Tuesday, November 18, 2008

At the Neighbor's Farm...

Last week I received a call from one of the guys at our church who lives out on a farm. He told me that he need to clean out his wire corn crib and was wondering if I wanted the ear corn that was still left in it. Of course whenever there is the potential for free feed I'm interested so I jumped on the opportunity. Well, yesterday it was finely dry enough for me to go over and get the corn so I hooked up the barge box wagon to the back of the truck and headed over.

I'm very glad that I was able to go over and get that corn because it will be nice to have, but also for a few other reasons that are less about the feed. First of all it was nice to be able to lend a hand to a friend, brother in Christ, and neighbor. They actually live on the same road as we do, except our two portions of the road are not connected! I didn't save him a ton of work, but it was nice to be able to spare a couple hours in the morning to help get the job done more quickly.

The other great thing about helping out was that I was able to hear some great history. The farm that this family lives on has been in the "home place" for over 150 years now. His great-grandparents moved out from Pennsylvania in 1854 (or 56, I can't remember exactly) and had a land grant of 160 acres. That first year they built a log cabin and would soon after build a L-shaped house because they needed the room for their 13 children. When they arrived much of the land was wooded and they cleared out what they needed as they needed it. He also mentioned that his grandmother would tell them about the Indians in the area that would take clothes from the laundry line!

Around 1917 they built another house, which is the one that stands today, and moved into it (I'm not sure if someone continued to live in the original house). And now, over 150 years later this same land is still being farmed by the same family. Not farmed on a large-scale by any means, but they do raise some cattle and this year he planted 20 acres of corn (the reason the bin needed to be cleaned out).

Today he is planning on picking corn with his two row New Idea picker. If I can't free up some time and get a new belt for the power steering pump on my tractor I would love to go help out by pulling some wagons for him. I have a feeling that there is a lot to be learned over at that farm ... including some more history.

1 comment:

Yeoman said...

That's a great story.

Is the farm his sole means of earning a living? With Mid Western farmers on long held family farms, I've often found that if the farm is still held by the family, the farmer is often employed off the farm by necessity.

I have a few friends who have Mid Western roots where they're only the first or second generation to live of the farm. Often their farm is no longer in their families, as their parents or grandparents have sold it, often because the kid were encouraged in the "American Dream" to grow up, get a good education, and then get a stupefyingly boring and meaningless job in town. I'm always glad to find an example to the contrary.

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