Friday, July 4, 2008


Happy 4th of July, everybody. I remember having to drive to a small city one day to get a part for the Mill. I took a back highway and enjoyed the scenery. After getting back to the Mill and giving the part to the repair people I went up to the office to tell the old man what the status of the mill was and all the stuff he always wanted to know. He kept his finger on the pulse of production quite well. I told him about my drive and all the places I had seen that would be good spots for locating villages. He remarked that it seemed I had no quarrel with God's creation but I might have some question about the people running things. I said that was true. And I reckon it still goes for me today! This is a marvelous piece of real estate but the various governments suck, big time.

I reckon America is what you see. I look around and I see hills and hollers and a few fields. These hills have never been touched with a bulldozer. We have a field that at one time had some funny ground exposed and the Old Man took a sample to Indiana University for an analysis. The Geologist said the ground was probably part of the original covering of the earth. Some old dirt! Out West they have prairie that stretches for hundreds of miles. And they have deserts and mountains out there too. Pretty impressive. South of us they have the mountains of Tennessee. Then you get to the flats of Georgia here they grow all those peanuts and watermelons and other stuff. South of there you get into the citrus of Florida and their cattle industry. They have been trying to pave Florida over for many decades, building houses and condominiums 'til hell won't have it, but that may stop for a while.

But America is what you grew up with. What you saw every day of your life as you were getting your size to you. I can't imagine growing up in a city. Life in a city is measured in feet and inches. Out here in the countryside you can dream. You can envision Paradise. There is still room to grow and work for something. If you get out of the cities and towns you don't feel so damned compressed and bound up. You can develop your humanity. It's hard to make a living out here but once you get that problem solved it is very nice.

I would think that in the coming years, as more people get away from global groceries, that a local food producer would be a very good business to be in. That is what LOCAVORES are all about. Raise good clean food with a little applied horse sense and you will be a well thought of citizen in your local community. People gotta eat. Getting a garden in and keeping it weeded is not an easy task. But the Amish do it and produce lots of vegetables. Their rows are wide enough to accommodate a horse and that helps in cultivation and weed control. It is said that the Amish can grow 6000 to 8000 pounds of tomatoes on an acre. Looked at the price of tomatoes lately? Sell your home grown stuff for a dollar a pound to the locals and you will be a hero of the highest order. People will be falling all over themselves to buy your tomatoes. You got to learn to grow the damn things but once you have that down, the sky is the limit. Your corn and beans and salad greens will be appreciated also. And since global food might not be too available, and certainly will be too high, you will get all the business you want. The gardener will be back in favor with the buying public. That has been a long time comin'.

And there are side by side enterprises in this line of work. Get you some laying hens and sell eggs. Everybody likes eggs and a huge majority of people will not have the slightest idea of how they come about. The guy who sets a bucket of fresh eggs down beside his produce wagon will again be very popular. Same goes with frying chickens. A few carcasses a day will find a ready market. Can you milk a cow and make butter and cheese? Folks will be needing dairy products in a big way. And you only go as far down the road with your wagon as you need to go. If you can go 5 miles and set up your stuff and sell all you have, then that is it. You don't need to go any further. Let the customers come to you. They will. It may be 7 or 8 miles to your stand but they will walk it if the goods are there. Or ride a bicycle. People will figure out how to get fed. You will have barter opportunities. Hey, it is called "TRADE" by lot of folks, not mercantilism. If money is no good then you need someone with a sharp sense of the worth of things along for the day. You never know what sort of goodies will show up to be traded for food.

And that is how it was in the history of our nation. Everybody was a Locavore. The local food producer was consulted before any activity was scheduled. It all worked together. Just like our 4th of July picnic will be a group effort tomorrow. Weather permitting we will be up on Picnic Hill chowing down on a good country cookout. If it is too soggy we will have it at our community center where the surface is concrete and the ceiling covers you from the sun. But it will all work together.

I hope you all can get together and come up with some of the feeling our ancestors had about this great land of ours. They knew very few boundaries. They were not compressed. They were not conformed. God bless you all.


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