Ham, sausage ‘meat’ the definition of tradition

By Toni W. Riley

The time-honored, handed-down process of curing hams and making sausage is a tradition in many farm families, and it was no different in mine. In the late 50s and 60s, “putting up” pork was a yearly event and still is today. I have strong recollections of killing hogs on our farm in Pendleton County, and I certainly wasn’t traumatized by the process. It was just a part of farm life, and it put meat on the table for the entire year.
Traditionally, we killed hogs over the long Thanksgiving weekend when my mother, who was a schoolteacher, was home. I would watch a little of the Thanksgiving parades, but that day was devoted to preparing the meat. Continue reading

The importance of beekeeping: Crops could suffer without pollinators

By Toni W. Riley

When was the last time you were sitting on your patio and noticed a bee nestled inside a flower, emerging with its legs covered in pollen? Chances are it has been a while.

The population of bees, native and domestic has dropped drastically in the last decade due to bee colony collapse. This has caused a decrease in these mighty pollinators and a decrease in the production of fruit and vegetables. One of every three bites of food comes from plants pollinated by honeybees and other pollinators. Continue reading