Sheep

Plate 1. Eleven-year old Cameron Hunt of T-Highway moves “Rosco” into position in the show ring. Getting set up quickly is an integral part of 4H showmanship. Sheep by Joshua Heston Sheep have been domesticated since antiquity. A powerful symbolism surrounds these animals in a variety of cultures, most notably Judaic Hebrew culture in the…

Rabbits

Plate 1. Sicily Spencer of Kirbyville (left) and judge Lisa Jennings of Protem (right) inspect “Emily,” a 10-week-old New Zealand White. Jennings is current Missouri director of the Havana Rabbit Breeders Association. Rabbits by Joshua Heston “Oh, look at the cute bunny!” For a large number of folks, the history, culture and science of rabbits…

Grapes

Vineyards

Vineyards by Joshua Heston Prior to 1920, acres of wine grapes were growing well across the Ozarks, their cultivation helped along by the knowledge of an extensive European immigration. It was a beautiful, sustainable crop. Prohibition changed all that. Honorable vineyard owners went out of business. Bootlegging flourished. By 1950, it was the moonshine of…

radishes

Radishes

Brassicaceae Raphanus sativus. Radishes by Joshua Heston and Dale Grubaugh. Old-time radishes. History suggests radishes have been growing in European gardens since before the Roman Empire. And that means radishes have been growing in American gardens since colonization. A member of the Brassica family (along with cabbage and kale), the simple radish comes in a…

Bilyeu Farm, Okra

Okra

Okra by Dale Grubaugh It was late afternoon one day last summer. The hot drafts off the ridges played over the Bilyeu Ranch, pushing down toward the Finley River. We were in the garden, checking on beans and tomatoes and what-not when Miss Shirley Bilyeu poked her head out the back door. “Brother Dale, you…

Lettuce

Lettuce

Lettuce by Joshua Heston and Dale Grubaugh. Everybody knows lettuce. However, good heirloom lettuces are a whole different critter from the water-laden iceberg cultivars found in the grocery store. Mild and spicy, crispy and loose-leaved, heirloom lettuce come in many forms. Amish Deer Tongue. Cimmaron. Forellenschluss. Mascara Oak Leaf. Sanguine Amellore. Hands-down, one of the…