May 25, 2011

What's Old is New, or What's New is Old

It's easy to focus on the newness of we're doing here on the farm. Direct markets, local food, added value, diversification, small-scale -- they're often painted as something so new. (See, for instance, this recent story in the Great Falls Tribune about our CSA.)

But, I always try to remind myself, and others, that what we're doing is old. Old as agriculture. Maybe even old as dirt. We grow food and sell it to our neighbors, friends and family. Old school.

Much of what we do is akin to the way my grandparents farmed, the way their grandparents farmed and I'm inspired by that.

But sometimes, I'll admit, it seems a little crazy when I see my husband in the field with, say, a scythe in his hand while the neighbor harvests the next field over with a $300,000 combine.

The following photo is case in point. I mean, they have equipment for this these days, don't they? (This is where the term "back breaking" came from, I'm sure of it.)

In other news, I'd also like to publicly apologize to my young daughter for the following photo.

First of all, I'm sorry that I've subjected you to hanging out in a field in the bare prairie on a windy day waiting for God knows how long for your Daddy to finish up just one more thing.

But, I did it many-a-time and turned out OK. I'm sure you will too.

Also, the outfit: Someday, like maybe 16 or 17 years from now, you will see these mixed loud prints and the large clump of dirt in your hand (on its way, undoubtedly, to your mouth) and question my parenting.

I assure you that despite what you see here, I was an attentive, fashion-forward Mother. We just had a hectic morning, is all.

And you know what Kid? Despite the unfortunate pairing with those lime green pants, that Patagonia fleece is awesome and soft and so totally perfect and you owe that to your Auntie Hannah. You're lucky to have an Auntie who keeps you in such stylish outdoor gear.


  1. The photo of your man in the field is awesome. As is the photo of your sweet girl. You fashion-forward farmama. It's new the way you're doing it. Thanks for sharing your adventure. x

  2. That photo of Jake is utterly unbelievable. Isn't there some sort of modern leather harness he could wear to drag that contraption behind him....

    You guys are awesome!

  3. Our first year on rented land, my boy had just turned 2, and he spent most of the hours we were at that field clinging to my back, wailing, as I crawled through the rows pulling purslane. It's a sweet memory. . .now.

  4. @Nici! Thanks for the kind words. Thanks, for sharing *your* adventure.

    @Jennifer, I've been looking for a harness for him. It would come in handy in so many ways. Or, maybe we just need to get oxen.

    @Claire, and he turned out just great, right? So, I'm not damaging her by strapping her on for hours while I weed the salad mix?

  5. I read this book once where Pa traded two fine horses for a team of oxen and a sod house. Solves two of your problems right there....



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