Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Nature on a Rainy Day in Spring and Musings

This year's trillium in the rain going by.

Sheep in the hedgerow grazing on a rainy day.

There have been some very powerful photos over on Jon Katz' blog the past few weeks. He has been photographically documenting the last days of a NY State dairy farm owned by a farmer named Jon Clark. The photos are beautiful and very sad. My heart goes out to the farmer and the family who have decided they must give up farming.

The thing is with farmers - they will always be farmers whether they are farming or not. I can't imagine My Farmer without his sheep - he wouldn't be whole. But farming has become ridiculously expensive and difficult to do. Small farmers have to compete against large corporate dairies and for many, it is just too overwhelming a task. Many small dairy farmers are choosing or forced to give up because they can no longer afford to keep their dairies going. Here in Massachusetts we have lost many, many dairy farms. The loss of these businesses changes the landscape and the community of small towns. Every time I hear of a dairy farm closing my heart hurts - for the farmer, his family, the cows, the community, the other businesses who have been supplying them, and the world. The world needs more farmers, not less.

Why I knit will be later this week, I hope. Be patient.


Sooze said...

"The world needs more farmers, not less."

So, so true Kristin.

Don't forget to mention that anyone who has a local farmer's market or CSA can support these small farms by buying direct from the farmer's instead of the big box supermarkets. The prices are about the same, and you're getting the freshest produce, eggs, meat, etc, that you can. Many of these farms also farm organically, but aren't 'certified' because it's expensive.

Support your community, buy local!

Dianne said...

I, too, have been following his photographic story of the end of this family's way of life. Those of us who raise animals know the mixed emotions they must be having. It is hard and sometimes thankless work,but honest work that keeps us in touch with the "real" world. (I often wonder, without my sheep, who would I be?)

Lyn said...

It is so sad, I don't think I could visit the blog, it would upset me. Here in Britain the farmers are struggling too, the big supermarkets screwing them down to the tiniest of profits. You can't get a mik man anymore!
Such a shame.

Randy, Ally, and Wes said...

I come from a long line of farmers, and although I grew up in a city and will probably never live on a farm, my heart too goes out to the farmers who are losing their way of life. I despise what large corporate farms are doing to food, to animals, to small farmers. Thank you for your insightful and beautiful posts.

Carol said...

It's why I love to support small farms. The big boxes leave me cold.

Suzanne said...

So sad, my Aunt and Uncle had to sell off all of their cows and equipment over 12 years ago when my uncle was diagnosed with an ALS type disease.
After my Aunt passed away over 2 years ago, they sold the actual farm house and property in VT.
It hits me every now and then that I will never be visiting the farm again.