Although I have not spent my life farming-farming is very much in my blood. It's like a gene that has been passed down. Something that if you are quiet with yourself, you can feel it. Although that might sound strange to some, I know some of you know what I am talking about. At this point in my life, after a life of sitting behind a desk, going back to my roots seems so right. Not on the scale of my ancestors,not even close, but my hands are in the soil and that's what counts.
Farming to me seems to be a culture within a culture. For some of us the smell of fresh cut hay, the feel of the earth in our fingers, the gentle breeze is our wild party. Tho, I suppose some would call us introverts, the quiet of nature speaks to us. The loud raucous crowd makes us want to cover our ears
and run, literally for the hills.
I grew up in a wide open space in Texas..few fences, few houses. The school I attended housed all 12 grades. We mostly raised horses, but always had other critters roaming around. While my father did not farm, he was a leather craftsman, and much of what we had was bartered for.
Way before me...My great great grandfather Spencer A. Morgan, was granted a parcel of land after serving in the Mexican War, and then another after he served in the Civil War (Union). He extended that land until he had a large estate. I have not been able to determine what crops he grew...but he is listed in the census as farmer. The land was handed down to the children of his second wife (my gg grandmother died in childbirth) and my ancestors were left out in the cold with no land and not money. Spencer is still buried on that land.
Spencer A. Morgan, Sr.My great grandfather, Spencer A. Morgan, Jr. is listed in the census as a young boy and young man as "helping on the farm" . After that he is listed as "laborer". After leaving home he is listed as "laborer". He never owned his own farm. He and my great grandmother only had two children which tells me they never hoped to have a farm....his father had 17 children between his two wives! That is what was needed to work the land then. I am sure there was a lot of resentment over being cheated out of his rightful inheritance after his father died because that resentment carried right down to my father. There was also the problem of my great grandfather marrying a Native American. I have been told by distant relatives, who I found thru ancestry.com. that that didn't go over very well with big daddy.
And so this is the heritage that was passed down to my grandfather...no land...not money. I know he tried to make a go of having a farm. He and my grandmother (who was also Native American) had 14 children together, so that tells me they wanted to. They lived in a one room house, and struggled to make it. They divorced, and my grandfather then spent a large part of his life, again, working other people's farms.
This brings me to my father. As far back as I can remember, my father's mantra was "I will never work for the "man". As I said previously, he had a fairly successful leather crafting business. For most of my early days we spent on the road going from one stock show to another to sell his handcrafts. While on the road, he would trade and barter for what we needed. I don't remember, although I suppose we did, shopping. We raised a cow or two for meat, and my grandfather an avid fisherman supplied us with fish. That was our life. No fancy stuff, we had what we needed. No more no less.
My Grandfather and dad....working someone else's farm...living in a little shack. My father was in the service at this point.
So, it is in my blood..this working the land under all odds. I live this life that I do because I honor my ancestors, and because it is the way of life that makes my soul sing. If I could go back and give them the land they so deserved, I would but all I can do is work my little suburban farm. I honor all of you who are striving to live this life that we do. I believe it is so important.