The Farming and Food Connection
I want to start off this week’s news with a story of something that happened on the farm
recently. A group of my son’s friends stopped by. These are grown people, not children.
I heard one of the men ask my son if he could see the piglets because he had never seen a
pig in real life.
This may not be shocking to you and I guess I should not be shocked either, but I was and
here’s why. I have been farming for a while now. We raised our kids doing this and I
truly do understand that it is not the choice for everyone. It’s hard, heartbreaking and
takes up all of our time. Literally, all of our time. BUT, I did not grow up farming.
In my era of growing up people who were homesteading or living off the grid were probably
referred to as hippies and not homesteaders. However, my parents took us to places to
expose us to other things. I knew that farm animals provided meat. I knew that hogs were
not meant to be pets. (Arnold Ziffle in Green Acres, being the exception). I knew that
Anteaters would grab your little sister’s dress and hold on tight, scaring her silly.
This would cause her to not like anteaters for the rest of her life. These are the kind of things I learned growing up.
Even though I wanted a backyard full of animals, I knew why we couldn’t have horses, goats,and cows in our backyard. I knew what they were and their purpose. When I ate a
pork chop, I understood where it came from originally and that it wasn’t just made in a
Styrofoam package in the grocery store.
My point? Oh I guess its just to suggest that we encourage our young to understand the
connection to farming and food. Understand that the farmer is not heartless because they
raise that cute little pig to eventually be someone’s dinner. That beef cows, are capable of living 25 years and that’s a long time to feed something that was designed to be table food. This would be the most expensive steak ever, if we did a cost analysis.
Take time to talk to the farmer at the farmer’s market this summer. You may not agree with
the methods used by every farmer, but I can guarantee that your eyes will be opened to why
they do what they do.
Then, you can make an informed choice about your food. GMO, non-GMO, confinement feed
lots, free range, pasture raised, grain fed, acorn fed, grass fed. It all means something.
I encourage you to learn all you can about our food system and the choices we have
available. And whenever possible, buy local and support your local farming community.
You may also enjoy reading this post from The Browning Homestead at Red Fox Farm for more on the life of homesteader/farmer and what it takes to make it work.
In other news this week…..
We gladly made room for two more sheep. Meet Bella and Sweet Annie. A friend was downsizing in preparation for a move and I was happy to bring in these sweet girls. They are from the same farm that Joey came from last year. Everything is going smoothly and we have had them out grazing with the others already.
I killed my new blueberry bush. It appears that you do have to water the plants when it
doesn’t rain for a few days. I got spoiled with all the rainy days we were having and
then when they gloriously stopped and the sun shone brightly and warmly, I did not pick up the watering chore. I trimmed it down low and I am hoping the roots will regain strength.
Mariah had her litter of piglets on the 24th. Eight new cuties joined the farm. Mariah
and Charlie are co-parenting this litter. Charlie is being very good about it and showing no aggression. He hates being alone while Layla and Mariah raise their piglets so we are giving this a try.
One draw back to this system is that I can’t be taking pictures all the time. And you know how much I love taking photos of the new piglets! So I did a little peeking through the boards and peering around corners like a ninja hanging on the fence and got a few shots of the babies.