Saturday, January 05, 2008

Farm Show

The PA Farm show starts this week, the biggest indoor AG show in the nation. I like to watch the coverage on TV.

There are always many interesting facts and figures to learn. For example, right now --there are only 8,400 dairy farms left in the state of PA. Are these family farms, I wonder? As a people, we are several generations removed from family farming...at least 3 maybe 4. When I taught 7th & 8th graders about spinning, most of them didn't know that the wool from their sweaters came off of a sheep. Do people really care or wonder where stuff comes from anymore? When I asked the kids where their sweaters came from, they said, "the mall."

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This morning when I pour the cream into my coffee, I find myself thinking about which one of the cows, from which one of the 8,400 dairy farms, gave me the product I need to keep the 206 bones in my body healthy....

On Wednesday, they will air the Sheep to Shawl contest...which is usually hosted by Tom Knisley from the Mannings Handweaving School in Adams County. He taught the workshop I took last summer. I have read that the Farm Show will be starting a Junior competition this year. I'm anxious to see how many participants they get!

14 comments:

pacalaga said...

It's true, most of us are so far removed from farming that we don't think about where things come from anymore. (I've said many times that if I had to butcher my own meat I'd be an instant vegetarian!)

Valerie said...

my dh was raised on one of those Pa. dairy farms. His parents, retired from farming, still own the farm and rent it out to a couple who have raised their 5 children there. Sadly, with his parents in their 80's, it is likely the farm will be sold for commercial purposes in the next decade or so. Unless someone can find a way to make it worthwhile to preserve the building which have been in the family for >150 years.

Donna B said...

Our milk comes from a cow named Melody. It makes me happy to know!

Terry M said...

Great blog post! I completely agree with your remarks about people not knowing where things come from. I sure wish my grandfather hadn't lost the family dairy before I was born. I've held that against him forever!!

Sharon said...

I had a similar experience when I had a small stall at a market, I was spinning, and many parents would try and explain to the kids that that is where wool for jumpers comes from!

I also often wonder (having had some 'interesting' jobs in my time) who has done a particular job, for example recently, whose job it is to stuff olives! You often don't think about what goes on behind the scenes, same thing with the amount of work etc behind the milk etc that we buy.

Jessica at Bwlchyrhyd said...

There was a whole thing on the news here last year about how one in three British children did not know that chips (French fries) came from potatoes...

Cathy said...

My granddaughter ought to inherit the family room - she would be the 6th generation. Not that you can make a living on it - we had an outside job, the farm and a store (saddlemaking) on the farm and still lived below poverty level. Thankfully the farm was paid off.

The dairy up the road from the farm supported 2 families but they worked their butts off. I always wondered if the next generation would want to do that.

Judy said...

Give me a couple of years and you may know what cow it comes from as that will be my next step. Some family members think I am nuts for having the big garden and my own animals but boy they rave about the difference in the taste and have no problems raiding the pantry or freezers. Sadly, it is definitely not time or cost effective which is why there is the "real job".

Amy said...

I'm a new reader and enjoy your blog. I've been going to the farm show for years...no one in my family farms, but we all garden and enjoy it.

Phiala said...

My milk comes from the dairy down the road, in glass bottles no less. But I'm incredibly lucky to be able to do that.

Before the funding for that program was cut (and despite the fact that we'd do it for free), I participated in an educational program at a couple of local schools. My role was to talk about fiber, fabric and clothing, and where it came from, and how much work it was to produce for most of human history. (Before the spinning wheel, it took the women of the family about 8 months out of the year to produce a set of clothes for their family for that year.)

Lisa at Greenbow said...

We live in a small farm community. I think most children know where their clothing and meals come from. However I have friends that teach in larger cities and they are often aghast at how little the children know about where their food comes from or as you mentioned the wool or even cotton. A sad state of affairs.

Lisa at Greenbow said...

P.S. Did I read this right?? Are you entering a shawl in a contest? I hope it wins if you do. Your work looks so good. Good luck.

cyndy said...

Thanks for all the input on this post...I found it to be very interesting reading over the comments, and enjoyed hearing about the personal experiences and opinions surrounding the family farms.

Leslie said...

A late comment but I wanted to mention that I, too, enjoyed this post. I've heard of children who are surprised to learn that apples can be picked and eaten from trees, and of people who won't eat "that dirty stuff" from the garden because they prefer pesticide covered produce from the store. It boggles the mind.

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