Plain Kansas – By Rosanna Bauman

Plain Kansas - By Rosanna Bauman, 7.3 out of 10 based on 4 ratings
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An Introduction to Plain Kansas

Who am I? Well, that’s a question I still ask myself, and Plain Kansas is not about me, it is about life on a Kansas Anabaptist family farm. And any stereotype you may have about Kansas or Anabaptist or Family Farm, I am sure that we don’t fit it. So, please excuse me as I de-bunk myths…(Editor’s note: Rosanna is front and center in the gray dress)

Kansas Our home is near Garnett, in eastern Kansas. We are neither flat, nor treeless, and I am still hoping to see a real, live tornado. None of our dogs have been named Toto, either. As a native Kansan, I do enjoy scaring out-of-state folks with tales of our wild weather. Kansans are survivors and are staunchly loyal to their state in every flaw and beauty. This column’s title says it all: Plain Kansas. We are pleased with the state’s plainness, it lets us slow down to catch her shy beauty and stunning simplicity.

Anabaptist For those unfamiliar with this Christian faith, it is the name given to groups of Christians during the Reformation who did not support infant baptism, but rather practiced believer’s baptism. Several groups such as Amish, Mennonite, Quakers, Huguenots, Moravians, and the Brethren held this belief. Commonly mistaken for the more-known Amish or Quakers, our church has no historical ties to these groups, despite some similarities. As adherents to the Old German Baptist Brethren faith we have chosen to not use television, radio, or internet in our homes or businesses. But we no longer speak the German language, and we do use vehicles and electricity. We recognize the simplicity of salvation, and it is from this that we take our practice for a plain and simple lifestyle.

Family Farm If the first thing you think of as a family farm is Almanzo Wilder’s boyhood farm, think again. We started farming only in 2001. This farm has not been in our family for centuries, we are relative greenhorns. While Yvonne came from a solid line of farming families in Indiana and Pennsylvania, John’s lineage is of displaced farmers who had the misfortune of trying to farm ground in Hollywood and Modesto, California before the cities swallowed all the ground. John and Yvonne finally got the chance to farm- at age 40, with six young children! It was, of course, generally regarded as a crazy idea, but John and Yvonne knew that they had six children (Ages ranging 14-1 years) to keep busy. So we moved, named our new land Bauman’s Cedar Valley Farms, and became farmers. Every year since, we have survived only by a series of miracles. We are the classic food-rich, cash-poor farmers. But we are not a typical modern-day farm because of our family’s diverse interests. Our 120 acres is small compared to the average farm size of 1,000 acres, but we cram a lot in a little space. Currently, we have corn, soybeans, rye, hay, beef, dairy, turkey, chicken meat & eggs, duck meat & eggs, garden vegetables, horses, dogs, cats growing on our farm as well as a few other enterprises such as feed and fertilizer sales and custom poultry processing services. That means we have about fifteen different enterprises to track and keep separate. We are not historical farmers, as we do use tractors and trucks to farm. But we are not modern farmers either, as we do not have any large fancy equipment. We use older, smaller equipment that was “big” twenty or forty years ago. We place an emphasis on practical sustainability, knowing that we want to farm this land for a long time. We only have hired help for special occasions, such as chicken dressing day or haying time, otherwise, it’s just our family. We’ve learned a lot of how not to farm, but we now have revived the old farming blood and we have found that no matter how hard the year, we cannot help but farm. When the family moved here in 2001, it was with a vision for the children. Even today, it is obvious that Bauman’s Cedar Valley Farms has grown with the children. We are not merely farming for the future, we are farming the future.

CAPTION: Thanksgiving is a busy time for the Baumann’s!

 

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The Discussion


  1. I really like this piece and hope it becomes a regular column.

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  2. Laura Meyer says:


    keep these articles coming…very interesting

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  3. I love her frankness! Please keep these coming. I am looking forward to getting to know this family.

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  4. Elizabeth says:


    Absolutely enthralled by this – I hope we get to read much, much more !

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  5. Very interesting. I am looking forward to learning more not only of their life but beliefs too.

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  6. I love her style of writing, so frank and honest and real. I hope to keep reading more!

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  7. Very interesting. Hope there is more to come.

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  8. Barb Wright says:


    I really like this!! I can’t wait for more..their style of farming sounds like ours. I am so excited to get to know Rosanna!!

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  9. It’s great to hear about a farm in Kansas that’s not a mega-farm. Long live the family farm! I can’t wait to hear more about it.

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  10. I like her forthright style of speech and hope you run her column regularly. I find I want to get to know other members of her family and how they interact.

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  11. Wilma Walker says:


    Very interesting. Hopeing for much more from this lady. Love Lovina and expect to enjoy this as much. Thanks Kevin.

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  12. Julie Stacey says:


    I really enjoyed this first installment, and can’t wait to read more about Rosanna and her family!

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  13. Kevin, enjoyed very much. I think she would make a wonderful second column.
    jodie

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  14. I like this column. Hope to see this become a regular addition to the site!
    Andrea recently posted..Summer in the Winter!My Profile

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  15. Juanita Cook says:


    I really enjoyed reading this and hope to see more in the future.

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  16. Linda Bolt says:


    I found this article interesting and written in a clear, engaging manner. I hope we will hear much more from Rosanna. There are several aspects of their life that I would find interesting, in addition to their Anabaptist faith. I’m interested in their farming adventures and sustainable practices. I look forward to reading more about their family life, and the raising of children, especially now that their children are older.

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  17. I look forward to hearing more from Rosanna’s column in the future! Very interesting to read so far.

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  18. I enjoyed this article very much. I grew up on a small family farm in the 30′s and 40′s. So glad that’s where my life began. More power to the small family farm! I love that they are doing without TV, internet, radio. There was no television when I was growing up, but we did listen to the radio. And if I didn’t have the internet now, I wouldn’t be able to read this article.

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  19. I really enjoyed Rosanna’s column. Will be looking forward to more of them. I love Lovina and her family too. Keep up the good work, Kevin.

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  20. I would like some recipes from Rosanna and I enjoyed her column.

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  21. Carolyn Kirk says:


    Great column, Rosanna! Very interesting. I admire your courage to start farming. What an exciting life adventure. Wish I lived nearby to come visit the farm.

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  22. Thanks Keven.
    I really enjoy Lovina’s column, wouldn’t miss it for anything. I also enjoy this new column. This is the kind of plain living I might be able to do. It is a pleasure to hear news of either ladies, it makes me realize how much more simple I could make my own life.Keep up the good work.

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  23. Patrice Anita says:


    Very enjoyable column and I look forward to me. I have a couple of questions….what type of farming methods are used, organic or conventional? are the animals raised and slaughtered using humane methods?
    Thank you.

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  24. Patrice Anita says:


    Sorry, I didn’t proofread before posting…what I meant to say was that I look forward to MORE….definitely not me!

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  25. I enjoyed this article. I hope you continue running her stories. I love to see how other people live.

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  26. Dear Folks:
    I have tried for many years to get a copy of the recipe for Amish V8 Juice, with no success. If anyone gets this, and it is not to much trouble, I would like to ask again. Sorry if I am a bother.

    Thank you much.

    R Unroe

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  27. Lissa Holder says:


    Hello to the Bauman Family from Lissa Holder Modesto District

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  28. Alanna Neupert says:


    I loved this article and I hope Rosanna can write future columns ,so very interesting! I live on a farm here in Pa, since my husband passed away 2 yrs ago. I now rent it out to another farmer. So nice to hear how young families are surviing in this economy of ours. Reguards~ Alanna Neupert

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  29. Well written article. Please keep the articles coming so we can learn more about the family and their general daily life. In particular educational believes for the children and Rosanna. Of course recipes! It is always nice to read something wholesome. All the best!

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  30. I enjoyed Rosanna’s column and hope that it will become a regular feature. Thank you for bringing it to us and letting us learn about a family in a group that I don’t know much about.

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  31. Wilma Walker says:


    I was wondering how Rosanna is related to John and Yvonne? Give us more Kevin. We love the plain people and really enjoy hearing about their lives. Thanks.

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  32. Very nice article. Would enjoy reading more from Rosanna.

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  33. Kevin, Rosanna,

    Great initiative, keep it up.
    I’ve linked this blog, the amish cook and Kevin’s on our daily news snippet blog.
    I pray that this will become a blessing to many.

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  34. Dorothy Shaulis says:


    I very much enjoyed reading Rosanna’s column. She does a good job. I’d like to see more of this interesting writer!

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  35. Good evening from Waverly, Kansas!

    I LOVE Rosanna’s column! I would be VERY much interested in some more of her recipes and being on contact with her and her family to learn some of how they do their farming and caring for animals. We have a farm here close to Waverly and are ALWAYS looking to explore new ideas!

    Thanks for posting!
    Wenona French
    Wenona French recently posted..Electric Violin?My Profile

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