October 12th is Farmer Appreciation Day! Please Do Say Hello and Thanks, If You See One!
Today, October 12th is Farmer Appreciation Day.
When I was about five, we lived in a rural community in southern Jersey, known to many as The Garden State. There were farms all around the area where we lived.
I loved going over to the fields, which seemed huge at five years of age, and watch the tractors run rows, overturning dirt as they prepped the acreage in the spring.
The smell of earth, the promise of new beginnings and the hope that accompanied it, has stayed with me.
And when we retired, my husband and I decided on a Chapter 2 that included the same scene from my childhood.
In fact, before we bought the property that was a vineyard, and now includes an orchard and farm, I stood in a spot very reminiscent of the same one I had stood on at the age of five.
As I stood there in decision making mode, the oddest deja vu moment crept over me as I said to myself, “You’ve stood here before, in another spot in a field so similar to this, they could have been twins.”
The feeling of hope and promise and reliance on a partnership with Mother Nature was exactly the same. And the words, “You’re home and by the way, you’re back where you belong…close to the earth and what she provides for body and soul,” were being whispered to me.
And, so on this Farmers Appreciation Day, as my daughter opens our farm stand with our motto, “If we show it, we grow it,” hung over the rear of the stand, why not let your young reader have a peek into some books that celebrate and champion the work of the farmers of our country and those that labor there to produce the freshness of what we consume in the way of fruits and vegetables?
It is a honorable way of life to grow and sustain life for others. And it is awe-inspiring to see nature transform tiny seeds, year after year, into plants that bear food to feed people.
Sure, there are disappointments and failures that come with the territory, but it is a microcosm of life in that there is always hope in abundance, as each new seedling pokes its head up in the spring. Renewal and hope in one small seed can change one’s perspective on a great deal in life, I’ve found.
To be a real farmer is to be a true steward of the land that goes on, hopefully, forever.
And the farmer is the lucky one to see a snapshot of the growing season in life.
Thanks to all the farmers!
Here, as promised, are a list of some picture books on farms and farming to allow your young reader to make a connection between what they eat and who is on the other end of the long line that brought it all to their table:
On the Farm, At the Market – G. Brian Karas
How Did That Get in My Lunchbox?: The Story of Food – Chris Butterworth; Lucia Gaggiotti, Illustrator
The Vegetables We Eat – Gail Gibbons
From Seed to Plant – Gail Gibbons
The Fruits We Eat – Gail Gibbons
At Home in the Barn – Margaret Wise Brown; illustrated by Jerry Pinkney
Food from Farms (World of Farming) – Nancy Dickmann
Farming – Gail Gibbons
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