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"In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth, … And God blessed them and said to them, Be fruitful, multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea, the birds of the air, and over every living creature that moves upon the earth.
And God said, See, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the face of all the land and every tree with seed in its fruit; you shall have them for food.
The question that I often ask myself is this, what are we doing with this gift that God gave us?
I grew up on a farm and yet, we did not have a dairy until I was working at a day job.
In the evening and weekends we still made hay and had chores to do.
We always had calves that we started and sold as springers, heifers ready to calve shortly.
How many of our young generation today knows what a springer is?
This was something that I always enjoyed as a young boy, going out and feeding the hogs.
Smelly maybe, but what a pleasure to see the squealing piglets all in row happily sucking on the gorged udder of a sow, mother pig.
The sow was in her own world of ecstasy according to the delighted grunts that emanated from her snout.
He told me that is buying hens to produce their own eggs.
I have done this for about ten years now. His view on the whole matter was that financially it is probably better to just buy them at the store.
We both agreed that the price is not why we go to the effort to raise our own eggs.
The true purpose is to stay connected with our food source.
We still have control on the way our chickens are fed and handled.
It is important to some of us that our children learn to appreciate the effort that we put into our food sources.
There are also many fringe benefits. We are aware of where our food actually comes from and the way that God provides for us.
These two situations are both young Amish men. The one grew up on the family’s homestead but dad was a day laborer.
As the story goes, another sibling married and started dairy farming at home.
The first time that Junior was served raw farm milk at home, he realizes that this is what he saw being milked in the milking parlor.
He had to refuse the milk. Junior said that he cannot drink this milk now that he see where it comes from.
His parents never had an interest in agricultural things.
This young lad married and moved to his own micro-sized homestead.
In passing conversation, the subject of food supply comes up.
One fellow that was in the conversation raised chickens, ducks, and turkeys for their own use.
After the butchering day this group of men were discussing the basics of processing their own meat at home and then the preparation for the table.
This young man’s father-in-law asked him whether he could eviscerate and prepare for freezing his own poultry.
To the shame of Americans, this young man shook his head no.
He had never helped with this part of the food chain.
He would have no idea if it came down to the point that he needed to help himself.
Granted, he has many friends and neighbors that would be willing to help, but this man grew up in a rural setting with these skills being a necessity to his ancestors.
Due to both sets of grandparents choosing to live in away that no longer embraced this part of life, he is two generations off of the farm and has no idea how to prepare his own food from farm to table.
In general, if America’s food supply chain were interrupted, what would actually happen?
The majority of today’s people have no idea where the food that they buy at the grocery store actually comes from.
They have no understanding of the effort that goes into getting it there.
I have actually heard of people commenting, when hearing about a drought, animal disease or some other reason that a food shortage comes up, “What does it matter?
We can always go to the grocery store and get some more.
Do we actually believe that all this meat, eggs, and produce actually just ends up in a warehouse cooler or freezers packaged and ready to go?
I will admit, at times it might be easier to just buy it at the grocery store.
I tend to look at the benefits of this extra labor.
They also know that adult chickens are roosters and can be overly aggressive.
One particular memory that they will probably never forget was a rooster that they named Cocky Locky.
I have a preference for variety. Because of this I have a fascination with the Cornish game type cocks.
These cute and cuddly little chicks grow up to be feisty little cocks.
These roosters look a bit small with their shiny tight fitting feather cloaks, much like today’s wrestlers.
Beware, if you turn your back, they show the heart of Goliath the warrior.
Let your imagination combine these two bits of information and you can conclude why the name Cocky Locky.
A friendly warning, never bite the hand that feeds you.
Yes, this little fireball attacked us. It did not take Cocky long to decide that if I am around he better lurk around the back corners.
My sons, however are smaller and were fair game.
We also had a fair sized porker named Henry in the adjacent pen.
Mr. Locky was always trying to escape the safety of our fence.
Now Henry, as we all know the fate of pigs, was scheduled to take a field trip one day.
By some misunderstanding, I got the wrong day on my calendar.
Therefore Henry got two extra days added to his life.
On the last full day of Henry’s residence at the Locust Lane Homestead, Mr.
Locky wanted some excitement. He challenged Henry to a duel.
It is now a well established fact that pigs enjoy chicken as much as I do.
The only difference is they don’t care how it is marinated.
Today when we eat pork chops or sausage, occasionally one of the boy’s will say, “This tastes like Cocky Locky.
” All that we found of the dueling loser was a leg and two tail feathers.
These little baby animals grow up and become our sustenance.
As we feed and care for our animals, gardens and orchard, we are providing future food for our table.
However, we know what we are eating. We have control of what gets put into it.
And we have the pleasure of caring for it. We will always know that our eggs are fresh.
Many store-bought eggs are 3-4 weeks old by the time you get them.
Taste a home raised broiler or turkey once and you will be surprised at the difference from a commercial raised one.
What is better than picking a crisp, tangy apple off of the tree in autumn?
Taste for yourself the sweetness of raw peas, straight off the vine.
What about the freshness of newly dug potatoes, carrots or radish?
A fresh garden salad with various greens tossed together.
The solid head called lettuce from the grocery stores produce department barely justifies its namesake.
What can you do to stay connected? We lose a lot for our future generations if our children believe that food just appears on the store shelves.
As we lose our touch with food production, we also lose our sense of reality in life.
Take many of our “leaders” in Washington as an example.
Many have never experienced the joys and sweat of an honest days labor.
They have never had the pleasure of eating the fruits of their labor.
Therefore they, at times, make ruling decisions that are based on textbook answers instead of reality.
I fear this will one day be the downfall of the American people as we lose our family structure and sense of reality.