Category Archives: Farming

The naming of Sunnybook Farm

There was a beginning. It was 1985 when Bob and his dad broke up their farming partnership and we created ours.

This column gives an account of how we came up with the name Sunnybook Farm.

The name seemed odd in the beginning, but after so many years, everyone (or almost everyone) got used to it. It was Bob and I after all. Sunnybook Farm was the farm. Sunny our attitude, well, mostly. Finally, the book addressed my writing. The name is all-encompassing.

I hope that clears everything up. Just remember to leave out the R. Sunnybrook will lead you in the wrong direction.

Copyright 2020 by Susan Manzke, all rights reserved

Thankful throughout the year

Being thankful after harvest is nice, but every day is a time to give thanks on the farm.

This 1981 column shows how farmers give thanks.

Often we pray for things we want and need. A change of weather, and asking for good health are two that come to mind. But every day there are things, little and big, for which we can offer prayers of thanks.

Right this minute, I’m thankful my cat Car-E is sleeping quietly on my lap, keeping me warm, and not walking across my keyboard.

Copyright 2020 © by Susan Manzke, all rights reserved

A thank-you message

Staying out of farm bankruptcy in the 80s made feeling thankful difficult then, but I managed.

I’m thankful today even in these tough times without Bob.

Sorry I kind of lose it at the end. I recorded this November 12, so don’t think I’m still weepy. I’ll be meeting up with family on Zoom.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Enjoy your family and friends, even at a distance.

May you have plenty of food today, tomorrow, and all the days to come.

Copyright 2020 © by Susan Manzke, all rights reserved

A real farm

When I married Bob, I began noticing how farmers and their farms were depicted in the media. If all you knew about farms came from those outlets you’d get the wrong idea about modern farms.

Children’s books often set farms back in the 1940s.

In this archived column, I grumble about this problem.

Years ago, a lot of people visited relatives on the farm. My Chicago cousins helped with haying when we still lived in Illinois. Those summers Don, Ron, and Val learned a lot and worked hard.

Bob always told how he invited a Chicago teacher and her students to take a tour of the Manzke Illinois farm. At the end, he asked the students what they liked best. Bob expected to hear about calves or even the barn cats. The children said they liked seeing apples growing on trees the best. They had never seen an apple tree before. This shocked Bob.

These days many urban people are not connected in any way to farms and that’s a shame. Showing them real rural activities makes a big impression. It educates them while the farm people learn about life in the city.

So when things open up again after this pandemic, visit a farm. Go to a Breakfast on the Farm. Eat your fill and look around. You might be surprised at what you find.

Copyright © 2020 by Susan Manzke, all rights reserved

A real sticky situation

My column archives showed how a farmer can get into a tight situation when working alone.

In this essay, I retell Bob’s story.

Bob wasn’t laughing while he was trapped but later he did, especially about having a dead cat for company.

I hope you enjoy hearing more about my farmer.

Copyright © 2020 by Susan Manzke, all rights reserved