Horse drawn swather - picture from the private collection of Jim Bedson


Grandma (Joyce) Neilson - Chickens

When Uncle Jim came to Gus Wetter Elementary with his sister, Joyce Neilson, they talked to us about the chickens that they raised when they were young kids. They had raised a wide variety of hens and roosters, from Jersey Black Giants to Buff Orpingtons and White Leghorns. Some Jersey Black Giants laid white eggs even though their feathers were pitch black. Other hens were excellent mothers; they laid on any kind of eggs, even chicken or turkey, while some mothers would rip up other hen's nests and break the eggs. They drank water and ate oatmeal, grains and ground meat. When there were rotten eggs, the boys would throw the eggs up into the sky and watch them splatter all over the ground. The eggs would make a huge stench. As soon as the chicks were hatched they would sleep under their mothers for warmth and so that the hawks, crows, and magpies wouldn't eat them. In late summer, Uncle Jim and his family would eat fried chicken for supper.

Uncle Jim - The Potato Interview

by Cora and Shelby

Uncle Jim came to the grade 5/6 class to talk about potatoes. He brought potatoes to school and we counted the potato eyes. He grows heritage potatoes on his farm. His parents originally got their potato seeds from the Eaton's Catalogue in 1929. The potato eyes cost 20 cents. They were about an inch square. There where different kinds of potatoes they could choose from in the catalogue. He doesn't know the name of the potatoes he grows but they will have their 75th birthday this year.

When he was a kid he used to get 8 pails full of potatoes each day, then he put them into the cellar, to preserve them for the winter. When you water the potatoes you have to cover the spuds with dirt so they don't turn green. Each potato is around three and a half pounds. They used the potatoes for food and to feed the pigs. They also used the potatoes for entertainment. They would put spuds in the fire and watch them jump around. Also read about the students' Potato Adventure with Uncle Jim.


Enneke Lohrberg - Origins of Corn

On Thursday, April 27, Enneke Lohrberg came to school to talk to the Grade 1 – 6 about the Mayan people. She said that the Mayan people had barely anything but their corn. She told the story of corn.

She had many different stories to tell us. She told us about a boy who only had brushes and shoe polish to sell and she felt so bad that she bought them from him. She felt sorry for him because she was sad that he didn't have any money. She also told us a story about a woman who came up to her and started asking her, in Spanish, to buy her homemade dolls. She said she could speak a bit of Spanish so she said she would buy one. At the end, she bought seventeen dolls in all and gave them for gifts. She kept the very first one she bought and showed it to our class.

Enneke is a very caring and loving person. She helps the Mayan people at the organization where she works. She and the people she works with find money for the poor Mayan people to buy materials for building homes or machines for grinding corn. The Mayan people know how to build lots of things, they just don't have the money to buy the things they need for building. We were glad to visit with Enneke.

The Corn Story

Grade 3 & 4 rewrote Enneke's Corn Story and made illustrations from modeling clay.

A man was walking along a narrow path when he saw lots of birds throwing a big party with some big yellowish, golden corn. He asked if he could have a bite.

"Yum, that's good! Can I have some for my family?" he asked.

"Sure!" replied the birds.


So he took home one cob of corn for each family member. The family had it for supper. "Yum! That was good! What is it?" they asked.

"IT IS CORN!" replied the husband.

"Get some more", cried everyone.

"Okay!" said the man.


That night the husband went and stole all the corn! The birds came back that morning just as crabby as a crabapple.
They started yelling and screaming, "Where's our corn?" They flew over to the Maya man's village and knocked on his door.
"Where's our corn?" demanded the birds.

The family had kernels of corn all over their faces but they said, "We still have some left. Do you want it?"

"No, no! Wait a second!" commanded the birds.

"If you have four kernels of corn, you give one to the birds, and one to the animals and you can have two for yourself.

"One of your kernels is to eat and one is to plant."

"Okay, okay, OKAY!" said the man.

"When you plant the seeds, plant the corn beside the beans. Then plant the squash in a ditch so it can have a lot of water. The beans will grow up the tall corn stalks and shade the squash," said the King bird.
So that's what the Mayan people did.