I'm sure the tractor driver is quite annoyed at these little fields. It seems like it would take about a third of the field just to turn the rig around. This arrangement is somewhat akin to a guy that has a 20 hp lawn tractor mowing his 20' x 40' yard. Both seem a bit odd to me - but hey thats efficiency right?
When I pass these fields I often think, "wouldn't that be a great place for a team of horses and a farmer to be doing their work?" No need for a 200 hp tractor that likely costs $150,000 or more - a well trained team of horses and a single bottom plow will accomplish the same task for 10% of the cost of putting that huge machinery in the field. Of course the horses are not as fast as the tractor but thats ok because the horses can start earlier in the season than the big tractors because they won't sink in the mud like the heavy machines. Another thing I think about is - wouldn't it be great if a few families got together and decided they would make a huge garden out of a small field. Yes, this is foreign to most people's way of thinking and it would be a big undertaking for sure. But the end results could be very positive and rewarding. Families actually working together to provide for their own needs is a powerful bonding agent. Families working with other families builds community. Fresh air, sunshine, good exercise and of course the end product - wholesome fresh produce at much less cost than buying it at the store. And the kicker is that 2 acres of fresh produce is worth way, way, way more (dollar wise) than 2 acres of corn or soybeans! !
KEEPING IT REAL
Sometimes its easy to romanticize the agrarian life. (I know I am guilty of that often). We all tend to focus on the positives and conveniently forget about some of the things that don't seem as pleasing or positive. Well, this week it was my turn to "keep it real" here at Lil Bitty Farm. An hour or two on the business end of a pitch fork will bring anybody "back to earth".
AROUND THE HOMESTEAD
Friday evening and Saturday were glorious days for working outside so Marla and I were hard at it. Friday evening she helped me tie up the raspberry plants and then I helped her in the flower bed for awhile. Saturday I tilled the garden while she continued her work in the flower beds.
There is a pretty little valley about a mile or two (as the crow flies) from where I live. There are no "main roads" close by so it is a little "out of the way". Fortunately there are no "developments" there but if there were it would probably be called "Hidden Valley" or something like that. I like to drive through "hidden valley" when I have the opportunity even if it is faster to stick to the main roads. There are some nice old farms along the narrow old road (of course none of them are commercial working farms), nice hay fields and a slow moving, meandering stream running through the hay fields. Pretty close to "agrarian paradise".
A CLOSING QUOTE
"When all the pieces of the agrarian life come together - nutrition and health, beauty, leisure, manners and morals, satisfying labor, economic security, family and neighbors and a spiritual peacefulness - we have what agrarians define as the good life".
-Eric Freyfogle in New Agrarianism (2003)
Thanks again for reading! ! Hope you enjoyed!