Greetings from the farm. The politicians sure have been keeping us entertained lately. It almost seems that none of them pay their taxes, unless they want a political appointment. Since they don't pay taxes, perhaps that is why they don't mind raising the tax rate for everyone else. And then there are the cabinet conformation hearings. I have always liked Patrick Leahy, Senator from Vermont. He seems to do a good job of looking after his constituents, many of whom are small family farmers. During Tom Vilsack's hearing for Secretary of Agriculture, Sen. Leahy pointed out his legislative role in the sustainable food movement. Senator Pat Roberts then told a story about Leahy's beloved small family farmer. Roberts smugly said "he's about 5 foot 2, and sits on his porch reading Gentleman's Quarterly while his wife works as a stockbroker downtown." Roberts then described a REAL farmer. "That person is in Iowa. He's got 2,000 acres and he farms with his dad. Two brothers are gone because they can't sustain them on the farm. His counterpart lives in Kansas, and farms 10,000 acres. And his tractor costs about $350,000. It's amazing!" Just goes to show you how much our leaders think of us little folks.
As for his $350,000 tractor, offer me that much money and I'll sell you my complete line of equipment, which includes 4 tractors. And I'm trying to get by farming 200 acres. But the fact remains that the American farmer is very proficient at what he does. And it is rather sad that he must till thousands of acres to make a living. However, those of us who are small farmers are part of the equation as well. It is just a shame we receive so little respect.
I will be returning to the Dutch Plant Farm on Saturday morning. Hours will be 10 AM until 12:30 PM. Pork will include tenderloin, pork chops, spare ribs, country style ribs, baby back ribs, ground pork, smoked ham steaks, and bacon. Bratwurst, mild Italian, and country sausage will be fresh while hot Italian, applewurst, sage, and maple will be frozen. I will also have some frozen barbecue, tangy and Carolina are the flavors. Lamb will include kabob cubes, racks, shanks, boneless shoulders, loin chops, arm chops, and ground. Beef will include ribeye, strip, sirloin, flank, and skirt steaks; sirloin tip, eye round, and boneless chuck roasts; stew cubes, and ground round. I will also have cheese, chickens, and eggs.
The frigid weather should be retreating by Saturday, making it a good day for a market. Eat fresh, be well, and I will see you at the market.