We live in the middle of farm country. We are surrounded by farmers who've been riding tractors since before they could walk and whose blood runs thick with corn & soy. They've taken over the farming business from their fathers, who likely took over for their fathers too. And while the equipment has gotten fancier and you now have to sign a contract with the seed company for their fancy GM (genetically modified) seed, and while you have to own more and more land to keep yourself viable, things haven't changed a whole lot. Let me tell you...those farmers know precisely what they are doing and no one is going to tell them different. Especially not some uppity young city-fied acreage people.
We pretty much keep quiet. We don't go around trying to convert those old farmers to our way of thinking. We don't go preaching the importance of sustainability and organics. We don't go railing against that seed company. We don't even talk about the commercial chicken house nearby that carries an "organic" sign out front but never has a chicken seen outside...eating bugs, scratching dirt, or doing anything else that comes naturally to a chicken. We just do our own thing.
But amazingly, or maybe not so, that seems to draw attention.
It all started when we bought 80 acres and for the first part of the year, only had our flock of laying hens out there. The farmers would ask each other what that wooden building was out in the field. And when they found out? They'd shake their heads, roll their eyes, and with disdain in their voices, call us "acreage people." I believe that is supposed to be an insult. It is an inappropriate one at best, though, since an acreage is usually defined as a 15-acre or less plot. But that's okay. We'll let it slide. We've been called worse.
But now? We're starting to cause traffic problems in front of our house. It's only a matter of time before someone drives right off the road. You see, it seems that "real" farmers would never put 11 pigs in their front yards. And we've caused more than a few people to drive by and just about break their necks in craning to see what on earth we've done now.
Ah well, it's good to give these old guys something to talk about while they sit at the local gas station and drink their coffee. I'm sure we'll continue to be a source of entertainment for them. Just wait until they see what we've got planned for the pasture. They'll probably all have heart attacks.