It has been a while since I were able to get some quality time in front of my computer lately. Building a business can be very time and focus consuming. I thought since I got some time right now I thought I might go forward with talking about something or someone I think our society have tend to forgotten because we have such an abundance around us of it.
What am I talking about food. We have so much food and choices today that we can become sickly fat. When I hear about the old days and how they had to survive it is very different. Today almost any food that you can find have a part or are directly coming from some sort of farmer at any of our worlds corners.
For me growing up on the countryside I always had farmers around me. Cow farmers and Grain farmers mostly. You have that distinct smell of farm that is hard to forget and when you grow up on the countryside you might usually end up doing some hobby farming. I always helped my mom in our garden and we always had an abundance of fruits, vegetables and berries.
Why should we be grateful for farmers?
- They feed us.
- They are passionate about what they do.
- They take a lot of risk.
- They give their resources.
- They love their animals.
- They give us whine.
- They give us olives.
- They give us bread.
- Without them there would be no pizza.
- No Cheese.
- No Cake.
- No lemons.
- They are people to look up to.
- They make us healthy.
- They give us coffee, chocolate and other related beverages.
- There would be no Starbucks.
- No McDonalds.
- No food.
- They have all the resources we need to survive.
- They give us steak.
- They give us juice.
- They make the prairies in Canada blossom with colors during summer.
- They help cure dis-ices.
- There would be hard to make any medicine.
- We would starve without them
That was just a few of the many hundred I thought about. I think today’s farmers needs to be appreciated more for what they does for us as humans and how they are willing to feed more than just them self.
A quick little history to teach you a little about farming.
Agriculture is not only growing food for people and animals, but also growing other things like flowers,ornamental plants (plants people use to improve the look of their homes) and nursery plants (plants people buy to grow food on their own farms and land), manure or dung, animal hides (skins or furs), leather, industrial chemicals (starch, ethanol, and plastics), fibers (cotton,wool, hemp, and flax), fuels (methane, biodiesel, biomass), and drugs (biopharmaceuticals, marijuana, opium)
Agriculture started at least about 10,000 years ago, but no one knows for sure how old it is. Agriculture and domestication started in theFertile Crescent in East Africa and in the Middle East. The area called Fertile Crescent is now in the countries of Iraq, Syria, Turkey, Jordan,Lebanon, Israel, and Egypt. Wheat and barley are some of the first crops people grew. People probably started agriculture slowly by planting a few crops, but still gathered many foods from the wild. People may have started farming because the weather and soil began to change. Farming can feed many more people than gathering on the same amount of land.
Farming actually started with the first nations. They might have originally kept tethered animals for extra food. Farmers often help each other out whenever they can.[source?] Scientists have many theories about how farming started but most start with first nations, around the end of the ice age (about ten thousand years ago).
Many people live by doing what is called subsistence agriculture, on a small farm. Only the farmer’s family lives on the farm. Subsistence agriculture is growing only enough food to feed the farmer, his family, and his animals. Extra food or animals are sold for money or other things the farmer cannot grow. The yield is the amount of food grown on a given amount of land, and the yield is often low. This is because subsistence farmers are generally less educated, and they have less money to buy equipment. When yields are low, forests are sometimes cut to provide new land to grow more food. This is good in the short term, but can be bad for the country and the surrounding environment over many years.
In rich countries, farms are often much larger. The yield on farms has gotten bigger in the last one hundred years because farmers are able to grow better varieties of plants, use more fertilizer, use more water, and more easily control weeds and pests. Many farms also use machines, which cut down on the number of people needed to farm the land. This results in fewer farmers in rich countries, but the farmers are able to eat more. This kind of intensive agriculture comes with its own set of problems. Farmers use a lot of chemical fertilizers, pesticides(chemicals that kill bugs), and herbicides (chemicals that kill weeds). These chemicals can pollute the soil or the water. They can also create bugs and weeds that are more resistant to the chemicals, causing outbreaks of these pests. The soil can be damaged by erosion (blowing or washing away), salt buildup, or loss of structure. Irrigation (adding water from rivers) can pollute water and lower the water table. Having fewer farmers also changes society and can make a country less able to feed itself in bad times.
There are many ways to grow crops and animals. Some of them are :
- Tillage by plough
- Crop rotation
- Weed removal
Farmers select plants with better yield, taste, and nutritional value. They also choose plants that are more resistant to disease, more tolerant to drought, and easier to harvest. Centuries of careful selection and breeding have had enormous effects on the characteristics of crop plants. The crops produce better yield with other techniques (use of fertilizers, chemical pest control, irrigation).
Some companies have been searching for new plants in poor countries, and genetically modify these plants to improve them. They then try to patent the seeds and sell them back to the poor countries.
What to do?
So next time when you meet a farmer or see someone on a farm send them your warmest thoughts and say “Thank You” for helping me having food on the table every day.
I also suggest that you make your own garden at home. It is fun and healthy and it really educates you about food.
(c) John Thore Stub Sneisen