timeless. The ancient Greeks considered parsley sacred. In Medieval times, knights wore small stems of thyme on their ...read more

Around the Farm – A Day in the Life of a Pig Farmer

Growing up on the family farm watching my father and grandfather work together helped develop my passion for agriculture, specifically raising pigs. We also grow corn and soybeans that we use to feed our hogs. My younger brother and I own a wean-to-finish swine operation in Sycamore that I manage the ...read more

Around the Farm – Family Farmers

Yep, that’s me in the picture there. The littlest one second from the left, ready for the first day of school. This is one of my favorite family pictures. Not only are my three wonderful siblings in the picture, but our farm dog and cattle are in the picture too, ...read more

Around the Farm – The More Things Change, The More They Stay the Same

Three years doesn’t sound like very long until you stand back and assess all the changes that occurred. Only then do you realize the ebb and flow of life at play. Since I started writing this column, our two children entered preschool, and then kindergarten and first grade. Eleanor and Luke started ...read more

Around the Farm – A “Normal” Year of Farming

This article was going to be on what a normal year in farming looks like but as I sat here staring at the blank screen for what seemed to be an eternity I came to the conclusion that there is no “normal” in farming – at least not here of ...read more

Around the Farm – One Day at a Time

Raise your hand if you love constant change, living on the edge and a wild sense of chaos. Anyone? Well, congratulations then! 2020 is the year for you! But if you’re like me (raising hand here) and crave routine, stability and a sense of normalcy, I think it’s safe to say this year ...read more

Green Thumb – Pruning Tips for Healthier Shrubs

Most of us take an interest in pruning when we become first-time home owners. In my case I thought it was my duty to maintain the shrubs like the previous owner. After all, cones, boxes and meat-ball spheres were the landscaping shapes we saw down the street. On Saturdays you ...read more

Around the Farm – What Bugs Farmers?

Since I’ve been writing for CONNECTIONS we’ve talked about various aspects of farming. We’ve covered planting, tillage, harvest and technology, amongst other things. But let’s shift our attention to a factor that doesn’t get as much attention – pests, and specifically for this article, corn rootworm beetles. Rootworm beetles are a ...read more

Around the Farm – Holy Cow, I Mean Steer

“I’m okay with it if we get a cow. Or two.” I’ll never forget uttering the words to my husband, Ryan. I was completely surprised to hear that string of words leaving my mouth. For those of you who were raised on a farm, you probably would have said steer, heifer, or ...read more