Mr. Charles highlighted a statistic that shows that two-thirds of 2,109,303 farms in the United States have sales (not profits) of less than $25,000 a year. He went on to say that he believes "The census numbers reveal the continuing transformation of American agriculture...The huge number of part-time farmers represents a kind of historical legacy. To a large extent, they are what's left of the days, a century ago, when farmers made up almost a third of the labor force."
And here we are today, living on the remnants of a family farm that used to support three families. Our farming venture looks very different from the one chronicled in the wonderful photos taken by my mother-in-law Wanda Metzger back in the 1950s (watch for more of them to be posted on the Farm Heritage page on this blog as soon as I get them scanned!)
Meanwhile, here are some photos I took this morning to show you what's happening on our little farm in the spring of 2014. Many of these crops are destined for the Potter County Farmers' Market.
|Two kinds of leafy head lettuce|
|Leaf lettuce with some volunteer dill weed|
|First crop of beet greens almost ready to harvest|
|Cherokee Purple tomato beginning its ascent in the high tunnel|
If you'd like to read Dan Charles' report, here's the link: For Many Farming Is A Labor Of Love, Not A Living