Friend of a Farmer

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Shadowgirlau
Posts: 2281
Joined: Sun Mar 30, 2008 4:57 pm

Friend of a Farmer

Postby Shadowgirlau » Sat Nov 26, 2011 6:09 pm

Quite enjoyed this article and can relate to some of the issues put out there by the writer of this article.
We live in a very small community, pop 204 in our actual town although more than 4.500 in the whole shire. We are for the most part quite spread out though due to this being a very rural area. As I result of the threat of feeling isolated I have thrown myself into "community Issues" I don't see everyone every day or every week even but I see other community members enough that if I haven't seen anyone for more than a day or two people will start questioning others about my whereabouts. Some people would find that confronting or say it is an invasion of privacy, not me though. I only tell people what I am comfortable in sharing and/or don't mind who knows however I also find it comforting that I will be missed, therefor if anything happens to one of us someone will come looking sooner rather than later. I don't want to be a skeleton when someone notices I am missing :lol:

Because I am so involved in the community I leave our property quite regularly while my husband doesn't so I have been encouraging him to join community activities, after all it is just as important that he has some outside contact too.
Anyway, I hope you enjoy this article, just follow the link after the prelude.

Kathleen

Why small-scale ag needs community

'Not only do farmers rarely discuss the isolation they face, but consumers and advocates who want to see more small, sustainable farmers on the land rarely talk about what it will take to build the kinds of communities where farmers want to live.
Picture in your mind the perfect farm, the farm where you would like your food to be grown. It's a place that reflects all the values you hold dear. Feel the sun on your face; maybe there's a slight breeze in your hair. Notice what plants are growing there, the vegetables and fruits and herbs that you love. Smell the rich, wet soil. Hear the birds in the trees or on the ground. Look in the face of the farmer. You know that she doesn't use synthetic pesticides or inject her animals with hormones. She's also making a living wage, has access to health care, and she can pay her workers a living wage too.
Now picture the community your farmer lives in. Picture the people that she is surrounded by, the neighbors he sees every day. Listen to the sound of the vibrant businesses in the place where she lives, feel the support and security that your farmer feels. Visit the school her children attend, the grocery store, and the cafe where she sells her products. Notice that the community nourishes her with positive support, just as the farmer provides the community with healthy food.
http://www.grist.org/food/2011-11-23-fa ... -community
Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans.
- John Lennon

childoftheearth
Posts: 142
Joined: Wed Nov 11, 2009 12:12 pm

Re: Friend of a Farmer

Postby childoftheearth » Sun Nov 27, 2011 8:11 am

Hi Kathleen,

This was interesting. I wonder if the need for human interaction is common in rural areas, or if many people who choose to live in a rural setting are more like me (and maybe your husband?).

I prefer my isolation, we have lived here for just over a year and I have met exactly ten people, eight because they knocked on our door when we first arrived to welcome us to the district, and the other two are the grown sons of a couple of our first visitors. I have never been into town, although it is only four kilometers away and I can see it from my window. My husband goes into town occasionally to collect the mail and buy fuel at the service station, he is a "talker" so I suppose he has met, and chatted to, quite a range of locals. If my husband is back in Melbourne (as he often is) the mail has to wait until he gets back.

I followed a link from this article to one about "use by" dates. I hate that so many people waste so much food because of them. My younger brother is obsessive, if there is something in the fridge or pantry past its "use by" he throws it straight in the bin, unopened and unchecked. Nothing I can say will persuade him to even try the product. He is only 42 and I don't think he is old enough to remember food without dates, when we used to look, smell, and use our own judgement about the condition of food. The food industry seem to have people brainwashed, like so many Pavlov's dogs!

Cheers
Elaine

minnie
Posts: 2700
Joined: Sat Mar 15, 2008 9:23 am
Location: Alice, West of Casino, NSW
Contact:

Re: Friend of a Farmer

Postby minnie » Mon Nov 28, 2011 8:21 am

Hi Elaine,

I hope I'm not being confronting by asking this, are you agrophobic?

Like your husband I'm the talker in our house and have always chatted to all and sundry everywhere, standing in the supermarket cue, waiting in the street, on public transport, shop workers etc etc... can't help myself, my mother relates stories of things I said to people when very small. :oops: :lol: I've met some extraordinary people with stories that should be on Australian Story, amazing!

But love my privacy and can get a bit hermity, get homesick within days when I go on holidays and generally prefer to entertain than go out and be entertained. DH to get out is like pulling teeth, once there he usually enjoys himself but I'm the one who mostly goes out of the property. And I have most of the contact with our clients. 8-)

I think in rural areas, it's 'really' important to keep in touch with people. You don't have to live in their pockets nor them yours but a contact even every couple of weeks with neighbours is really good. You hear everything that's going on and there's often things that you only find out by talking to neighbours, such as if there's something going through the cattle (disease) or someone's lost a pet etc etc.

Our old neighbour was a km away, nice distance and if he didn't see us for a couple of weeks would come over, have a coffee and tell us all the local 'gossip'... everyone stopped at his place as they drove past. :lol: The night his roof got blown off, he came down to us and stayed for a couple of days... when we had a bush fire close our other neighbour (who'd almost finished buiding) and DH worked together to get it under control, they also worked together on setting up some water issues to work for us both as well.

Now I see my neighbours at craft once per month, the odd phone call if somethings happening. One was quarantined with Qld Cattle Tick (big problem) and let me know everything the LHPA said and did etc etc. Which was really helpful.

We're yet to go to the local BBQ held every two weeks, but try to be involved in the odd thing.

For rural living, you depend on your neighbours, if your house is on fire they'll likely to be there before the fire dept (know from experience). You don't have to have a big social life with them, but you need to share a cuppa and have a yak at least once a month.

Just my thoughts.
:D
Vicki

Shadowgirlau
Posts: 2281
Joined: Sun Mar 30, 2008 4:57 pm

Re: Friend of a Farmer

Postby Shadowgirlau » Wed Nov 30, 2011 8:36 pm

Couldn't agree more with you Vicki on the issue of getting to know your neighbours. it is such a sad state of affairs that in today's society people can and do die and lie there for quite sometime before anyone notices. An elderly chap died in Mt Barker the other day and as it happens he had set up a rendezvous with his neighbours saying he would text them daily at xxx time. Well it got to lunch time and he hadn't texted so the neighbours wife became concerned and sent her husband around to his place to find out if everything was alright. There was no answer when the chap knocked so he went home and told his wife there was no one home. When she had still not been able to get a hold of him by tea time she called the police who came to investigate. This chap had no other family so no one would have missed him and it could be a long time before anyone had noticed him not being around had it not been for the arrangement with the neighbours. The police discovered he had died in his sleep. You would probably have seen the story on the news about the chap who died in a homeswest unit and was found to have been dead for 2 yrs. This one was in the city so goes to show you don't have to be isolated only if you live in the country.

Elaine, I enjoy being alone however I also enjoy other social activities. Sometimes I am just so busy I love to become a hermit and stay home with the answer phone on. My DH says he doesn;t have time to go out as there is too much to do here on the property however since I have encouraged him to go out to a social activity once a week he has been much happier and less grumpy. :lol:

Each to their own
Kathleen
Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans.
- John Lennon

minnie
Posts: 2700
Joined: Sat Mar 15, 2008 9:23 am
Location: Alice, West of Casino, NSW
Contact:

Re: Friend of a Farmer

Postby minnie » Thu Dec 01, 2011 7:48 am

Hi Kathleen,

I like to touch base with my Mum daily, either a call or email. She's alone on a rural property and I like to check she's okay.

I know one time she was sick and I couldn't get her for some hours so rang the neighbour (who has just moved) and she went to check. The car wasn't there so obviously she'd gone out! After that we let each other know what we're doing.

More recently (a few months back) my sister had her back go, and she couldn't move at all. Her little boy was at his fathers place and she couldn't reach a phone. Lucky for her, Mum ended up thinking something wasn't right after a couple of days and rang the police, they had to break in and call an ambulance, so it's not just the elderly that get in positions where they need help. She checks in now just to ensure it doesn't happen again. It was really terrible for her.

:D
Vicki

Shadowgirlau
Posts: 2281
Joined: Sun Mar 30, 2008 4:57 pm

Re: Friend of a Farmer

Postby Shadowgirlau » Sat Dec 03, 2011 6:24 pm

Your quite right Vicki it isn't just the elderly that may find themselves in difficulties. I certainly am not elderly yet am very aware of my limitations as I can't bend or squat so if I were to fall over I would not be able to get up. About 6 or 7 years agon I think it was I fell over when I was in the front paddock feeding the sheep and of course couldn't get up. The family were all at home but although I could hear them and one time saw my DH walk over to the shed he didn't hear me calling for help. I had been there an hour or so when our son happened to walk over to his car and he heard me calling. He came over stood there and said - mum what are you doing lying down on the job? cheeky brat! :lol: anyway I was a lot larger than so wouldn't let him help m,e up on his own and told him to go get his father then they both helped me up. Was awful though lying there in the paddock helpless so I can imagine how bad it must have been for your sister.

Kathleen
Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans.
- John Lennon


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