Welcome to Fishback Family Farms! I'm Rachel Fishback, a farm wife and mother of four by day...Capturing the art and chaos to our everyday farming life! We live in Southeast Iowa where we raise corn and soybeans.

Food Frenzy: Crispy Pretzel Bars

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

So this recipe has been in my recipe box for quite awhile, and my kids have been loving scootcheroos lately.....Madison has been making them.....and we all lovee eating them:)  When I was looking for something different, I thought I'd give it a try.  These bars are simple, they have the perfect mix of sweet, salty, AND chocolate (without needing to make an additional 'frosting')!  They make a PERFECT after school snack as well.  I found this recipe in a Taste of Home magazine.


Crispy Pretzel Bars
1 cup sugar

1 cup light corn syrup
1/2 cup peanut butter
5 cups crisp rice cereal
2 cups pretzel sticks
1 cup plain M&M's

Directions
In a large microwave-safe bowl, combine the sugar and corn syrup. Microwave on high for 2 minutes or until sugar is dissolved. Stir in peanut butter until blended. Add the cereal, pretzels and M&M's; stir until coated. Press into a greased 15-in. x 10-in. x 1-in. pan. Cut into bars. Yield: about 5 dozen.

*I cooked sugar and karo on stove top, and I also slightly crushed the pretzels



What If.......

Monday, February 13, 2012

I had the honor of writing a blog post for Monsanto.  Kate was wonderful to work with.  I picked what I wanted to write about, and she accepted what I had come up with on my first draft....easier than high school, I must say!  Here's the link:
http://americasfarmersblog.blogspot.com/2012/02/going-back.html


Going back


Guest post by Rachel Fishback





Top left: My great grandpa planting with his new fordson and homemade planter in the late 30's, early 40's. Top right: My great grandpa harvesting oats in the 80's

Bottom left: My grandpa Richard harvesting corn in the early 80's

Bottom right: My dad on his first tractor he bought brand new in 1979.

"Oh, how I wish farmers would just go back to farming the way I grew up."

"I think farmers should farm the same way they did back in the fifties."

This is what I've heard over and over again, whether it be Facebook, Twitter, blogs, etc. As a farmer in 2012, I'd like people to stop and think about what they're asking for. Farmers, technologists and researchers have made huge strides and advances in our everyday practices. Some of these advances you can recall off the top of your head. Other advances, that we all take for granted, you really have to stop and think...would I want to give up that luxury?

Have you ever considered giving up your vehicle to go back to a 1950s car? No air conditioning...no GPS to navigate you through the country side...no DVD systems to entertain the kids...and no seatbelts! Would you ever dream of putting your child in a car with no seat belts? What about starting one of those cars in the dead of winter? I've watched the movie A Christmas Story, and that scene wasn't very pleasant.

How about the modern electronics we use every day in our homes? The beautiful refrigerators that make their own ice, electric ovens, color televisions with more than 200 channels, garage door openers, coffee makers or microwaves. I realize most of these items were invented or in making their debuts in some homes during the 1950s, but they definitely were not the norm. Forget computers, internet, iPods or cell phones -- that was space-age.

Medical advances. Think of the research and diagnosing tools we use today. Think of what doctors didn't have or could not diagnose. The medicine we have available today versus 1950. Wow. Do you want to go back to a life in 1950? What about giving up everything today and taking your family back in time to live in 1930? Sure, times were much simpler, but think of all of the problems and issues families dealt with. Think about what they "wished" for themselves, their children and future generations.

As a farmer's wife and mother to four young children, I know I take things for granted. I'm sure there are many Americans and people world-wide taking their everyday routines and belongings for granted. We are human. We have evolved through the decades and centuries to make our lives easier and better.

Why should farmers be told, or directed, that today's practices are wrong and we should "Go back to the way things use to be?"

Today, a farmer feeds 155 people. In 1960, one farmer fed only 26. Today, our tractors and combines are mostly run off of computers...dropping one seed every six inches for proper placing of a corn plant. Our sprayers and manure spreaders are also monitored by computers to spread correct amounts of nutrients over our precious soils. The cross breeding of plants to produce a seed appropriate for my farm in Iowa is completely different than a farmer would plant in Kansas. Animals are cared for in temperature-controlled buildings year round, instead of outside in negative temperatures with cold wind chills. We are professionals. We take pride in doing our job for the environment and food supply. Technology is playing a special role in everyone's lives, especially on our family farm.





Nathan (my husband), current time, checking seed planting length in ground with his modern equipment.

Advances in research, genetics and equipment that farmers use today should be no different than advances in medicine or electronics...or everyday items we all use. We have evolved and keep evolving with knowledge, facts and thorough testing. It's amazing the advances we all have sitting in our homes, offices, shops and machine sheds. I would love to give my great-grandpa a ride in the tractor I get the honor of driving today as the seventh generation on my family farm. I don't know where I'd begin just trying to explain everything it can do!

And why? Love.

Love for our land, our family, our heritage and our future. Not only providing a safe food supply to our neighbors, but our world.

About Rachel

Rachel Fishback, of Washington, Iowa, farms with her husband, Nathan, in Southeast Iowa. They raise corn, soybeans and four children on their farm. Rachel enjoys blogging about family life and showcasing farming and her modern day agriculture practices at

Food Frenzy: Chocolate Oatmeal Cake

Friday, February 10, 2012

 Chocolate Oatmeal Cake

I use to make this cake at home growing up, and its an easy, chocolaty cake to make.

1 1/2 c. boiling water (Sometimes I use coffee)
1 c. oatmeal
*Boil water and add oatmeal...set aside to cool.

Add Oatmeal mixture in mixer, then cream:
1/2 c. unsweetened cocoa
1/2 c. or 1 stick of softened butter
3/4 c. white sugar
3/4 c. brown sugar
2 eggs

Then add 1 1/2 c. flour and 1 tsp baking soda

Bake in oven at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes

Winter Cardinal

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

I think birds are just beautiful, and I've been hoping for a very long time to get to photograph Cardinals. Today was the day! This gorgeous bird let me take TONS of pictures of him, this one being my favorite! Happy Winter Day!



Social Media....Explained!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Finally! Now I have the 'Proper" explanation of what I should be typing....and where.....Ha! Although, I didn't eat a donut today, so I can't post anything. Bummer.



Food Frenzie: Colossal Alaska Cookies

Sunday, February 5, 2012

COLOSSAL ALASKA COOKIE



Madison got her 1st cookbook from my parents for Christmas. I LOVE reading recipes and have good intentions of baking and cooking.....but I don't....I'm sure my waitline is appreciating my laziness. I tried a great recipe out of the Gooseberry Patch Best Ever Cookies . Its under the "Light and Healthy" Cookie section....but don't tell Nathan I made "diet cookies." The farmer gets mad when I buy the 'Unsalted' butter...you know....Diet Butter? He doesn't believe in diets. Check back in ten years when his metabolism is nilche! Anyways..... it is a very good recipe...and flourless! I added pecans and sunflowers that I had in the cupboard, and they were YUMMY!


Colossal Alaska Cookies.....pg 191
1 1/2 c. sugar


1 1/2c. brown sugar, packed


4 eggs, beaten


1/2 c. margarine, softened (I used salted butter)


6 c. long cooking oats, uncooked


18 oz. jar creamy peanut butter


2 1/2 t. baking soda


6 oz. pkg semi sweet chocolate chips


6 oz. pkg peanut butter chips


*I also added pecans and sunflower seeds


Mix together sugars, butter and eggs in a very large bowl; beat well. Add oats, peanut butter and baking soda; mix well. Fold in remaining ingrediants. Place by 1/4 cupfuls 4 inches apart on lightly greased baking sheets; press flat with your hand. (I was able to fit 6 to a cookie sheet) Bake at 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes (My cookies turned out best at 12 min in Iowa) Let cool for 3 min on cookie sheets, transfer to a wire rack to cool completly. Makes about 8 doz. (I think I messed up somewhere because I only got about 2 dozen:) But they were great!


January Mornings.....

Friday, February 3, 2012

We, unfortunatley, have had very little snow this winter season. Mother Nature decided to grace us with a fog show two mornings in a row. The kids and I loved our two mornings of two hour delays:) I, of course, loved the view, so I went out and photographed.


Shadow, our watch dogm keeping me company.....

Cornstalks.....









Our Tulip Tree waiting for spring....