12.10.2006

The Farm Supply Store

Where are the farmers to walk through the farm supply store and look at the miniature farm machinery for sale. Christmas gifts. "Oh, my boy would like that." And stare at a tractor a kid could drive around the pasture, legs peddling fervishly and think "too much money." "Oh, my girl would love that big stuffed lamb" or is it a sheep, a Dorset, white with horns made out of plush, soft and cozy to lie over, watching T.V., evenings. And the hobby horse, a first horse for my little girl. Where are the farmers whose children know what a farm means and whose wives know what a farm means, and who want something more than a mixer for Christmas? Or, who really do want a mixer for Christmas.

I saw a man walk through the Christmas gift department in the farm supply store. Hands half in his pockets. Thumbs out. He wore a cap and jeans and farm boots. He walked up and down each aisle, slowly, his head turned sideways, looking at the selection of gifts displayed on the shelves. Some nice canisters for the kitchen. Maybe. Are there still little boys who collect matchbox size tractors and seeders and spreaders, just like Dad’s, and know what they are? "I have a whole set!" Are there still little girls who collect miniature cows and calves and know the difference between the black and white ones and the red ones? And who care, because they show their own calves at the County Fair, 4-H, in the summer. Where are they? The echo of their voices and their smiles and their shining faces filled the aisles of the Christmas gift department in the farm supply store. Where are their fathers, brown leather wallets bulging with receipts, and a few bucks, cash money?

I bought a Christmas ornament. A chicken standing on top of a sheep standing on a cow, the star behind them. And a pair of work gloves, soft leather, the only ones in women’s sizes. There was a pretty tin of cookies. I passed it by twice. I liked the tin. There was no price on it. I bought it anyway. I looked at the receipt on my way out of the store. Cheap enough. A pretty tin in which to store beans in the larder. Winter. Maybe I’ll get another.

There were no people in the store. Oh yes, the man who works for me was buying a big bag of cat food. And a couple bought a giant bag of dog food. The man in the Christmas gift aisle, the one with the sunshine lines on his face was nowhere to be seen. Where are the farmers? Where are the farmers in the farm supply store? Christmas. Sylvia Jorrín For the ongoing story of the farm with pictures visit www.sylviasfarm.com ",1]

There were no people in the store. Oh yes, the man who works for me was buying a big bag of cat food. And a couple bought a giant bag of dog food. The man in the Christmas gift aisle, the one with the sunshine lines on his face was nowhere to be seen. Where are the farmers? Where are the farmers in the farm supply store? Christmas.

by Sylvia Jorrin
For the ongoing story of the farm
with pictures visit
www.sylviasfarm.com

Editor's Note: This is the first submission by Sylvia Jorrin, a farmer and author from the Catskills. In 2004, She published the tale of her life and her farm entitled: Sylvia’s Farm: The Journal of an Improbable Shepherd; she also writes for numerous magazines and news outlets on issues regarding farming and sustainability. She will soon be featured in Martha Stewart Living Magazine (April, 2007). We were thrilled when Sylvia contacted us and asked to join in the York Staters project. We hope to be featuring more of her work in the future. Welcome Sylvia!

If you desire to submit your works to York Staters, please email us at york.staters@gmail.com, we're very laid back and friendly, so don't be afraid to drop us a line over any old thing.

-Jesse

2 comments:

the hampshire shepard said...

Maybe it's television, maybe it's Xbox 360 and Playstation 3, or could it be that folks just don't appreciate farming anymore. Why not, when you can meet all of your desires at the local multi-national corporation (yes, that could be a paradox).

Capitalism has killed all us small farmers... We are an endangered species, which is rather a shame, because now it seems only enormous subsidized corporate farms that are no longer connected with it's environment and community. No longer are we a nation of farmers.

Now, I have a job in the city and the farm, which I grew up on,,, well we are thinking about selling it.

I've lived on a small farm my entire life and I love it, I wouldn't trade it for anything in the world, except maybe a new plasma TV to watch Monday night football on, oh yeh - and of course all of my soaps...

Ohhhhhhh, gotta love America. [sigh]

Anonymous said...

Salem Farm Supply, Inc.
We are a kubota, case ih, and farm equipment dealership, but we used to have a seperate building dedicated to a farm supply store; toys, clothes, feed, etc. We just couldn't make any money at and eventually sold the building. The hampshire shepard is right in that it is very tough these days for small farms to make money. Just look at the steady decline of dairy farming here in upstate NY. It is no wonder that young people and farmers kids can't see anything but a depressing future in farming. Why would they want to go into it. We need to change our habits as a nation. We need to start supporting our local agricultural businesses. Saving a few bucks in the immediate is not worth what is will cost us in the future. With more support agriculture can bring a stable economy to rural regions and create jobs and generate salaries.