Wednesday, December 17, 2008

With industrialization has come a general depreciation of work. As the price of work has gone up, the value of it has gone down, until it is now so depressed that people simply do not want to do it anymore. We can say without exaggeration that the present national ambition of the United States is unemployment. People live for quitting time, for weekends, for vacations, and for retirement; moreover, this ambition seems to be classless, as true in the executive suites as on the assembly line. One works, not because work is necessary, valuable, useful to a desirable end, or because one loves to do it, but only to be able to quit-a condition that a saner time would regard as infernal, a condemnation. This is explained, of course, by the dullness of the work, by the loss of responsibility for, or credit for, or knowledge of the thing made. What can be the status of the working small farmer in a nation whose motto is a sigh of relief: "Thank God it's Friday"? - Wendall Berry from A Defense of the Family Farm 1986

Not only do I agree with Mr. Berry in this essay, I have seen a difference in my attitude towards work in the past 4+ years. I used to be the guy who worked for the weekends-but now I know no difference and long for no difference (in general), when it comes to homestead work at least. I use every part of my mind and body in the process: design, build, fill, nurture, repair. Now I just have to make the homestead worthy of all the attention and investment.


More pictures.... this time from the Duroc slaughter of a week or so ago. First up is a pre-slaughter picture. Duroc is the large brown pig on the right. This is within 2 weeks of the slaughter. (Make careful note to compare Duroc here, the brown pig, with the last picture below.)

Next we have a shot of the men butchering a side.

Finally we have the boys scraping the hair from some pigs feet, with a few onlookers.

Now here is the interesting part. As mentioned yesterday, I picked up a book on swine production circa 1920's yesterday. Below is a champion Duroc sow. A lot more fat than the way hogs are bred for length and leanness today.

Oremus pro invicem!


ts said...

You look pretty trim if that's you in the white shirt. Lost weight?

Jim Curley said...

Not me. I have lost weight (30-35 pounds this past year-diabetes you know) but I'm not that trim.