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Why Indiana Farmers Stopped Making Oak Rod Baskets

Jon Kay holds his great-great grandmother's oak-rod basket

Jon Kay came into the Earth Eats' studios carrying a basket.

“This is a basket that my great-great grandmother used to both feed the chickens and gather eggs in,” he said.

It’s an oak road basket. His great-great grandmother lived in Heltonville, Indiana. You can imagine her draping it on her arm as she did chores around the farm.

This family heirloom was the inspiration for Kay’s latest research project, looking into the history and eventual disappearance of oak road basket making in southern Indiana.

“This was the type of craft that someone would be a farmer during the day and in the evening they may go out and make four or five baskets,” said Kay, who is the director of Traditional Arts Indiana. “Lots of times making baskets all winter long with the hope of being able to sell a barn-full of baskets come spring or come fall.”

On today's program, why the craft of farmers making oak rod baskets has mostly faded away.

From Harvest Public Media, what if farmers were able to turn a profit on their cover crops?

And, Daniel Orr starts his green beans in some hot water. Then it's into an ice bath.

"We want it to be real real cold so it will bring down the temperature of those green beans, hold in all their nutrients and also keep their nice vibrant green color."

But he’s not done there. We’ve got several ideas for serving green beans on today’s show.

Stories On This Episode

At Fair Time, Chainsaws Create A Buzz

From carnival barkers, to Ferris wheels humming, to snorts and moos of livestock shows, late-summer state and county fairs are noisy, chaotic affairs. Add to the din this season: chainsaws buzzing.

Can Oats Improve Bottom Lines In The Corn Belt?

Oats already are a popular cover crop. Typically, though, they are killed when it’s time to plant the cash crop. Giving oats a full season’s go offers farmers a product to sell.

Why The USDA Is Buying $20 Million Worth Of Cheese

The federal agency is buying 11 million pounds of cheese to combat a weak market and stock food banks across the country.

USDA: New Non-GMO Label Rules for Poultry, Beef Products

The federal agency says beef and poultry products may now be labeled as "non-GMO."

Study: Mussels Disappearing From New England Waters

Last week, thousands of dead mussels washed up on the shore of Long Island.

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