Nearly every visitor to the hill comments on the view. It’s gorgeous! Wonderful! Extraordinary! Or just plain “WOW!”
But, I’ve got a confession to make. The view wasn’t what made us decide to purchase the little bit of farm here on the hill…not at all. I’m ashamed to say we didn't even notice the view. We were looking at the land to decide we could somehow make it into a home/a farm…we needed to see if there was a spot for house, barn and garden. There was perimeter fence, a septic system and a fast flowing stream as a possible source of water. The rest was going to be up to us. We were looking for a place to put down roots, not look at the view.
Over the years, we probably haven’t taken the time to appreciate the view like we should, either. We got caught up in the business of well…being busy. There was the farm to start, gardens to till and seed, kids to raise, cows to milk, eggs to gather, vegetables to harvest…you get the picture. But, the view was still there and any time we needed a break or reassurance, it was just a matter of taking a minute to look around and appreciate.
It occurred to me that the view somehow affect my views on a lot of other things…like Agriculture.
Perched here on top our hill, we can see all sorts of farms.
There’s a registered Angus farm across the way. We can see the cattle grazing, the grain crops growing and being harvested and even smell the hay when it is freshly cut. Out the other direction are large poultry houses, a goat farm and more cattle. Just over the fence is the tiny village of M’brook, with its Post Office, store and doctor’s office. On the outskirts of M’brook are more crops and cows (and that is my very favorite view)…one nearby neighbor just runs a few horses and mows grass religiously, the other neighbor is growing Christmas trees…and his brother’s sheep graze his other fields on occasion. In a word, the view is awesome and expansive. (okay, that was two words)
This is our community, no two operations are quite the same and I don’t think anyone would want them to be. What works for the Angus farm would never work for the poultry houses and what works for our small operation would never do for the cattle farmer south of town who has cattle on several acreages around the county and over six hundred acres on his home farm. …and you know what? We’ve never tried to change anybody and nobody has ever told us to do things differently (although I know for a fact that they used to talk about us when the hardware store was still opened down in town). Read this.
Maybe it’s the beautiful view that made me appreciative of those who work the land, or maybe it’s because I, too, work the land that I can be appreciative of the farms that make up the view. Ultimately, it doesn’t matter. We are blessed to live in a beautiful place, make a living growing food and have good neighbors who value that way of life and look out for one another. We have learned a great deal from many of the neighbors, many of whom do nothing like we do.
Just like we take our VIEWS for granted, a lot of folks take Agriculture for granted. Caught up in the busy-ness of life, they never give the source of life's necessities a second thought. That needs to change.
(and while this is not where I thought this was going when I started typing…)
Maybe that "30 days of Ag" blogging challenge is just the ticket to renew my own resolve to agvocate and perhaps provoke someone else to appreciate the many aspects of our lives affected by Agriculture
I hope you’ll join me for the rest of the month!
Check out all the blogs that are taking the 30 day challenge:http://farmprogress.com/blogs-30-days-five-things-five-things-7778