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feed

Feed Dresses

Once a month, a big truck arrived at the farm in Grundy County, Iowa, where writer Lawn Griffiths was growing up in the 1960s. It was from Big Gain Feeds from West Union. In his book, Batting Rocks Over the Barn: An Iowa Farm Boy’s Odyssey, Griffiths tells how important the specialized livestock feeds were for the hogs, cattle, and chickens on the fa . . .

poultry

Poultry Passion

Robert Richard Griffiths arrived in America from Wales in 1884 at the age of ten. His family found employment in coal mining, and eventually, in farming in Central Iowa. He would marry, begin a dairy farm in Des Moines, and have three sons. Each would eventually own their own farms—five altogether. The oldest, Anthony, settled south of the capital city on a farm in Warren County. There he mi . . .

summers

Summers Gone

Fierce Iowa winters were inevitable, and writer Lawn Griffiths always had a visceral dread as August lapsed into September and autumn. The writer of Batting Rocks over the Barn—An Iowa Farm Boy’s Odyssey tells what he felt when the first cold breezes came out of the north to portend fall and its successor, winter.

He wanted it to be an endless s . . .

pigeon

Henry the Pigeon

Pigeons are a demonized bird. They are ubiquitous, messy, resistant to moving on, and noisy with their incessant cooing. Pigeons and farms go together. Places to roost and lay eggs are often widely available. They choose high spots, out of the reach of cats, rats, and people.

Lawn Griffiths, author of Batting Rocks over the Barn—An Iowa Farm Boy’s Od . . .

living things

Living Things

Rural writer Lawn Griffiths was so immersed in the milieu of farm work during the years he was growing up in Iowa that it took him years to realize that he had been part of a grand venture of human, animal, and plant life all thriving together.

With his head to the ground, he did his chores and followed the instruction of his parents who expected much of eve . . .