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...............Two Chicks On A Farm......Our New Blog

Friday, March 4, 2011

Whatever Happened to "Made In America"?

Maybe a person's time would be as well spent raising food as raising money to buy food. 
Frank A. Clark
Today, my neighbor Willis drove me over to visit our  friend John's orchard.  We were greeted with a smile and told to help ourselves (we had come to dig plum tree saplings).  It was my first trip to John's house. 

My friends and country neighbors Willis and John.
An orchard doesn't really shine this time of year but the mass removal of trees shocked me.  John said the apple trees were over 20 years old (past their prime) and he was 80 years old so it was time to cut back.  For both he and the trees.  He told us that last year most of the fruit rotted on the ground because no one wanted to come and pick it (the orchard is one of those pick your own fruit enterprises) and he had trouble finding anyone to work the land with him. 
Don't misunderstand me, there are still plenty of trees left, but in my mind I could see it as it once was. The blackberry bushes had been ripped out. There are the remnants of a beekeeping building located next to the pond which has an irrigation system for the orchard.  It is easy to imagine how glorious it was in days gone by.
I came home with five new plum saplings with the hope of having an orchard one day.  We already have a good start with a Granny Smith apple tree and a Red Delicious, both very nice producers. We also had one plum tree already and last year we planted two Black Walnut trees. There is also a Pear tree out the in pasture that requires some attention before it will bloom (smothered out by scrub brush).

Five of these little darlings now grace our land.
Our long driveway has blackberry bushes all the way down to the road on one side.  I picked some last year and boy, did I have the chiggers to prove it.  Snakes are really fond of blackberry bushes too so I wore boots to pick berries. If I were ever bitten by a snake, forget anti venom, just bring Life flight because I'm sure a heart attack would be imminent! 

The trip to John's was bittersweet.  I can almost see happy families picking fruit together, children running and laughing and finally taking their treasures home for freezing, canning or just eating as they are.  It was a much simpler time. 
There is a deep sadness for the waste of last years crop because no one was willing to pick their own as opposed to running to the nearest WalMart.  It's very important to buy as many local products as possible.  We save on fuel consumption to deliver the product, ensure employment for our friends and neighbors and more importantly buy American.  There was a time when the only things in the stores marked "made in China" were junk trinketts.  However, that is no longer the case.  How did this happen?  Apparently, I did not fully understand the legal mumbo jumbo of the trade agreements and the long term effects on the working class (me and you)!  It's hard to decipher the truth when two opposing sides have spin doctors to deliver "their" truth.  This is America, dog gone it! How did this happen?

 If we, as a nation, continue on this instant gratification binge, I fear we are in for some serious hard times ahead.  We will someday chastise ourselves with.....if only I had............What? Picked an apple? Planted a tree? Found alternative fuel sources? Learned to plant a garden? Used less with more efficiency? Appreciated our elders for the vast knowledge they have? What?  It's never too late to start! Anything wrong with beginning today?  I have an unshakable faith in "we the people". Americans are "clutch" players. (A "clutch" athlete is one who performs well in pivotal or high pressure situations. This includes many instances where a good performance means the difference between a win and a loss.) The more difficult the circumstances the better we perform. Just watch us!  God Bless America!

Well, I'll step off my soapbox for the day and get back to my gardening.  Let me leave you with one last thought:
America is another name for opportunity.  Our whole history appears like a last effort of divine providence on behalf of the human race. 
~Ralph Waldo Emerson

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