posted on Oct, 22 2017 @ 11:41 PM
a reply to: angeldoll
Glad you found it informative. There seems to be a large knowledge gap about how the food we eat each day comes from the dirt to the table.
I grew up living and working on a small subsistence farm. We grew hay and corn to feed cattle and hogs. Depending on how many cows we had, some of
the corn might go to market but mainly it went to the feed mill to be made into feed. Tobacco was our cash crop and working in the tobacco field was
what drove me from farming to other jobs at age 13. We grew dark-fired tobacco (hung in a big barn for several weeks with low smoky fires below) for
cigars so having flawless leaves meant more money at market.
Man, I HATED snakes and there were always a few of the devils hiding under those big bottom tobacco leaves. The kids did most of the pulling of
suckers and bottom leaves from the plant because we were small and could get down the rows without bruising the growing plants. But every time a
serpent darted out from under a leaf, I would go all Richard Prior and ruin/damage several plants. I hated that job so bad. I knew there had to be a
better way to make a living; something that didn't involve snakes.
Now I live on that farm but a good friend and neighbor does the farming. He raises a rotation of corn, soy beans and wheat. As a landlord, I know a
bit about what the farmers have to do today. Even landlords have to do yearly paperwork that seems utterly stupid and repetitive. When I bought the
farm the only paperwork I had to provide to the farm service was a copy of the deed proving that I owned the land and a power of attorney to the
farmer who was tending the lands so he could insure the crop. So long as ownership or farmer didn't change, no further paperwork was necessary. Now
I have to fill out forms every year and submit the same paperwork every year to prove that I own the farm and that I am still renting to the same
farmer. If we have a crop loss due to drought or flood, the paperwork triples. I also have to verify the photos made by contractors hired by FDA
farm service of the crops and any improvements made to the land. Corporate farming may be collecting big bucks from farm subsidies but independent
farmers like my neighbors aren't.
I love living on the farm and particularly like the years that we grow corn because it's like having a big privacy wall with the corn on four sides of
the house. And after the mechanical pickers are finished I can take my four-wheeler and collect what's left to feed the squirrels, deer and other
critters throughout the winter. Lots of chicken owners do this kind of re-harvest for corn to make feed for their chickens. We do leave some for the
wildlife, our rule is to leave one third behind for deer, turkey and other critters who might find it tasty.
Soy beans are tricky to harvest because if left on the plants until they are completely dried out, the pods will shatter when the combine hits them
and more end up on the ground than in the grain bin. They are more likely to be harvested "wet" than corn. But it takes a lot of energy to get them
dry enough for long-term storage. In our area propane is the source of energy for the drying process.
Even though I'm no longer directly involved with commercial farming, I still grow a bit of my own food. That bit of knowledge might be the most
important thing my parents and family taught me. And every year that I grow a garden I learn things.