“Don’t let the darkness eat you up”
Jose Gonzalez

Late last night I shared a wonderfully written blog post by Dan Belprez at Two Sparrows Farm in Michigan.  He essentially summed up the continued farm crisis and rural degradation and depopulation that this country is currently dealing with it.  I think the post tapped into something deep within us….as I write this a mere 12 hours later, it has been viewed over 8,000 times.  I think this is the most viral post we have ever had in such a short time.  After I read the blog post I have to admit that I was a little sad, almost melancholy.  As I drive the rural roads quite often, these abandoned and run-down farmsteads have become an afterthought.  I rarely stop to really look and see beyond the half collapsed barn and rotting front porch but if you peel back the layers they each have a story.  There was a beginning…a proud father standing on the porch on the very first night after moving in.  I can almost see him now… maybe drinking some homemade wine or beer, watching the bright starry night, and thinking that he had finally made it.  I’m guessing he had some good years and some not as favorable…but his family had a roof over their head and a garden out back.  Even in the toughest times he could always feed his family.  That has always been the constant.  Maybe they didn’t have money for extra frills or trips to town for pizza and ice cream or a new pair of shoes but they always had nutritious food on the table.  Years went by, money was scraped together to get to the next crop year.  The children were quietly watching, as children do, wondering if they would have a chance to farm someday.  They had overheard their parents many a late night, having painful discussions about how they would make it to the next year.  Those imprints must have become very real and most likely made their path away from the farm an easy decision.  And so it was for this farming family and for thousands just like them across the country.  Each farm had its unique story but at some point for each of them the end was near and the story that started so long ago on that new porch would come to an end.On the farming front I was hoping to tell you the grass was growing and spring was upon us this week…uh, not so much.  Weekend chores were cold and snowy.  I forgot my gloves on Sunday and as I was gathering eggs I found my sliver of happiness….warm eggs.  The “original hand warmer”…it was such a delight and gave me pause and appreciation.  As I held it in my hand it felt so good.  She had just laid it in the 1ft x 1ft nest box.  It’s the small things in life isn’t it…those moments that fill you with pure joy, if only for a moment.  I see it’s going to hit 70 degrees on Thursday but back to 39 and rainy for Saturday…maybe I’ll forget my gloves again next weekend.

In the meat world, I made my crispy pulled pork over the weekend.  I take a package of our plain shredded pulled pork, add some bacon fat to a frying pan and get it super-hot, add a thin layer of the pork and leave it for a good 6-8 minutes until it’s crispy….flip and add a pad of butter, repeat on that side as well.  I use our seasoned salt on both sides, don’t be shy, this needs a liberal dose of salt and spices.  It’s quite good, lightning quick and fool proof.  Be sure to hit the order button below and throw a package or two in your cart.  And speaking of carts…the new website is less than 2 weeks away!

Here is the link to Two Sparrow Farms blog post…be sure to share it with your friends.  https://twosparrowsfarm.com/the-end-of-the-road/.  As I said in my post, this should be a conversation at every dinner table across the country.  It’s only going to get worse.  The farming industry will continue to consolidate and front porches will continue to rot.  I teased an idea to create a new farm funding system a few blogs back.  One without banks, government hand-outs or stiff regulations…fully funded by the people, for the people.   I have run this idea by a few in my inner circle, those not afraid to tell me when my ideas are too big or off target.  They’ve all said this might just be worth the sweat….I think it’s time to start lifting!