Friday, March 02, 2007
Your Grandparents May Have Been Farmers!
First published at Sanity's Bluff, 03/02/2006






Many days I take my digital camera to work with me, (I drive diesel truck and trailer for a living) hoping to capture a prize photo, but I am always dismally disappointed.

There really isn’t that much breathtaking scenery in
Western Kansas or Eastern Missouri.

It is farmland, and everyone knows farm land usually is flat fertile ground.

Waterfalls, oceans, volcanoes, grand canyons or deserts are the places that prize photos are taken, ask anyone in
New York City.

A waterfall, ocean, volcano or grand canyon, would never make it in Kansas. It would be plowed under, seeded, fertilized watered and replaced with, FLAT FERTILE FARMLAND, FFF.

*******

One day I would like to visit China and walk on the paths between the terraced farm plots on a western faced mountain side there. Gardens and farms, hand planted, hand fertilized, and hand harvested.





They are beautiful to me, but probably not to you. I see the beauty of this picture, and it hurts me down deep to know that there are farmers going hungry in
China. The westernization of China has left the farmers there dirt poor.

What's with this mention of the Farmers of
China you ask?

A lot of our good health and fortune today can be traced back to discovery's that dirt poor farmers in places such as China, India and other places, yes even a few of the dirt poor farmers of Kansas and Missouri, made. You may think I am exaggerating when I talk about poor hungry farmers, but a little research will show you that China's farmers are being forced off of their land, and end up poor in the cities.

The McDonalds, Hardee’s, Arby’s , Wendy’s and Dollar General’s of
America, have made these hard working farmers and gardeners desperately poor. CAN YOU SAY HAPPY MEAL?????? With a toy?????? Oh, there are other factors, but basically China is taking the land of many farmers to build factories to produce products that the world clamours for.

Yes, that’s me and you that did it to ‘em, I feel bad about it, CAN YOU SAY IT NOW WITH ME…….STARVING FARMERS?

Now to the blame game, Should we blame McDonalds, Wal-Mart, Wendy’s or OURSELVES???????

It is us;
even now, we are making farmers,
(even the farmers in our rich land), poor.

I have never met a farmer, I didn't like.

In fact I have a deep deep love for those that farm.

I can see through the dirt they have collected from working the land all day.

University President or Dirt Poor Farmer, which would you want to have dinner conversation with?

I know my answer would be the farmers.

Yes, I like to clean up and make sure there is no dirt under my fingernails after my workday is over, but some of the best handshakes of my life were when I grasped the calloused, stained and dusty hand of a farmer.

I don't think you realize how much the farmers of
America, and the world mean to your happiness, health and well being. As a matter of fact, 90% of you could be dropped from a helicopter unto a island with fertile volcanic soil, plenty of rainwater, unlimited sunlight, long growing seasons and few insect pests: dropped somewhere on an island in some ocean; with a big bag of various food crop seeds, and enough supplies to last you 5 months, and you would starve to death after 5 months.

Yes, perhaps that was a little harsh, but reality is harsh at times, as harsh as a dust storm in Oklahoma in 1932.

********

It is the farmer’s sons that volunteer to fight this nations battle. Yes, the overrepresentations in our nations military is not the uneducated from the ghetto’s. Whose sons and daughters volunteer in a larger percentage to do the military work this nation needs done than any other subgroup of America………?

It is the sons and daughters of the farmers. The farmers love for America is not hidden or muffled.

********

I read about and see evidence that big corporations (some of them foreign) are buying up family farms, and some people say that in a few decades there may not be any family farms left in America, (unless you are a Kennedy, or Tyson) what a shame.

I have lived a comfortable life in various places mostly in the Pacific West and Atlantic East, But, I left the comfort of California and New York, near the ocean, culture and money, to once again step foot on the flat fertile farmland of Kansas and Missouri.

Here in the Mid-West, most of what you would see….. is only flat land, with corn, wheat, winter wheat, milo (grain sorghum) sunflower seeds, oats, barley, fescue hay, fescue seed, alfalfa, and many other food and energy crops growing, there ain’t that much else going on.

OK,
Kansas made me nutzo. I won’t argue with those that don’t have a clue. I love farmers, Kansas and the Bible.

But how did I learn the lessons of life I am so thankful for today?

As a rebellious son of this area, I left parental guidance as soon as I could for greener pastures.

(Actually, I ran away unsuccessfully from
Kansas several times before I came of age. Several hilarious ((as I look back on them)) escapades took place to only infuriate me (after all, I was 13, then 15, and already knew more than both of my parents and siblings combined) escapades happened, because I was young and Kansas was flat, ugly and cruel, and I wanted out…………………

What would make someone who had walked up all 555 marble steps of the George Washington Monument, someone who has ventured out onto the observation deck of Lady Liberty’s torch that she holds high into the sky to light the way for the rest of the world, (not possible today, but I was forunate enough to have gone there when it was still possible) someone who stood defiantly at the rim of the Grand Canyon cursing the one who created that marvel, one who visited the small smelly log cabins that the first Army of the United States of America lived in, through a terrible winter at Valley Forge, someone who has experienced highs and lows, and survived to write about it.

Have you heard Norah Jones singing ”my toe just touched the water”? My toes have touched the waters of oceans, bays, lakes and rivers. I am someone who has seen a lot of the glamour of the world. I never was that happy until I came to the realizaion that I wanted more than anything to return to Spruce, Missouri to a POND and let my toes touch the water again????? The pond may or may not be there today, that is unimportant. What is important is the memory of a grandfather taking the time to safely walk me to that pond, and teach me how to catch fish. Or to the nearby gardenland of my father’s father, who could grow carrots in Hardpack Missouri clay. A man who chuckled about the fact that he knew which boys would sneak into the watermelon patch to steal a watermelon…..but he told me…..”John, that is why I always plant so many."

I’ve been a lot of places. I Looked around, tasted all of each cultures offerings, pondered, wondered and yes, (even called out for the creator to guide me) then I returned and sunk my roots in
Kansas.


6 comments:

Anonymous Frank said...

I've seen many old black and white photographs like these, and no one can convince me they are genuine. Fake history, that's what I say. Photoshoped rightwing propaganda. So I am suppossed to beleive this?

Blogger phred said...

I agree..I grew up on the flat Texas ( Plains ) Panhandle.
When I was a kid, there was a farm house on most every 1/4 section. Now most of the farmers that are left farm 2000 acres or more. I fear that '' corprate '' farming is here to stay.
Take you local phone book and tear out every page of business that Do Not PRODUCE anything..lawyers, insurance, spas, consulting firms, advertising, and so on...see what is left.
This great country was built on production. Farming and steel and things like that.
I think the quality of life was better back then.
If you put in a honest days work at the steel mill or in the field, you went home , ate supper, and went to bed...you didn`t roam around all night stealing and gang-banging.
They asked Jesus when He was coming back..He likened it to a plant or crop , or fig tree...I think society has flourished, blossomed and now is drying up and the harvest is near.

Frank

You're putting us on, right?

Blogger jarhead john said...

There's no place like home, there's no place like home, there's....

Blogger web_loafer said...

People, I took a moment to visit franks blog....it is a dead end blog....had a few entries way back in 2004, that made no sense. Well consistency is next to stupidity sometimes....and frank doesn't let us down, he/she is still stupid in 2006, and still making no sense.

Blogger Shane said...

singing - "Where have all the farmers gone?"

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