Tuesday, December 18, 2012
Dr. Andersen stressed the importance of knowing the history of a field at the Farm to Plate Conference last week. This includes doing a "physical" on it like a good medical doctor do to me annually. That practice has helped keep me alive for 63 years tomorrow and I hope it will for a couple of more decades.
A farmer asked if anyone knew some history about their farm? Some beautiful arrowheads were shown in one reply and I thought of the many that others have taken off this farm before me. Here is how I replied.
"From what we have learned, it looks like the Turner family, riverboat people established this farm in the 1800's. I was told the dirt from the cellars of this house was hauled a mile to build the Turner Cemetery on top of a ridge on the other side of tiny Martinsville Road near the railroad tracks. The brick was baked from clay pits on this farm, I found the brick pit as it is called. The reason some of the brick didn't last was it wasn't fired enough, I thought it was because there was not enough of the right kind of clay to make the bricks. This 1880 house has a lot of replaced brick in it but 90% original or so.
Another old gent told me a man lost his mind in the Great Depression, probably lost everything he had and burned the big livestock barn on this farm, the Hollingsworth farm and the Ertel Farm, all within site of this ridge. He said our grain bins sit where the huge livestock barn stood.
I have seen arrowhead collections like the one showed above by several people that came from this farm. It looks like a good place to hunt and fish and raise corn. There are Indian mounds close by. The Shawnee Nation Storyteller Neeake married LuAnn and I June 22, 2001. He had her bring soil from her homeland and had me bring water from mine and mingled them together in a crucible to form a mud he said no man or spirit could separate. Woman represents Mother Earth and man carries the water to bring Mother Earth to life. It is his people's tradition and it was a great agricultural demonstration to our family and friends of our marriage.
The home farm in Sardinia, in Brown County, Oho was the Bare Plantation and dad showed me where they hid the valuables from Morgan's Raiders that came through in the Civil War. My sister and I were raised in the old Civil War era wooden farm house with outhouse and hand water pump in the summer kitchen. It was torn down in 1957 for the new house my mother still lives in.
We don't have the older history east of here like my friends in NC, Va and Pa and Md but the Native American was farming this place before the 1800's. Each location we farm has a history if we can find it. Some people make that their hobby."
I am more interested today in what happened in the past in the fields I now farm. That makes up my soil history I have to work with today.
Do you know your farm's history?