The only work there is

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If you'd like to share your thoughts on our "The only work there is" newsletter, please do so here. We'd love to hear what you think!

By: Gene White | Apr 14, 2015 02:43 AM | Permalink
Today is Thomas Jefferson's birthday. Number 272 I believe. Let us all take a few moments to remember a great man. We owe him a great deal. Our Constitution being the most important.

By: Gene White | Apr 14, 2015 02:36 AM | Permalink
When we were close to the earth as a people, we were also close to our religion. That is the unique combination of principles that made this country what it is.

The path this country is on right now has ignored both of those basic truths.

We have to find a way to get back to where we were.

By: Gene White | Apr 13, 2015 03:51 PM | Permalink
Your newsletters are always inspiring, but this one really hit home.

I was born and raised on a farm in Tennessee. We were "share croppers," which is exactly what it sounds like. We were tenants on a farm owned by someone else. For helping to work the farm, we were provided a home to live in and a share of the profits. I don't know how much of that practice still exists today, but it was quite common at that time.

That simple yet wholesome life we lived was the most peaceful and rewarding period of my life. I just didn't know it until many years later.

We eventually left the farm and moved to California. My parents got factory jobs and we lived in the city. It was strange to me and I don't think I ever really got used to it.

I am retired now, but my wife and I still attend several local farmers markets where we sell prepared food items made without chemicals or preservatives. It's a good environment to be in and we enjoy it immensely.

By: Deanna Scott | Apr 3, 2015 10:57 PM | Permalink
Hi Erin,

This a an inspiring article, and I would like to share it with my niece and her husband, who run the farmers' market in their county, Botetourt, VA. I think the small, local farmers would love to read this.

Deanna Scott

By: | Apr 1, 2015 02:45 PM | Permalink
Farmers are close to the earth. Closer to mother earth than anyone. I admire and am grateful for each and every local farmer. The US and other countries need and should do more to encourage local farming as a lucrative career. Large farm corporations harm all of us. I was just thinking of how little I know about the US Farm bills passed each year. I am to blame as well.
Gene White says:    (Apr 14, 2015 12:00 AM)

Great comment.

By: Patricia Pickren | Apr 1, 2015 01:51 PM | Permalink
Wonderful article! Love these hardworking farm families who give so much and who treasure the earth and nature and realize how valuable and fragile they are. Many, many blessings to all farm families.

By: Mary T. Erstad | Apr 1, 2015 04:49 AM | Permalink
right on Erin! life is ok when there is no alternative and there is something to having what money can't buy.

By: Sandra Florence | Apr 1, 2015 02:22 AM | Permalink
Excellent article which speaks right to the heart of why farmers farm. It's not about the money or the ease. In fact, quite the opposite.... cudos to Carden and Courtney for their devotion to the family and farm. I could learn a life lesson about passion from them.

This story narrates a simple truth which moves me emotionally to value my community of farmers.

I would like permission to copy it and post it at our farmer's market. It might awaken the same appreciation in others that it has in me.

Erin Barnett says:    (Apr 1, 2015 12:00 AM)

Hi Sandra, You have our permission to reprint this article for your farmers market. Please include a link to LocalHarvest so people can learn about our site. Thanks for asking! Erin Barnett

By: Kathy & Ralph Packard | Apr 1, 2015 01:21 AM | Permalink
Very nice article, Erin. I can so relate to what Carden had to say; we've been doing CSA in Louisville, KY for 16 years..the oldest one in the area :) We had to do it out of necessity.We had both worked full time jobs and farmers markets when my family was in a devastating car accident. My husband could no longer work and I had to take care of him. With the help of friends, we were able to harvest that year.

The next year we started our CSA with 12 members and for a nominal fee; we learned a lot that year. It has been our only source of income since 1999; we depend on ours for our livelihood. Now it is I who can't work and we have downsized to concentrating solely on our Misty Meadows Farm CSA. We have gone to home delivery this year rather than sit at a farmers market and "hope" we sell our wares. I can't be a part of the market with him anymore, whereby I can "ride along" to keep him company in this.

Carden's story can be rewritten over and over again, changing the names, places, and a few things. But what I know is that you don't choose to be a CSA farmer lightly and you don't choose to do it as a hobby. It is a life changing experience that will have risks and rewards.

The greatest thing for me is to have met so many wonderful down to earth people along the way and feel a sense of satisfaction when they share a recipe or a special remark from a member.

Where we cut our CSA in half for the past few years, we are growing well; no pun intended. We thank all of the people that have helped us pave our road and keep our farm going...for we are a family of believers in stewardship for the land.

By: Erin Barnett | Apr 1, 2015 12:48 AM | Permalink
Hello all, This is Erin Barnett from LocalHarvest.

My neighbors were/are aware of the lame kitten's needs and provided food and water. The mother cat's visits seemed to be for companionship, though I believe there are other barn cats around too.

I'm sorry for the concerns caused by my failing to mention this in the article.

Peace, Erin

Diana Oldham says:    (Apr 1, 2015 12:00 AM)

You need to have a third party looks at your messages before you post them. Hard to believe you missed this.

By: | Apr 1, 2015 12:43 AM | Permalink
Nice article but . . . you seriously don't know if cats can love? I can only assume you've never had a cat, or known a cat. Most animals can love and show it clearly -- they can love their offspring, each other, other species, and humans. We've known that for a long time now. Treating them as though they don't share our basic emotions promotes cruelty, so lets not do that, ok?

By: Cindi Borax | Mar 31, 2015 09:52 PM | Permalink
Please tell me that somebody thought to help that kitten! The rest of the words in the article were lost to me after that.
Diana Oldham says:    (Apr 1, 2015 12:00 AM)

Amen...hopefully at some point it occurred to SOME ONE that the kitten should be taken to the mother! Me too, the rest of the article became a ramble....still thinking of that poor kitten!!!

By: Evelyn Lantz | Mar 31, 2015 09:37 PM | Permalink
I have taken care of feral and abandoned cats and dogs for many years. I would like to think someone went to the aid of that poor injured kitten and it's mother but I see no hint of it nor do I see a hint of concern from the writer. Do cats have more compassion than people these days? Next time you hear of an injured, sick, lost or abandoned cat or dog take the time to do something to help even if it is only to take it to a shelter. Dying of injury or starvation can be a long painful process. Most likely no one else will help because they all think someone else is going to do it or else they just don't care

By: Margaret Paskert | Mar 31, 2015 08:58 PM | Permalink
Beautifully written, and so true. I am a farmer that also can do nothing else. Even in the years when we don't make any kind of profit, I can't see myself doing anything else. It is an immensely satisfying, if not always a bill paying, job. For me, it is my wonderful customers that keep me going when the going gets rough. Being grateful and showing your gratitude for a farmer's long hours and meager pay and appreciating what they do for you, society, and the health of the planet will help keep us going!

By: Carol A. Kolefas | Mar 31, 2015 08:48 PM | Permalink
I just adopted 2 cats from an animal shelter. 1 is outgoing and friendly the other except for 3 attempts to interact with him he hides or hisses angrily toward me.He hides all day. I called the shelter and he had been abused and returned 3 times. Well I agree with the farmer who compared the job of creating a csa farm. The soil had been over worked with tobacco crops he was a teacher, also a New parent but because he loves the land he manages to work the farm by headlight I'm guessing that meant at night after he'd worked all day, then went out to farm when he could have been sleeping. My new cats are mine one damaged by someone the other has never known abuse she is Black which would make her not as easy to place due to superstitions.. My husband and I will love them much like the farmer. Loving them both.

By: Maria Espino | Mar 31, 2015 08:40 PM | Permalink

Wow, I actually got teary eyed, and I am not a teary eye type of person. I can totally relate as a wife, Mother of two kids (1 and 3) and a farmer full time. I have had many arguments with my brother about this very thing. Well written. Effective words!

By: Kathryn Arnold | Mar 31, 2015 08:26 PM | Permalink
Is there a link to that newsletter? I'd like to share it with others via facebook.
Carol A. Kolefas says:    (Mar 31, 2015 12:00 AM)

Please include me if you receive access to that news letter. I'd like to thank him for reminding me to thank my local csa farmers

Erin Barnett says:    (Apr 1, 2015 12:00 AM)

Here you go: Thanks, Erin

Sandra Florence says:    (Apr 1, 2015 12:00 AM)

Erin: Thanks for the direct link.

By: | Mar 31, 2015 08:20 PM | Permalink
Lovely post, but like others my first thought was for that kitten...... it would have been easy and kind for the observing neighbor to move the kitten for the mama cat, so it could be with its litter mates. I was glad to see that others had already posted the same sentiments.

By: Conni Schaftenaar | Mar 31, 2015 08:15 PM | Permalink
I think many of us can identify with the farmer who can't picture doing anything else. Beautifully told, Erin!

And, I agree with another poster that the sometimes hard-hearted attitude of farm people towards "non-essential" animals like cats can be disheartening. On my farm, it would have gone to the vet and been humanely euthanized if the damage couldn't be dealt with. I could never have left a kitten lying around waiting for its mama to come and take care of it - what happens when she can't come back, or doesn't? It's a touching story about the mama cat's devotion, but not a very good commentary on the humans who were aware of the situation.

By: Christine Menefee | Mar 31, 2015 07:44 PM | Permalink
What a sad story. Did it never occur to any of those humans simply to move the kitten to where the others were? I grew up in the country among hard hearted people but eventually figured out that a little kindness toward animals, where possible, was not a sign of weakness or "sentimentality", it was just kindness. Guess that story pushed a button with me.

By: Scott and Joanne Harding | Mar 31, 2015 07:18 PM | Permalink
Beautifully written Erin.

Back to the March 2015 Newsletter