July 31, 2009 – Midwest Living Photo Shoot

Thursday and Friday a crew from Midwest Living magazine descended on the farm.

At a photo shoot like this, they leave very little to chance, including bringing their own potted sunflowers.

They also bring various hard good props (in case we don’t have enough junky old stuff lying around)!

On Friday, they started at sunrise. Martin was game.  His only complaint was the rare near-record July 31 cold – he’s in a short sleeve shirt and others are wearing jackets

Martin was accompanied by a female model who also came in to participate in the shoot.

On the farm, you never know when you’ll be surprised by some animal, in this case, an early-rising hen to the delight of the kids.

The photographers checking out the shots in the living room later in the day.

Next it was Emma’s turn.  Her job was to water the sunflowers!

The crew setting up for another shot.  The people who came were extremely good to work with.  They worked well with the children and took wandering dogs, chickens, and the like all in stride.  Martin and Emma made money as models and high hopes did get a site fee as well.  Kudos to the Midwest Living folks for making a good shoot.  So look for us in an issue of Midwest Living next summer.

one year ago…”Thingamajig Thursday #126″

July 28, 2009 – Sunflowers!

Once again, dumb luck descends upon High Hopes Gardens.  Midwest Living magazine is planning on coming out to the farm this Thursday and Friday to shoot for a story on sunflowers.  We have been sending small amounts of garden products to sell at the Des Moines Farmer’s Market.  The editors were scouting the market for unusual sunflower varieties.

moulin rouge sunflower

I think the Moulin Rouge caught their eye.

music box sunflower

Perhaps along with the Music Box Sunflower.

teddy bear sunflower

Or the Teddy Bear sunflower.

bee on sunflower

Heck, here’s a honeybee on a more standard variety.

So, they contacted us and we just kind of laughed when they asked how big our fields of sunflowers were.  Truth is, we have two or three 50-foot rows and quite a few volunteers between the rows of this year’s crops that Linda didn’t have the heart to weed out.  It’s some of those volunteers that caught the eyes of the editors.  They sent someone out to look at the farm and decided to go ahead with the photo shoot.  So, look for updates on Thursday and Friday about a magazine photo shoot.

one year ago…”Digging Potatoes and Garlic”

July 27, 2009 – Curing the Garlic

After the garlic is harvested, it needs to dry and cure in a warm, dry place.  The hayloft of the barn is the best place on the farm to do just that.

Part of the fun is getting the garlic up to the hayloft.  First, we open one of the trapdoors on the loft and send a kid to scurry up a ladder for on loft support.

We fill buckets with garlic and hand up a rope.  Young boy pulls up the garlic.

Once the garlic is up in the loft, the bucket is emptied and repeated until all the garlic is up in the loft..

Old refrigerator racks make great drying platforms for the garlic.  After the garlic dries down, it will be cleaned and sorted for market.

one year ago…”Apple Pickin'”