Tuesday, December 18, 2012

It's about agriculture

This is a view from the air of Rexburg facing east from the 1960's.  To get to my family farm your would follow the main highway through town and then head north until you reached Moody Road.  North of Moody Road was the beginning of our land and if you traveled right or east onto Moody Road you passed a potato pit and then there would be a gray shingled house on the left with a big red barn and other out buildings.  That was home.  The area was very dependent on agriculture and the small towns were surrounded by farm fields.  All of the buildings in this photo are familiar to me and I have been inside many of them.

While the farm was halfway between Rexburg and Sugar City, our allegiance lay with Sugar City.  That is where we went to church and school.  That was where my great aunts and uncles lived.  My father had taken over the family farm from his father, George.  It was originally part of a larger farm first created by my grandmother's, Georgianna, grandfather.  It had been divided amongst his children and my grandparents had purchased it from my great grandmother, Winnifred.  When we moved to Arizona for my father's health, my parents sold it to someone who was not family.  When the Teton Dam broke in 1976, the farm building were destroyed and it now looks nothing like I remember it.

My father loved that land.  He loved his Jersey herd of milk cows who came to the milking barn when he called them by name.  This was the life he wanted.  I will forever be grateful for the experiences of my young life on the farm.  It included room to roam, baby calves and chicks, a lamb, a horse, and occasional pigs.  There was a barn to explore, a trash fire to poke around in, a big tree to climb, and a canal to swim in and ice skate on.  A large kitchen garden provided fresh peas to eat and tall corn to hide in.  There was a beautiful sky full of stars at night and northern lights in the winter.  It was also a place where everyone helped out.

I included this picture of the Madison County Courthouse with the tractors in front because they remind me of my father's tractors.  He had two, a red Case and a green John Deere.  He also owned a hay truck.  That was the first vehicle I drove.  He would place me behind the wheel to steer, put it in slow gear, and jump off.  It was my job to steer it down the hay field while he and helpers threw the hay bales up on the bed.  At the end of the field he would jump back in the cab and turn the truck around for the next pass.  I could not reach the peddles.

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