I find it surprising that many people haven't been to a farm. It used to be a thing that city kids were trundled off to milk a cow. They brought goats to my elementary school so we could milk them. I can say with authority that cow and goat teats are different, the milk is different, and goats are delightful playmates. Cows are a little boring.
There were still a few farms around where I grew up. Now they're cow-less housing developments, but I remember laying on a tree limb that hung over a pasture. I waited for a hapless cow to seek shade so I could drop on her back for a wild ride across the field. Good times. Cows don't have to be boring. Nobody was hurt, but it did occur to me the potential existed when I got thrown onto the sh*t filled ground and saw cow feet a bit too close to my head. I went and petted horses instead.
There was an interesting mix of farming in my childhood domain. There were orchards and pleasure gardens. Rich people had tree nurseries for tax write offs and bussed in illegal Mexican workers. The Sheep Lady had her sheep, obviously. The Nashes milked the maple trees for syrup. Sometimes we had to wait for a tractor to painfully roll down the road in front of us. I learned the advantages of different kinds of manure and could identify it by odor.
Most of the farming ops were small, family businesses. I thought it was normal to live by food production. I liked buying home-grown produce at an unattended stand at the end of someone's driveway. I think all of this should be normal.
|The giant cow illo was used |
for a brochure for Lake Farmpark,
a demonstration farm that lets
kids pet animals
I used to sell organic produce at the Willoughby Market before anyone cared about organic, but after the farms had sprouted McMansions. A woman asked me why my potatoes were dirty. I apologized and said I hadn't had time to clean them. "How did they get dirty in the first place?" she asked. I'm sure I had a stupid look on my face. "Uhh, because I dug them out of the ground?" The woman laughed. "I thought potatoes grew on trees!"
Oh my. That kind of thinking is too far from the farm. Here's something else you should know about potatoes and other root vegetables -- if you're going to buy anything organic, buy root vegetables. Chemicals stay in the ground after they're sprayed and concentrate in the food. By comparison, lettuce gets sprayed but then it rains or the farmer waters it which washes off the plants. Things we eat that are above ground are less toxic than the root veggies. You should still wash everything though because who knows how any of our food is handled anymore.
It's midday Saturday as I write this. I've decided my new policy regarding IF's perpetual tardiness is to just use the word we've got when I'm ready to post. It beats getting annoyed every week. Ohhmmmm...
I've weeded my garden and am ready to plant. The groundhog is ready to wipe out whatever I put in. I haven't seen the deer lately, but I'm sure they're ready to kill everything too. I know they're still around because they cropped my lilies. I've already started bitching about my neighbors' lack of mowing (evidenced in photo below). The temps were in the 40s this week but tomorrow is supposed to be in the 80s so I can stop complaining about being cold and start complaining about being hot. In other words, yay for the change of seasons!