Sunday, November 9, 2008

We're here. And we're weird.

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.


Mrs. Trixi said...

I have often wondered what the neighboring farm people think of us. I hadn't heard the term acreage people but that is probably it. That's ok everyone has to start somewhere.LOL I would love to see 11 pigs in the front yard!!

Lona said...

Welcome to the country, indeed! Just smile and wave and offer to sell them some of that yummy bacon and eggs...

ourcrazyfarm said...

Oh the suspense! What are your plans for the pasture? It's nice to know we're not the only weird ones!

Stella said...

My gosh Gina, reading your blog makes me want to visit you so badly, just to see it for myself. My first job out of college was working in a research lab on a project funded by, you guessed it, that seed company! Funny, huh?

Missus Wookie said...

Look on it as a community service - giving them something to talk about :)

Gina said...

Our plans include fencing off the ponds to protect them from the animals, planting strips of trees to give wildlife cover & shade throughout, and then creating an intensive grazing system with permanent and temporary fencing...for sheep. Nobody tears up a pasture like that around here.

Oh, so you worked for the devil, eh? Just kidding. Hey, come visit! We'll show you a hay & manure-filled good time!

Stella said...

Ha ha, yeah I guess I did! I have heard quite a few things about them, even after I didn't work at that lab anymore. I'd love to come visit sometime!~

Jack said...

Hello Gina,
Ive been enjoying reading through your blog for some time now. Pay no mind to what others think about you! I want to tell you about this forum that I am a member of, It's a homesteading, emergency preparedness, and survivalist forum with tons of great info on it!

I'm sure the people over there would love to hear from you....there are a lot of people who think like you and I and wouldn't think you were weird in the least bit! It's free and easy to sign up! Hope to see ya there!
Jack Moeller