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Heartland Farms 25th Anniversary sees nationwide turnout
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Sr. Terry Wasinger played tour guide on one of many tours of Heartland Farm's grounds Saturday afternoon. It was one of many come-and-go activities visitors could take part in during the 25th Anniversary Celebration of the founding of the farm mission started by the Dominican Sisters of Peace in Great Bend. - photo by VERONICA COONS, Great Bend Tribune

To celebrate 25 years promoting the simplicity of a sustainable rural lifestyle, the Dominican Sisters of Peace were joined by a host of supporters from around the country Saturday at Heartland Farm west of Great Bend, as well as many from the local community.  From 1:30 to 2 p.m., local musicians Alex and Nicholas Cartwright, Ian McGilber and Trisha Weilert and Travis Marler performed as visitors enjoyed lunch and a chance to explore the farm.
Several demonstrations by area craftspersons were offered to visitors.   Phyl Klima demonstrated throwing techniques on the potter wheel.  Volunteers Joan Ice and Katie Pasnic were on hand to describe how to operate the farm’s homemade solar oven.  However, cloudy skies made for a cold oven, so no demonstrations were possible.  
Sr. Terry Wasinger,  along with volunteers Tim Frieb and LoRay George welcomed visitors to join them on tours of the grounds.  Wasinger, sitting at the head of the “people mover” leant to the farm by an area farmer, clearly enjoyed her role one last time, before leaving for her new home in Kentucky today.
Jane Belanger and Mary Ellen Dater spun alpaca fleece into yarn on the spinning wheel.  They allowed visitors to feel and compare the cleaned and processed wool of sheep and alpacas.  One hint:  Alpaca fleece is the more delicate.
Visitors also could watch a video detailing the 25-year history of the farm made by Reece Jones, a World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms volunteer turned employee of the farm.
Simple kid games, massage demonstrations, tours of the straw bale construction buildings and meet and greets with the alpacas were other ongoing come and go activities.  But many simply enjoyed a chance to quietly explore.
The afternoon concluded with Sr. Ginger Pearl, CSJ, quietly leading participants through the farm’s prairie labyrinth.