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WINESBURG -- Continuing growth in the community, one garden at a time, is the theme for the 13th annual Family Farm Field Day, scheduled for Friday and Saturday, July 14-15, at the Wholesome Valley Farm, located at 927 U.S. Route 62 between Winebsurg and Wilmot. The farm is one mile west of Wilmot or four miles northeast of Winesburg on U.S. Route 62.
Activities get underway Friday at 4 p.m., with Saturday being the main event.
"The purpose of Family Farm Field Day is to provide an educational format for grass-based agriculture that supports low energy and a non-industrial way of farming," said Jerry Miller, chairman of this year's event. "It encourages family lifestyles that promote cohesive economical and healthy rural living skills, and seeks to build morale and enthusiasm in the farming community."
The Field Day is being planned by the Family Farm Field Day Committee. Committee members include Jerry and Gloria Miller, Daniel and Esther Yoder, Jacob and Elmina Yoder, Vernon and Marlene Shetler and Aaron and Elmina Hershberger. There are also several subcomittee chairs that helped make everything possible.
"We invite you to join us for demonstrations, presentations, discussions, sessions and sponsor's displays," Miller added.
There is no reservation needed or entrance fee for the day's activities. Food stands will be provided by the parochial school's special education parents. There will be containers for a freewill offering if you would like to contribute toward the furtherance of the Family Farm Field Day.
"We want to make it interesting for everyone," Miller said.
The keynote speaker, David Miller Jr., will talk about "The Value of Agriculture in Our Heritage" on Saturday at 12:15 p.m.
David Miller and wife, Sharon, live on a 115-acre farm (renting an additional 80 acres) in Pleasant Valley near Sugarcreek. Their family of four sons and two daughters is also very involved. Producing organic milk is the main focus on their diversified farm.
Saturday's sessions will be running simultaneously. Along with specific programs, there will also be ongoing demonstrations including: Do's and Don'ts of Draft Horse Safety, Horse Training and Blueberry Production.
Saturday's activities will be divided into tracks, including Farmstead, Homestead and Natural Resources, as well as beekeeping and poultry tracks. The 30-to-60-minute programs are specifically designed for the tracks, such as the farmstead tract, which will feature presentations on small acreage opportunities, biology, sheep farming, family finances and planning ahead and pastured pork.
The Homestead track includes homegrown versus grocery, getting your children involved at home, an herb walk and soapmaking.
There will also be plenty of activities for children throughout the day. They will include demonstrations, hands-on experiences and lots of age-appropriate activities, such as helium balloons, balloon animals, a giant "I Spy" Game, Needle-In-A-Haystack, pony cart rides, animals, remote control model airplanes, Ziploc bag ice cream, story time and flower and parachute crafts. There will also be an opportunity to make a mini garden (bring a 1-to-2-quart container).
Reporter Kevin Lynch can be reached at 330-674-5676 or firstname.lastname@example.org.