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Helen's Mulberry Lane Farm Journal

May 29, 2009

We picked our first strawberries this morning! Oh glorious! They will be available for purchase for the next three weeks.

Our pickers are gearing up for an excellent harvest and are worried about their backs as the rows are loaded with strawberries. Pray we do not get hail in the next three weeks!

If you want some strawberries this year, call first before heading out to the farm as these go FAST! Reserving is a good idea! The strawberries go to the people on the reserve list first.

Thanks to those who have already called and reserved. You are such faithful customers and many of you have become my friends as well! We appreciate your support to help the small family farm stay in business to continue to provide you with great local, fresh, chemical free produce!

Our first strawberries of the year!

A great treat right from the heart of America!

May 24, 2009

The girls and I went for an early morning walk Sunday, up to the Loda Pine Ridge Cemetery. It was a gorgeous, warm spring morning. The flags were all out on the graves of those who have served our country.

It was an inspiring sight!

For years we have walked by an interesting grave up at the cemetery. This grave always gets a special red flag with a star on it. I have always said to the children that we should find out who this person is. This year I did and shared it with my family for Memorial Day.

Brigadier General Israel Newton Stiles

Israel Newton Stiles was born July 16, 1833, in Suffield, Connecticut. He attended common schools and moved to Lafayette, Indiana in 1852. Stiles studied law and was admitted to the bar in 1854. He served as prosecuting attorney of Tippecanoe County from 1856 to 1858 and in the Indiana House of Representatives in 1859.

Following the outbreak of the Civil War, he was selected as adjutant of the 20th Indiana Infantry. At Chicamacomico, Stiles and the 20th suffered the capture of the Fanny, the first aircraft carrier. After being engaged at Hatteras Island, the 20th participated in and were witnesses to one of the most momentous events in Civil War history, the Hampton Roads Naval Action.

The events of March 1862 began with action between the Confederate’s iron-clad ram, the Merrimac, and the Congress and Cumberland of the Union Navy. It culminated into the Battle of the Iron-Clads when the Monitor faced the Merrimac March 9, 1862. Stiles participated in the siege of Yorktown and the battle of Seven Pines (Fair Oaks). At the Battles of the Seven Days, he was taken prisoner after riding into the Confederate forces of the 14th South Carolina and demanding to know what unit they belonged to. He was taken to the Guy Street Prison and later transferred to Libby Prison before being returned to his regiment in August as part of a prisoner exchange.

Following participation in the battle of the Second Manassas, Stiles was promoted to major of the 63rd Indiana Infantry. He joined the Atlanta campaign under Sherman, was part of the campaign after Confederate John B. Hood, and served along the Atlantic coast and in North Carolina. He rose to the rank of colonel while with the 63rd and was brevetted brigadier general January 31, 1865.

Following the Civil War, Stiles settled in Illinois, where he was a noted lawyer in Chicago and served as city attorney for four years. He died January 17, 1895, in Chicago and was buried in Pine Ridge Cemetery in Loda, Illinois.

Today we honor those who made our great land free!

We shall never forget you!

See you again soon!

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