Gunder-friend Productions


What's New

Below is a list of announcements or other items added to this web site:

May 23, 2015

  • Helen has given her 1/8 scale Model M Farmall toy tractor to Practical Farmers of Iowa to to sell on EBay to raise funds for the PFI land transfer project and has posted the story of how she obtained the tractor and some of what it has meant to her.

  • Helen has edited some of the oral history remarks about women in agriculture from her documentary project "The Road I Grew Up On" and posted related photos and long versions of the comments on this site. She has also posted a video about women in agriculture on YouTube. The video includes a seven-minute segment with the voices and images of the people from her road.

July 17, 2014

  • Helen has been experimenting with a Hancock Shaker recipe that is similar to one she remembers her mother using for dill bread and has posted two documents. One includes the original Hancock Shaker recipe and Helen's adaptations. The other includes simply her most current version for doubling and adapting the original recipe.

September 16, 2013

  • Helen has posted a reflection on backyard spirituality that she gave at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Ames for its Sunday morning service on December 2. The 10-minute piece is posted in both audio and PDF formats. Previously, the reflection had been posted only on another site that Helen used to maintain.

December 12, 2012

  • Helen has abridged and reposted the chapter of her book about the middle farms along the road where she grew up. They are the farms where the Cornwell, Harrold, and Howard families lived.

November 7, 2012

  • Helen posted an essay about what she initially thought was a hawk that attacked one of her five laying hens.

July 17, 2012

  • Helen has been posting photos of her garden and some food processing.

April 2, 2012

  • Last October, Helen gave 60 acres of land northeast of her hometown of Rolfe, Iowa, to the Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation. Today, she was one of more than 30 landowners, families and organization honored at the state capitol at the Department of Natural Resources "Gift to Iowa's Future Recognition Day." Click here for more information and photos.

March 31, 2012

March 7, 2012

  • Helen has updated her video list. It includes a video she posted today on YouTube that was shot at the Wiegert Prairie Farm Fall Fest near Palmer, Iowa, in 1990.

March 5, 2012

December 3, 2011

  • Helen has posted two more chapters from her book about the road she grew up on. She wrote the material years ago and did the page layout for her book in about 2004. But this is the first time that these particular chapters have been posted on-line. One is a reflection about early childhood woven around stories about baby pigs. The second is about the barn at the Howard farm. It is the last barn standing along the five mile stretch of road where Helen grew up. Now all Helen has to do is write the last chapter of her book. index of on-line chapters

December 2, 2011

  • Helen has posted another chapter of her book about the road she grew up on. She wrote the piece "Wrestling with a Heritage" in 1996. It explores a love-hate perspective she has had regarding a range of issues in her family and rural community, including that of what she interpreted, rightly or wrongly, as male privilege.

November 28, 2011

  • Helen has posted a link to the MP3 audio recording of a 7 1/2 minute talk that she gave at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Ames on November 27. The reflective piece is a composite of material from two of her journal entries.

November 20, 2011

  • Helen has posted three written reflections and one video reflection in a new section called, "An Urban Gardener's Journal."

February 13, 2010

  • Helen has posted a video that she produced in 1991 for the Britt Draft Horse Association in Britt, Iowa, and a video that she produced in 2000, using home movies that the superintendent of her hometown school in Rolfe, Iowa, filmed in the 1950's.

February 9, 2010

  • Helen has posted a video she produced for presentation on January 9, 2010, at the annual meeting of Practical Farmers of Iowa to celebrate the organization's 25th anniversary.

September 17, 2009

  • Helen posted a video that she did in 1992 about the town of Pocahontas, Iowa, dividing the 28-minute program into three segments for YouTube viewing.

August 1, 2009

  • Helen posted two YouTube videos of an informal group of Ames bicyclists who used their bicycles and bike trailers to move two people from their old residences to new ones.

July 8, 2009

  • Helen posted a few more YouTube videos of events in her hometown of Rolfe, Iowa: the last services at the Rolfe Presbyterian Church in 1995, the 2000 Greater Rolfe Days Parade, and RAGBRAI (a bicycle event) goes through Rolfe in 2007.

May 11, 2009

  • Helen recently produced some YouTube videos related to the Iowa Supreme Court's decision on April 3 regarding marriage equality.

  • Also, she posted some photos of and a journal entry about her garden. Eventually, she may post more quasi-blog entries. Check the index or this week's entry.

April 20, 2009

  • Helen recently produced an 18-minute video for Practical Farmers of Iowa that profiles one of its members, Angela Tedesco, who operates a Community Supported Agriculture project near Granger, Iowa. Helen has also encoded the 30-minute video she produced in 2001 for Audubon County Family Farms and has posted it on-line. Both the video about Angela and ACFF can currently be played via Windows Media Player or YouTube on this site. Simply follow the links.

March 26, 2009

  • Helen wrote an article about gardening for the Unitarian-Universalist Fellowship of Ames newsletter then adapted it to post on the Rolfe High School Alumni Web site that she publishes.

The White House garden is a reminder of the Victory Gardens that American families grew during World War Two. In that era, victory meant defeat of Germany and Japan. In this era, victory can mean finding successful strategies to deal with the dire social, economic, and environmental challenges that confront the nation and world. Gardening and the use of locally-grown food have many values–some that can be important in facing those challenges.

The taste is exceptional; the nutrition, superb. There is more control over food safety, less waste in packaging, lower consumption of fossil fuels to transport the food, and benefits to our state’s environment, economy, and communities. The use of locally-grown foods can also counter the trend of parts of America, even our Midwestern rural areas, becoming like colonies dependent on urban and corporate food producers. It is scary to imagine a future era when Iowa would have no farmers in the business of raising quality food for those who live here. more

January 24, 2009

  • We have posted a video and portions of a book that Helen has done for her project The Road I Grew Up On. The seeds of the project were sown 20 years ago when she lived in California and returned to Iowa for a series of photo forays.

April 6, 2007

  • We have posted some new photographs that are available as notecards or enlargements. There are kaleidoscope-like images as well as two bird scenes. One is of a robin, the other of a cedar waxwing. Both were grazing in Helen's crabapple tree in Ames on February 18.

October 22, 2006

August 31, 2005

  • We have posted information about how people can contribute to the Salvation Army for disaster relief efforts in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.

July 30, 2005

  • We have added a piece titled "A Harvest Walk" that Helen wrote in 1995 for a book The Road I Grew Up On that she intends to self-publish about her rural heritage.

July 27, 2005

  • We have slightly revamped the web site and added a page about purchasing prints of Helen's photography. Both the photography page and the notecard page point to the same images.

  • We have added a section of six panoramic photos. Helen started experimenting with panoramic work a year ago when she purchased a Canon Digital Rebel camera and discovered that it came bundled with software to stitch together a sequence of photos.

June 9, 2005

  • We have posted a bit more information about Helen's barn postcard as well as related links.

June 2, 2005

  • Helen will be one of the featured artists at Big Table Books on Main Street in downtown Ames during the Artwalk sponsored by the Octagon Art Center. The event will be from 5-9 pm on Friday, June 3. There will be live music in Tom Evans plaza, local artists displaying their works in 34 downtown businesses, refreshments, and more! The event runs from 5 - 9 pm and is something the whole family can enjoy!

  • After a hiatus this winter for many things, including getting her computer upgraded, Helen is resuming work on the postcard shown at the top of this page of Iowa barns. She has decided to switch from using black and white photos to using color images. We hope to have the postcard available for sale by the end of June, if not before.

January 25, 2005

  • We are learning to use PayPal and hope to add its services to this site in the near future.

Acceptance Mark

January 24, 2005

  • Iowa Governor Tom Vilsak has proclaimed 2005 as "The Year of the Barn and Family Farm."  Helen has designed the postcard shown above and will be making it available within the next several weeks. The postcard is 4 1/4 x 6 inches which meets the Postal Service standards. The card is being printed at Heuss Printing in Ames, and soon we we determine how to price the card. Helen also has color photo notecards of six of the scenes. You can see them in the notecard gallery in the section of photos of farm buildings.

January 13, 2005

  • We've added two winter photographs to Helen's quasi-webcam of the garden on her apartment deck.You can go directly to the photos or begin by going to an explanation of the project or by going to the index of images.

November 16, 2004

  • We've added a new image to the notecard gallery. Helen took the photograph of a barn and silo in Hardin County in central Iowa when she was on her way from Gilbert to Cedar Falls yesterday. She went to see the Gilbert High School team win the semi-final game of the state tournament at the UNI-Dome, but instead of taking Interstate 35 and four-lane Highway 20, she traveled the less direct county highways, looking for photo opportunities.

November 2, 2004

  • Helen edits an unofficial web site for Gilbert, Iowa, where she lives. The town of 987 people is just north of Ames. She has written an election-day essay that offers a grassroots, year around, attitude toward divisiveness. Interested people can go to the Gilbert Gazette and read the piece.

October 25, 2004

  • Today we took the CD with the file for calendars of Helen's rural Iowa photographs to the printers and should have copies within a few days to sell directly or through Big Table Books in Ames.

  • We also have prepared a calendar of images from watercolor paintings by Helen's mother, Marion A. Gunderson, of Rolfe.

October 21, 2004

  • We are creating a 12-month calendar of Helen's photographs of rural Iowa that includes scenes of grain elevators, corn cribs, barns, and field work. The calendar should be available within about 10 days.

October 4, 2004

  • A slight revamp of Helen's 12-month photo calendar of images of Gilbert, Iowa, and the surrounding rural area.

October 2, 2004

  • A 12-month photo calendar of images of Gilbert, Iowa, and the surrounding rural area. Hopefully, Helen will soon have at least one other calendar ready for 2005. We'll keep you posted.

September 29, 2004

  • A long overdue update of the garden photo section.

July 3, 2004

  • More garden photos.

  • Helen has been taking photos of town and farm scenes around Gilbert and is getting some enlarged as well as made into notecards for sale locally when the town celebrates its 125th anniversary on July 30-31, 2004. So if you are in the area, stop at the Daisychains and Laughs coffeebar to see some of the notecards, and stop at the Consignment Gallery to see the enlargements. Both places are on Main Street, just south of city hall. Eventually, Helen will post these new images as well as others such as an image of pink and red hollyhocks that she took yesterday.

May 28, 2004

  • Helen has created a section about the tornado that hit rural areas south of her hometown of Rolfe, Iowa, on May 21. The material is on the Rolfe Alumni Web Site, a cyber project that she edits and publishes.

  • There are also some new garden photos on this site.

May 19, 2004

May 15, 2004

  • Helen will be one of three artists at a reception at Big Table Books on Main Street in Ames, Iowa, on Friday, June 4, from 5-9 pm. The event is part of the Ames Artwalk with lots of artists at many downtown locations that evening. The Artwalk is sponsored by the Octagon Center for the Arts. Big Table Books carries several of Helen's color photo notecards. For the Artwalk, Helen will some of her new images for sale either as photo notecards or matted enlargements.

  • We've posted 46 new images that Helen has added to her notecard gallery. Some are ones she has taken in the past year. A few, such as those from the Living History Farms, are ones that she took many years ago. Interested persons can arrange to have matted enlargements made of these images. We have also posted an index to the new photos in pdf format and an Excel (version 3) spreadsheet. And there is a spreadsheet index to her entire portfolio of over 250 images that can be used for color photo notecards,  enlargements, or other uses..

  • We've just put up a new feature. It's a quasi-webcam of Helen's container garden. During the course of the season, she will photograph her garden and post some images.