This song, Down on the farm brings lovely memories of when I was a child and does describe the abstract teaching Iím trying to leave with my grandchildren who would not have that treasured storehouse of memories if someone had not brought realities of the few things I can teach the ones of them who are hungry for knowledge.
Today little jelly jars full of red apple spread caught the attention of one of the grown-up grandchildren. Her step father was a son of migrant workers and he would never allow his children to learn of my peasant, food saving ways. Now those children are grown and he canít stand in between me and their being interested in seeing all the little jars of delightful treats in a row on the shelf..
One grandchild couldnít believe the apples that looked so tasteless while they were in their dried state soon became a wonderful cobbler to be enjoyed from those reconstituted apples.
The three tomato bushes at the back door certainly are no farm but, nevertheless, weíve had fresh tomatoes all summer even in this horrible drought and heat. To see a small grandchild swish buy those bushes to pick off a cherry tomato is precious to me, and even though his father has created a prejudice against his learning of growing food, too late, the initial thought has been planted.
The politicians are groaning over the dry weather and the farmerís losses all while Iím remembering reading about a farmer who lost his farm to taxes. He managed to buy ten acres and with organic farming was able to produce as much as his great lands had done before
Age brings all good things to an end, though, and Iím like a cranberry merchants trying to pick up every little tidbit of instruction I can leave with them. all while I remember my little Scot-Irish grandmother who so lovingly taught me these things.
Not to be forgotten are the genes inherited from my Ponca grandmother, farmers who contributed many strains of foods used by this society. It has been written that the original 17
varieties of corn the Native Americans developed have never had any additions added to those.
My puny efforts are nothing compared to that and I know only a few of food saving traditions.
There will be a time when death is conquered and we will not grow, not in my lifetime but certainly in the future. How much more we will be able to accomplish then.
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