This is a milestone...
…a momentous event…
...a red-letter day in
Today marks the 500th time that I’ve hit that
“publish” button and committed my ramblings to cyberspace.
I’m kind of impressed with myself.
I didn’t know I had it in
I didn’t know I had that much to
(If you hear laughter…that’s the Boss.
He knows better than anyone just how much I have to say…he’s
putting up with it---I mean---listening---for nearly 30 years. )
...and I really hope someone is reading my ramblings.
(the changes are subtle)
When I started the farm blog back in ’09, I did so thinking
it would…well…be "cool" to have the farm represented in cyberspace.
It was October.
Market season was nearly done for the year. It had been raining and it was cold. We
were amazingly “caught up” on farm chores. The Boss had one big project to finish before winter and it didn't require my help. Our eldest daughter had just gotten
married. The younger one was "nearly" engaged and
working off the farm. Life had taken another
quantum shift and it seemed time to focus on the farm. I didn’t have any grand
ideas of reaching the masses or helping folks to “know your farmer…know your
food”…I was just amusing myself in my little corner of the office.
Okay, let’s be real honest…face it…I was bored.
But, the more I wrote, the more I realized I had to say. The odd and random, very circuitous route
that brought us to the hill also gave us a different perspective and a most
eclectic array of contacts. Our experiences and friends really do run the gamut. This
grants us---me---a unique perspective on a wide array of the aspects of
The more I talked to folks at the Market, the more I
realized they needed to know. The fact
that most grown-ups are two to four generations removed from the farm is made
painfully obvious by the recurring questions and comments at the Market. Nearly every week, I wondered how to meet the growing need for firsthand farming information.
One thing the Boss and I truly enjoy is visiting other
farming operations. No matter the size
or the practice, we always learn something.
It just seemed that maybe…just maybe…someone would enjoy virtually visiting
our little piece of paradise. …and since I love talking about this place and
the things we do…
The farm blog was off and running.
|in the garden with Grandpa Bing 1966|
I’ve always loved growing things. One of my early blog entries detailed my first experience
with lettuce in a neighbor’s garden.You can read it HERE.
I will be eternally grateful to old Mr. Payne
for taking the time to show that little girl the wonders of gardening.
While I may have issues with some of the aspects of my
childhood, a lot of good came from growing up at the end of an old gravel
road. I was the odd little kid who
surprised the teacher by identifying the types of grass in a bale of hay and
never quite fit in with the other kids at school. Did you read this one?
On occasion, I even got to take live animals
|bottle-baby goat 1971|
Those summers of weed-pulling and rock-picking have served me well over the years. I’ve got years of writing material! ...and an outstanding work ethic to share with our children.
The sometimes funny, sad, exciting, silly things that happen here on the hill provide constant fodder for entries.
|barn antics are always amusing|
I just can’t find time to write…or don’t type
quickly enough to cover all that I would like to blog about. It’s always
surprising to me how seemingly mundane farm work is so interesting to other folks. Most of the time the interest is
open-minded and genuine.
…but, sometimes…not so much.
While I knew there was a lack of connection between
producers and eaters…I didn’t realize that there can be such a sense of distrust,
dislike and in some cases, animosity and hatred for the very people who work so
hard to bring food to our tables. That
realization floored me. I was living in my own little rural world where farmers
were admired as the pillars of the community until a customer asked me “is this
from a factory
farm?" Read this.
To this day, I have yet to find a "factory farm" anywhere quite like those portrayed in the media.
That chance encounter led me to research various and sundry Ag
subjects on my own. I was astounded to
find that a lot of what I thought was factual---really was NOT. This in turn granted me a whole host of
subjects to share with those who would listen. I’ve also met some real
interesting folks, found some amazing operations, even if it is only through my computer screen.
|at the Market- October 2011 |
Since the Boss and I
are the only farmers some folks ever actually meet, it is imperative that the
information we dispense is both factual and fair---and un-biased. We are in a
unique position to act as a sort of liaison between urbanity and Ag. This is not a responsibility or opportunity that I take lightly.
It isn’t that farmers don’t appreciate the consumer;
they just don’t have opportunity to actually meet them very often. I’m glad to see that
producers of all types are embracing the “Agvocacy” movement (read about that HERE)
and beginning to tell their stories. There
are some awesome folks out there working hard to provide each of us with the
food, clothing and shelter that we all need. I am constantly inspired.
My recent very personal encounter with the cyber-bully/haters (and those
in the community that don’t
support... appreciate…even like farms, farmers) just strengthened
my resolve to continue to write about my life and my work from MY perspective. In
the past, there have been times when I’ve held back and tried to tip-toe around
certain subjects. I don’t think I’ll be
doing that anymore. There are some touchy subjects (particularly in Ag) but, they do need to be addressed from time to time. I can only hope that I will do a good job, coming to the subject with a fair and open mind...hoping that any readers will do the same. But, I do this with the realization that won't always happen. I can only hope that at least I'll make people think about the various issues of Ag...even if they never agree with me.
If just one person learns something from any of my
ramblings, I will count myself successful.
I have always appreciated this quote from Emerson…
"To laugh often and
to win the respect of
intelligent people and affection of children;
to learn the appreciation of
honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends;
to find the best in others;
to leave the world a little
bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social
to know even one life has
breathed easier because you have lived.
This is to have
Rather than writing just to "amuse" myself anymore...I hope that by blogging I can help someone re-connect with the sources of food, teach someone about food production, preparation or preservation...or maybe just make someone smile.
Thanks for reading!
…and...here’s to the next 500.
If you want to know more about food production
and handling, I would like to help you answer your questions. If I don't
have personal experience or know the answer...I know people who do. I’ll be glad to help you find the information