Tuesday, May 1, 2012

The Chapters of Ag, whether in Life or in a Cookbook

The Face of Agriculture is constantly changing, a chapter in someone's farm life closes and new chapters for another  begins.....
Farmers are an interesting group of people and since I didn’t grow up in a farming family, I still watch with a certain amount of objectivity and fascination on how they interact. Around here our farmers have an amazing network and all seem to know what one another is planting, they all know what kinds of equipment everyone owns, and it drives them crazy if one of them gets into the field before they do. No one wants to be the last one getting their crops planted or harvested. So as I watch with a good dose of amusement on how closely they keep tabs on each other, I mostly see that they are a close knit group that will come to the aid of one another in a heartbeat and we rely on each other.

And so I was saddened when I heard the news that yet another area farmer was retiring, as his children did not want to farm, and this was his last harvest. It meant there was one less farm family in Genesee. Looking back at our daughter’s classmates whose parents farmed, many have quit and today there are very few kids in school whose parents do farm for a living. The reasons to not farm are varied and for those of us who are still in the business of growing food, will vie for the chance to obtain more acres in order to expand our own operations. I guess it’s just another chapter in the book of agriculture and it simply means that the acres are the same, but there a few less of us growing America’s food. The nostalgic side of me mourns that our group is shrinking; the practical side of me understands that need for farms to get larger in order to survive and be successful. The consumer’s won’t see any difference on how the food gets to their table, but I see that an American icon has just been reduced by 1.

So maybe that is what inspired me to preserve a part of Americana and I bought this tattered and well-loved cookbook that looked like something that a farm-wife might have owned. I guess it’s my way of preserving a piece of American culture as it came from a small farming community about 70 miles from here. The cookbook gives a glimpse on the value of  food and the proper ways to cook things, as you will see for youself....

The cookbook holds many insights to the woman who owned it

Can you imagine all those ladies putting in their "best recipes"

Instructions on the value of vegetables and tips

Interesting that no instructions are given
The next time you are out purchasing groceries for your family, remember to make your food choices based on facts not fear.  If you have questions about how your food is grown, ask me or go to this site called Common Ground that already has many answers about food concerns, http://findourcommonground.com/the-kitchen-table/.

As always, a big thanks for stopping by.   Farmers Joe & Jay have been rained out, so hopefully I'll have something more to report on our Spring work progress. Until then, feel free to email at idahofarmwife@gmail.com or leave me a comment.  All my best, Gayle.

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