Down Down the Mountain {FI♥AR}

Down Down the Mountain, by Ellis Credle

Hetty and Hank live in a small cabin in the mountains and although cozy, they are poor and have never owned a pair of shoes. "They each wanted a beautiful shining pair that sang, 'Creaky-squeaky-creaky-squeaky,' every time they walked." 

However, Mammy and Pappy give them reasons they cannot have them, such as, "You can't find shoes like that in these hills!" and "We've everything we need right here in these hills." So they go to Granny who gives them an idea to plant turnip seeds and when they grow into "fine big turnips" they can take them down down the mountain to town to sell for a pair of shoes. So that is just what Hetty and Hank do.

But, on the way down the mountain, they give their turnips away to people in need and are left with one large fat lonesome turnip, which is not enough to sell for shoes. They decide to walk around and see the sites and the story ends as they enter their turnip in the county fair and win first prize. They now have enough money to buy their shoes as well as gifts to take home.

This was a wonderful story about working hard, being generous and not giving up!

For our "row," we planted our own turnip seeds and grew some big juicy turnips in our Peter Rabbit garden, went on a trip up up the mountain, so we could go down down the mountain (smile), entered our turnips in the fair, learned about the parts of different plants we eat, made dollar pancakes and walked barefoot. :) {This was our lazy summer row.}

Harvesting Turnips and the County Fair

Big, fat, juicy turnip

"But turnips grow on hills or vales, 
Because they twist their little tails.
Around the rocks and hold on tight
And don't let go for day or night!"

Twisty Turnip Tails

When we pulled up our turnips I did not think they were fair quality, so wasn't going to enter them. Then I realized that. . . this. . . is not about winning. It is about the experience. So we entered them. :)
"And the old man wrote their names on a tag and tied it to the fat turnip."

She was so excited to have an entry tag, just like in the book. She loved the ribbon too. And I personally think they had "the finest turnip at the fair." :)

Plants We Eat

The Vegetables We Eat, by Gail Gibbons was a great go-along book for this activity.

FIAR Recipes: Cooked Turnips, Cornmeal Mush and Johnny Cakes

We made cornmeal "dollar" pancakes (Hetty and Hank win a five dollar gold piece for their prize turnip). We also looked up what a 1936 $5 gold coin looked like (since the book was written in 1936).

To prepare the turnips (our first time), I peeled and boiled them until tender, then sliced and fried them in butter (figured you can't go wrong with "fried in butter"). We all liked them. So glad, because they were easy to grow and I have a whole 'nother row about 12 feet long with turnips growing. :)


I thought it was interesting that he chose to use the same colors that the book is illustrated in. :) He is getting quite lengthy in in narrations, though (we are still working on giving a summary, rather then telling me the whole story).

I really wanted to touch more on mountain life with this book, but decided we would save that for When I Was Young in the Mountains.