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When This Was A Farm… January 28, 2010

Posted by littlebangtheory in Love and Death, Politics and Society.
Tags: , , , ,

…I was a barn.

Yeah, really.  Tall and proud, straight and true.  Full of dairy cows, surrounded by pastures, not this scraggly forest you see here.

But that was then, and this is now.  My people spent long hours trying to patch things up with wishes and prayers and sweat, and when the sun went down, more hours around the kitchen table, scratching at pads with short pencils, cipherin’, and always coming up short.  There were arguments and tears, and lectures from the young’uns about government subsidies and Archer Danniels Midland, whoever that is.

And then the bankers came, and I closed my barn doors in an effort to shut out the pleading, but it didn’t help, and the bankers won, and my people left.

I’ve wondered what happened to them for some time now, but as far as I know, they just sort of disappeared.

I miss the old days.


1. Sylvia Kirkwood - January 29, 2010

I can only imagine how many “barns” could tell the same tale, sadly enough! Thoughtful post as always, CR. Hope things are going well for you. Have a lovely weekend.


2. sherry - January 29, 2010

we have many of them in pa. so sad.

3. Paul in ABQ - January 29, 2010

Beautiful. Sad. You do elegy well.

4. pagan sphinx - January 29, 2010

Very well done! I love it when you write like this!


5. littlebangtheory - January 29, 2010

Sylvia, most barns have a similar tale to tell, but fewer and fewer of us understand their language. We’ve been distracted by a different vision, one of malls and bigger TVs and Economic Growth. If we can’t see past these visions, they will be our epitaph.

sherry, I’m sure you do. Family farms can’t compete, and after this economic downturn, when the housing market recovers all of these farms will become subdivisions because small farms can’t survive.
Unless, of course, enough of us commit to shopping locally, and as often as possible buying directly from local farmers.

Even then we’ll have been too late to save many of them.

Paul, you’re right. It’s a cultural elegy, though I hadn’t conceived of it as such. And I love it when I learn new words – smart people rock!

Gina, I’m trying. It’s all still in there, it’s just not flowing like it once did.

But then, I feel the tide changing… 😉

6. Tengrain - January 29, 2010

Ah, CR, so true, so elegiac.

Just as some localvore news: I have only stocked my house from the Farmer’s Market this year for for fresh food (and you know I do not do boxed, fast, or convenience food). That’s my goal to keep doing.



PS – we have loads of these abandoned farms in California, too. So sad.

7. UM - January 29, 2010

And so it goes.

You have a keen talent for capturing the sad simplicity in the stories behind these scenes. I don’t think I’ll ever look at a dying barn the same way again.

8. Bob - January 29, 2010

Great photo and poignant text, Cuz. And what Pagan Sphinx said.

9. littlebangtheory - January 31, 2010

You’re all very kind.

I’ve been inspired by Miz Lu’s medium format black & whites to see things from that perspective, and the scenes tell their own tales. It’s a genre of photography I’d love to explore, and intend to do so.

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