As most of you that follow this blog know I live in the country in Northern Missouri. Farm country, the land of dirt roads, corn fields, soybean fields and wheat fields. Thousands of surrounding acres of fertile fields of grain of some sort. These fields lay claim to some of the prettiest Missouri black dirt you have ever seen.
Rolling hills of drying grain. A land of extreme weather fluctuations. A land of plenty that my husband's great grandfather left Ireland and fought long years in the Civil War to own. A grateful nation rewarded a landless immigrant 30 acres and a new start for his service to a country not his own. A country looking to expand westward.
They came in covered wagon from all over the nation this hardy people.
They built barns and farmhouses.
They fed a nation and built lives. They endured great hardship and persevered. Flood, war, drought, dust they endured it all and yet remained. Because it was THEIR land and their people.My mother in law told stories of dust clouds during the dust bowl and swarms of grass hoppers eating the handles out of the hoes and even the fence posts. Yet these hardy people remained.
The corporations own the land now. Giant farms of thousands of acres have taken the place of the family farm.
My husband went to the small town of 411 that we live near. He went there to go to the small bank, go by the hardware store on main street to pick up a pipe fitting and the auto supply to get a fuel filter for the lawn mower. He returned a different man.
He saw something he never thought he would live to see in his lifetime. He saw these people, his people, lined up for free produce. Here we sit not 10 minutes away overflowing with produce and working our butts off to can as much as possible. We both get out in the hot sun on a daily basis and pick, till, weed and sow. Both with past health issues. We work our land and provide for ourselves. We were up at 5:30 am yesterday morning canning tomatoes.
We are not sure how to feel at this point! Angry that our nation has come to this. Disappointed that when you drive through this little town you see nice big yards of grass but very few vegetable gardens. Awe struck that they are trucking free produce into one of the richest farming areas that I have ever lived in. We want to shout "help yourselves before it is too late!"
America what have we done?
Blessings from The Holler
The Canned Quilter