Friends, it's been a full weekend here at Calamity Acres.
I took the time yesterday to go to a couple of the Kaw Valley Farm Tour stops, planning to do more today.
First off, was the Henry's Plant Farm, in Lecompton, Kansas, on the west side of Lawrence.
It was a blustery fall day for the tour.
This beautiful little fairy garden was in a horse trough. I loved it... what a delightful thing!
This is a large commercial plant nursery, but they have a beautiful farm and so many things going on that it's always worth the trip.
I love this small deck, with it's rocker bench, and the plantings. The plant on the left is a tomato, and I have to say, I have NEVER seen so many late-season tomatoes. See the beautiful flowers above on the pergola?
You can also get an idea of the lovely mums they had for sale. I was originally planning to buy a couple more mum plants, but instead, I bought two very healthy autumn clematis plants, which I am planting tomorrow.
As always, their display gardens were wonderful. That is zinnia "Profusion" in the foreground, and it is on my list for next season.
And the tall millet, too... love how this looks in beds or in planters.
(the spiky things)
After I left Lecompton and the Henry's, I went to a new stop on the tour this year.
Juniper Hill Farm is run by a senior at K State, Scott Thellman. My gosh.
If every young person was as enterprising as he and his employees, we would be AWESOME.
I was stunned by the amount of lettuce, tomatoes, peppers, etc. he was still growing this late.
Inside his high tunnels (look at the size of the tomatoes!)
They practice a procedure called "French Weave" for these plants, and if you look closely, they also plant IN black mulch. The plants are grown closely together.
I really learned a lot from this, because I felt I planted my plants way too closely this year.
I don't feel so badly now.
The barn and the beautiful house sat up on a big hill, and the hay pastures and cultivated land were on the slopes and bottoms. There was an array of machinery behind the house, all neat and clean and on devices to hold it steady. This horse barn, a six stall, had been converted into the food handling area.
Young Mr. Thellman runs this business with the help of the young man at right... and a girl back by the table where vegetables were being sold. She is the full time day employee.
The stall in the middle on the right is the processing room, where the vegetables are cleaned and sorted and washed. This farm is certified organic, not an easy thing to do. The young man is standing in front of the cooler room... it WAS a stall. It is now a cement vegetable cooler, run by a "cool bot"... it is a device that tunes a normal window air conditioner to keep an even temp of 38 to 40 degrees, to keep the vegetables in optimum condition. This farm does not do CSA's. They sell to about six groceries in Lawrence (KS) and to restaurants. They do not retail to customers at the farm, except for the tour days.
Remember, it's OCTOBER!
At this point, I went home to get ready for church. I had a few stops I wanted to make today, and we were going to a concert after church.
The concert tickets came from a donation to KCPT, our local public television station.
The concert, "The Fab Four" ... was a Beatles tribute band that has appeared here before.
I scored tickets in the center of the orchestra, sixth row. Directly in front of the middle of the stage, yee ha!
It was held at the Midland Theater, which, when built, was part of the Loew's chain. I worked in this building (evenings and weekends) as an usher and ticket taker for probably twenty years... and ran the elevator for another 4 years, a classic with a folding accordian door... and then presented the volunteer ushers for the symphony, opera and ballet there for another three or four years.
In the last ten years, the Midland has been sold several times, and re-done inside. The orchestra floor was dismantled, and then re-done, with steps down to the stage, instead of sloping aisles... and rows of chairs, not inset seats. There is now an ornate bar at the back of the auditorium on that level, and drinks are now allowed in the seating area.
A side detail. This gives you some idea.
This is looking back, I stood up. The bar is at the back of the first floor, the orchestra level.
Above is the box and loges level.
Above that, the balcony.
The lights, as you see, are awesome.
I loved working in this building, and saw so many great musicals and plays. My sons worked the stage door here for several years each, seeing lots of ballet and stage shows.
The whole idea of this concert is cool... the The Fab Four come out as the 1964 moptops, doing "I Wanna Hold Your Hand" and another songs... then proceed to the "Nehru jacket" era... then on to "Sgt. Pepper" and the psychadelic era, and then onto their last songs recorded as the Beatles. My gosh, the crowd was mixed ages, and they had numerous sing alongs... you should have heard it.
The four musician/actors in this band were not just great musicians, but got themselves inside each Beatle they were portraying. Mannerisms were down pat, and you could close your eyes and think you were there at a real concert with the Beatles.
I was lucky enough to see them in Kansas City, in 1964. I saw Paul McCartney and Wings, and Ringo's band while working at the big outside venue here. I was there when Ringo rehearsed, and he did requests for the group of us workers who were there listening to the sound check.
What lovely memories.
On the other hand, Keith and I were up until midnight... we did not actually get home until 11:40!
We are rarely out that late!
I noticed that there were many people in the audience taking pictures with their cell phones, so yours truly did the same.
It was so much fun to look back.
We go to see The Little River Band in two weeks in Ottawa, a small town forty miles from us. Can't wait!
Day Two of the Kaw Valley Farm Tour tomorrow.