Every Farm has a story.
Our farm has supported 5 generations of our family, now going on 6. It has seen many changes over the last 130+ years. Adding this pole barn for our cattle has been the most recent transition.
As we tore it out, great-grandpa had shared with us that the original lot was laid in parts over the years. With a small mixer, piles of gravel, concrete mix and shovel. With help from friends and family.
When I asked great-grandpa who built the Silo he said, 'Me' with a little smile. He said he hauled the materials in with a sled and tractor. He sent materials up to 3 guys who were on top to mortar things in. It took 2 days to go up. When I asked him if he had to hire in help he said with another smile, 'Me, I was the hired help.’
It got me thinking about the privilege we have in getting to be the next generation to care for this farm. And the wisdom great grandpa left for us- always make things better for those who follow. It reminded me of this passage I saw posted, originally written by Wendell Berry, that I loved:
“A family that has farmed land through two or three generations will possess not just the land but a remembered history of its own mistakes and of the remedies of those mistakes. It will know, not just what it can do, what is technologically possible, but also what it must do and what it must not do; the family will have understood the ways in which it and the farm empower and limit one another. This is the value of longevity in landholding: In the long term, knowledge and affection accumulate, and, in the long term, knowledge and affection pay. They do not just pay the family in goods and money; they also pay the family and the whole country in health and satisfaction.” -“A Defense of the Family Farm,” 1986
(This and future posts were inspired by a picture from the Indiana State Department of Agriculture.)