Of all the callings to which man has ever turned his attention, farming requires the most actual practical experience. The custom in the New England states in the olden time, as it is said, of sending the dull boys to college, and putting the bright ones to work on the farm, was a sensible one. A boy of ordinary mind can be educated to the standard of the so called learned professions, but it takes a bright brain and an energetic hand to manage the soil as to make it a willing, profitable servant. [1885 Maine Farmer's Almanac]
Tuesday, August 23, 2011
Monday, August 22, 2011
Wednesday, August 03, 2011
Tuesday, August 02, 2011
Number One son graduated from high school; learned how (2X) to really BBQ a hog; drought, drought, drought, pig weeds, pig weeds, pig weeds, heat, heat, heat, and finally some rain!; peanut yield will be low, but we'll have some; been listening to "Joyful Service" a CD recorded by the brothers of the Missionaries of the Poor (MOP) - great stuff; more hot dogs!; 1st attempt at Canadian Bacon - great stuff; okra starting to come in, Dixie-Lee peas (crowder) coming up, tomatoes been okay despite drought, most everything else burned up, including my "drought resistant" Swiss Chard; and of course pig news-have weaned 3 litters since last posting-many sold; have a litter due in a few weeks; bought a new Jersey milk cow named .... NewCow for the present.
Grain prices (thus animal feed) have gone up something like 60% in the past year. There's no way to make money in pigs unless you either grow your own feed or sell the meat. While we are investigating the latter (as it comes with all kinds of regulations), the former is our focus now in growing the peanuts. Even so, we are thinking of downsizing our herd-even as we were just getting up to the size we have been working towards.
Number One son spent a few weeks working and praying with the MOP in Monroe, NC after his graduation. While we missed him for those weeks, it also occasioned us to spend some time with the MOP brothers. Number One son's experience and our own has enriched the whole family.
Hope to check back soon. Often I read something or hear something on the news that I would like to expound upon here. But I am been doing more important things than spreading my "wisdom" here. But I will leave you with this which I culled from the Catholic Worker website. It is an "Easy Essay" from Peter Maurin:
Passing The Buck
1. In the first centuries of Christianity
the poor were fed, clothed, and sheltered
at a personal sacrifice
and the Pagans
said about the Christians:
"See how they love each other."
2. Today the poor are fed, clothed, and sheltered
by the politicians
at the expense
of the taxpayers.
3. And because the poor
are no longer
fed, clothed, and sheltered
at a personal sacrifice
but at the expense
Pagans say about Christians:
"See how they pass the buck."
One comment I have heard (and I was reminded today when I read something TS posted here ) is that when as a society we let the government do our charity, we rob ourselves individually and as a society of the opportunity and obligation of doing God's work. I say what I mean poorly. Perhaps the following recollection of Stanley Vishnewski on his first meeting with Peter Maurin (grabbed from the Catholic Worker website with my emphasis) says it better:
I finally asked the question that was on my mind. "What is the purpose of The Catholic Worker?"
To this day I do not know what color his eyes were but I know that he looked at me more intently than anybody had ever looked at me before. Peter leaped up from his chair. He looked down at me.
"The purpose of the Catholic Worker," he said, "is to create a society where it will, be easier for men to be good. A society where each person will consider himself to be his brother's keeper. A society where each one will try to serve And to be the least. God wants us to be our brother's keeper. He wants us to feed the hungry at a personal sacrifice. He wants us to clothe the naked at a personal sacrifice. He wants us to shelter the homeless. To serve man for God's sake, that is what God wants us to do!"
Some things to think about ....
Oremus pro invicem!