Back around mid-February, the GRIT corral received word that we had a verified winner for the GRIT-MOTHER EARTH NEWS Ultimate Garden Giveaway, and our sweepstakes guru, Katie Macfee, mentioned in the e-mail that it was the perfect winner.
As I read the story of Kriste Misiak and her family, I could not agree more. Kriste and her husband, Kurt, live on 34 acres in Michigan and have five children. The following were her thoughtful words as she showed us a glimpse of her family values. (From left in the image below, back row: Haley, Hannah, Kriste, Kurt; front row, Jesse and the dog, Daisy; not pictured are sons Brett Sample and Daniel Misiak)
“We enjoy growing as much food as we can for our family, friends and local charities. Our farm is not certified organic, but we grow without chemical pesticides. (Yes, we handpick all those bugs.) Therefore, I know our vegetables, chicken and beef are more nutritious.
“I believe everyone should have access to these types of foods. With the kids to help, we bagged one ton of potatoes to deliver to our local St. Vincent Depaul. Other vegetables and eggs we take to our local soup kitchen.
“I hope to instill empathy in my children. Hard times can fall upon anyone. It is our duty to help all as much as we are able. Good things will also come to you in your time of need.
“I feel winning the Garden Giveaway is God's way of saying, ‘Ok, let's see what else you can do!’”
Hard work, awareness, charity, responsibility, persistence and a genuine love of country life, what better qualities to hold as ideals in rural America?! These qualities embody the spirit of GRIT, and we couldn’t be happier Kriste won our Ultimate Garden Giveaway. When you set out and team with top manufacturers to equip someone with cream-of-the-crop rural equipment, that’s as good as you can hope for.
Hearing her words were one thing, but then Kriste sent us over some images of her place and her family hard at it, and the images displayed a quality that we, here in the office, like to call GRITty.
From growing monster cabbages (and notice the canning salt in the background), to making hay while the sun shines, these folks display an enjoyment of life out where the pavement ends.
One image even took me straight back to a farm in southeast Kansas, about 20 years ago, to a farm I think of often that was hidden from the world. In this case, rubber boots and all, Kurt and Kriste's son, Jesse, looks well on his way to a solid day’s work.
We like to emphasize the importance of stewardship to the land and countryside, and building and embracing community. It’s obvious the winners of GRIT’s Ultimate Garden Giveaway share those same values, and for that we’re as thankful for them winning as Kriste was for the contest and sponsors.
So what did they win? The list is sure to raise eyebrows: Growers Supply Premium Solar Star Greenhouse (Approximate Retail Value $3,295.00); Husqvarna Garden Tractor (Approximate Retail Value $2,599.99); Mantis 4-Cycle Gas Tiller (Approximate Retail Value $349.00); Mantis Compost-Twin (Approximate Retail Value $499.00); $500 Gift Card from Lee Valley Tools (Approximate Retail Value $500); Set of 13 Rogue Hoes (Approximate Retail Value $373.85); SonnyLight Indoor Growlight/LED Kitchen Garden (Approximate Retail Value $299.95); The Garden Patch GrowBoxTM (Approximate Retail Value $329.50); Ethel Gloves Garden Gloves (Approximate Retail Value $20.00); Mr. Soaker Hose Complete System (Approximate Retail Value $258.89); Johnny’s Selected Seeds $250 Gift Certificate (Approximate Retail Value $250); Rosie’s Workwear Ensemble (Approximate Retail Value $373.30); and a set of nine Radius Tools (Approximate Retail Value $234.91).
Get in on GRIT’s next big giveaway, the Go Solar Giveaway, and you could win a Sunward Solar Hot Water System worth more than $10,000. This bad boy requires no electricity, and provides enough hot water for a family of six; it’s everything you need to make solar hot water. Enter by clicking this Go Solar Giveaway link, or enter at www.grit.com/gosolar.
Caleb Regan and his wife, Gwen, live in rural Douglas County, Kansas, where they enjoy hunting, fishing, and raising and growing as much of their own food as they can. Caleb can’t imagine a better scenario than getting to work on a rural lifestyle magazine as a profession, and then living that same lifestyle right in the heartland of America. Connect with him on Google+.