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Heartnut Festival September 7th 2019

 Although it is native to Japan, the Heartnut is considered to be a variant of a walnut grown in Japan that grows well in the fertile soils of Indiana.  It receives its name from the Valentine heart-shaped nuts it produces.  The flavor is compared to be mildly walnut in character with no bitterness. 

Heartnuts in a bowl


The Heartnut Festival is an annual heritage celebration of the history of Indiana and a little known nut tree called the Heartnut tree.  2018 marks the 33rd year for the Heartnut Festival that brings a historical pre 1840 living encampment with re-enactors camping in the lifestyle of the time.  The Heartnut Festival celebrates the culture of life in early Indiana with home and hand craft vendors, musicians, kids activities, delicious food, miniature train and pony rides, and more at the Johnson County Park in Nineveh, Indiana. The festival is free and offers a fun filled day for a family friendly outing!   

More information on the festival is at: https://www.facebook.com/heartnutfestival/  

To mix the modern world with the old, the MidState Amateur Radio Club has partnered with Johnson County Parks and will have a public demonstration station for people to explore modern communication and it’s ties to the pre 1840’s life in America.  The below story explains how amateur radio is related to life in pre-1840's and, in part, how it became the hobby we know today.    

In the 1830’s and building on early systems being designed and used in Europe, Samuel Morse set out to develop a faster simple means of sending messages over a long distance in the shortest time.  This was before the Pony Express of the 1860’s, and urgent messages were carried by a rider on a horse that could take days to deliver from middle New England to New York City.  If Samuel Morse had not developed the modern Morse Code, he would be remembered in history as a gifted and talented artist.  In 1825, while working on a commissioned painting in New York City he received a note from his father that his wife was seriously ill.  This was delivered by a horse messenger, the fastest means of the time, but not fast enough.  The next day another messenger arrived with a message of his wife’s death.   He left New York immediately and by the time he arrived home his wife was already buried.  The fact that his wife was seriously ill for days and that he was unaware this, troubled him deeply.  In 1832, on a voyage returning from Europe he learned of a technology being developed to use electromagnets and wires to send messages.  Recalling his heartbreak over the circumstances of his wife’s illness and death he started to work on and develop what is now known as the International Morse Code and telegraph system.  He developed a method using dot’s and dashes (sounds like ‘dits’ and ‘dah’s) as the ‘code’ for characters of the alphabet using simple electromagnets and switches to send messages across the country.  Samuel Morse filed for and received a patent for the International Morse Code and telegraph system in 1847.  In time the Morse Code would be used in early to modern radio to communicate around the world and was the inspiration to the developers of the modern bar code system widely used today.   In fact modern challenges between sending a message with Morse Code or modern text messaging with our cell phones, Morse code won as the faster method.  This was demonstrated on an episode of the Jay Leno Show in 2005.  Watch the video at: https://www.facebook.com/atomicdc/videos/206934082668164/


1: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samuel_F._B._Morse

2:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bernard_Silver


Heartnut 2016 in Pictures (Photos courtesy of Jack W8ISH)


Our first tent set up with more to come


Wilson helps set up a 2nd Tent


Jacki and Steve C. working HF contacts


Our display and a local scout troop visiting


Rusty explains amateur radio to local scout troop


Kevin shows Brent his WIRESX HT