Saturday, March 7, 2009

Tenant Farmers

Dad and grandpa were tenant farmers all their life. We have been talking about which would be worse, tenant farming or paying a mortgage and taxes during a recession or depression. Many have failed and succeeded at both.

For them, working for the same family most of their lives and the family being able to pay the taxes worked out OK. I don't know how having a mortgage and paying taxes will work out for me in these times. I guess we will find out.

Grandpa and grandma raised nine kids during the Great Depression and they all turned out fine. I guess they had to work together to make it.

I remember several recessions during my lifetime but nothing like this one. I believe unemployment will break all records and unemployment leads to unrest in a society.

When I was in high school I remember selling my pigs at the county fair for twelve cents a pound when the market was ten cents. I remember thinking I will never make it through college in an economy like this but I did. Ten cents a pound was a lot worse in 1998 because it cost so much more to live. Ten cents didn't go nearly as far.

On the other hand my oldest boy sold one for $3000 at our county fair when he was 12. I invested that money in a mutual fund and it made almost enough to put him through college.

So how bad off are we today? I went to the Martinsville Mall last night to pick up a few things we ran out of instead of driving to Kroger's and the old timers were in a big discussion about how bad it was and how bad it could get. You hear more of that in these uncertain days.

LuAnn and I have made a lot of decisions the past year which will affect how painful or painless it will be for us. A family can only do so much but there is much they can do.

Our net worth is still pretty healthy and we have plans in place to help our family through hard times. How that will all work out, you just never know until you go through it.

Concern and worry is as bad as you let it be. Today it isn't much, I feel pretty content with what we have done and expect to do. Worry just distracts one from getting good things done.

It all comes down to faith. I have great faith good things will come from this and already see it happening. You don't read it in the papers or see it on the news every day but it is there, right in your own community.

I choose to make the most of it.

How about you?

Ed Winkle


  1. Ed,
    Great post! I love reading about families and how they survived. All of my relatives were farmers too; until it came to my grandpa, who was a carpenter & plumber and moved from North Carolina to Detroit to make more money. BTW, I love the picture......Nancy

    PS How come I'm the only woman follower you have???

  2. I wish I had an old photo of my family to scan and put up. I surely must have one somewhere!

    Dad and I built everything we needed from the trees on the farm. A neighbor milled them and we nailed them together.

    I have to tell the story about the day the new pond dam broke!

    I really appreciate you reading and giving me comments, teacher!