Greetings! Welcome (back) to my humble blog. First, a note on etymology. Did you know that “blog” is a truncated form of “weblog” from the internet’s earlier days? It’s true. “Blog”, therefore, takes out the “we”. But when you read my words, Gentle Reader, “we” are brought back together. Harmony, Gentle Reader. Harmony.
This assignment is grounded in the need to hug a farmer. But more important than the hugging, I contend, is the attempt to understand the work of farmers around us. I did not hug my farmer, but I spoke with her. I learned a bit of her life.
I would to share my findings with you.
In a feat of GREAT INTERTEXTUALITY, let me remind you of an earlier blog submission in which I documented some Royal Eggs that I had cooked. Guess what? Those eggs WERE FROM THE FARMER I WILL NOW DISCUSS!!!!!!!
I went to a local farm. Not local to where I am right now (i.e. Toronto) but local to where I was (i.e. Lafontaine, Ontario). In Lafontain, Ontario is a truly charming farm, whose main business is equestrian stuff: riding lessons, boarding, and the like. They have a website: http://www.celticrootsequestrian.ca/index.php
On this farm is a henhouse, and in that henhouse are some hens. Those hens produce eggs, which are sold on the farm property (for cheap!).
The current owners of the farm have been tinkering away and expanding for more than three decades. For most of its time, the farm was operated as a dairy farm. The switch to eggs came about during what I assumed was a 4 A.M. early milking epiphany: “Dairy farming is freaking hard. Enough of this.”
The owners love horses and love their hens. But only the hens lay eggs.
Is it totally organic farming? Nah… (too much hassle). But let me transcribe what is printed on the exterior of all egg cartons: “Our hens run around, socialize and eat / local grains, forage and seasonal veggies. / Happy Hens : Health Eggs.” Sounds good.
From this, we can gather the following vis-a-vis the farmers’ support for political or environmental initiatives: the farmers support local farming (i.e. sourcing their grains locally), perhaps due to the combined political effect of supporting local economies as well as the environmental effect of reducing emissions incurred by transporting food great distances. They have also committed themselves to a free-run atmosphere in which the hens are not combined to BARBARIC battery farm cages.
I visited the hens, to tell the truth. In all honesty, I wouldn’t have loved living in there, but the hens seemed OK with it.
It did not seem appropriate to take a photo with the farmer at the time, so what I have done instead is taken a photo of the combined fruits of our labours (the farmer’s and mine). From the farmer, I feature a carton of eggs that I bought on the farm premises. From myself, I give you another peek of my beautiful anti-plagiarism key. Would you like to see the photo, Gentle Reader? It is below.
So, if you’re still reading, Gentle Reader, what can I tell you?
Here’s what I learned from the experience… There seems to be a hierarchy or at least a sense of increasing reverence divided amongst strata of farmers. The egg farmers look to the dairy farmers and think “Boy, that is hard!” And maybe the hemp farmers look to the egg farmers and think “Boy, that is hard.” I also learned that hens like to peck at snow off one’s boot. That was good knowledge to acquire.
Bonus farm-related Canadian theatre history interview: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_T-EMQfqcjA