Monday, September 15, 2014

The Farm that Joe Lives on




Farmer Joe's Postmodern Strip Farm
The picture above shows the farm that Joe lives on with his wife. It is beside a paved road along with a collection of other strip farms that are narrow in front and deep length-wise so that many farms can be set side by side and avail the facilities of a main paved road in front, as are usually found in postmodern villages (see here).

Joe lives on the farm with his wife. His two sons have grown up and study at a University and a daughter has married and lives in town. They visit often though and help out on the farm whenever they do. His grandchildren love to spend their entire vacations at the farm even without their parents because bobby loves to fish in the lake and his sister Jill loves to pick up the flowers and play with grandpa Joe who is in his mid fifties now.  Joe has a three story house on the farm. There is a basement to store his stuff and utilities, a main floor on which he lives with his wife and that has two additional rooms for his children or guests. If everyone arrives simultaneously some have to get on the couch or some cots in the basement when it is not too cold.   There are four bed rooms on the first floor with a bathroom where four farm helps live. They all eat together at the restaurant that his wife runs with the help of Lucy, one of the helps at the farm. Because of this, the restaurant runs throughout the year, even in the lean seasons when there are few visitors from afar. They serve food made out of fresh farm produce only, at this restaurant. Everyday Lucy writes on a small black board in front of the restaurant what the day’s menu and deserts are. These vary throughout the year according to what is being produced on the farm. They serve lovegan food (see here) only that consists of stuff made from vegetables, wheat, eggs and milk products aside from fish.. The fish and chips of the restaurant are famous for fifty miles around served along with a green tossed salad or Cole-slaw and tartar sauce.

Joe's wife had figured that since she had to cook everyday anyway, she may as well do it for everyone at the restaurant only and now they rarely cook at home except for breakfast or that late night meal when there is a party at home. Even Christmas dinners for everyone are at the restaurant with family and if a lot of other customers arrive they open a lot of wine and push the tables to the side for a song and dance in the middle. The wine is on the house since the restaurant does not have a license to sell wine but those not from the farm pay a modest flat rate for the buffet dinner. Farmer Joe and his wife reserve gifts of free food for a shelter nearby that houses both aged persons and unaccompanied  minors in a shelter called HISA.

The restaurant has a sales counter too for farm fresh jams, honey, fruit, vegetables, cheese, flowers and wine that they produce at the farm and rarely is it that a visitor can resist buying something for home before leaving the restaurant.

There is a large room on top of the restaurant that can be reached from an outdoor stairway behind the restaurant. It has four beds set against the walls, a couch, and a TV that comes in handy when additional temporary workers drop in, especially when the fruit has to be picked or the spinach cut and dried. Joe and his wife Martha grow huge amounts of spinach on the farm. Some is chopped up for the hens, some used for the green pasta sauce (see here for recipe) at the restaurant but most of it is cut, cleaned and dried on racks in the barn. Martha uses the powdered dried spinach along with a little powdered celery to mix in the flour of her bread that is a signature product of the farm and is in demand in some far away special organic food stores.

There is a chicken coup and a diary at the farm but the chickens are only for egg and never killed. Similarly the cows are only for milk or to rest. Farmer Joe keeps five hundred chickens and twelve cows. Neither the cows nor the hens are locked up because they have a back yard orchard to roam in bounded by a small lake on the farm from where the hens and cows can drink too. The eggs of the farm are much healthier than those elsewhere because the hens get a lot to munch on in the orchard besides their regular feed.

The lake has both fish and ducks and this is where the duck eggs and fish for the restaurant and the local market come from. The lake is shaped like a U so that farmer Joe does not have to spend on fencing for the chicken and cows. The lake really fills up in rainy months but dries out a bit in the dry ones. It has gently sloping sides on the inner side so that the hens, birds and cows can easily walk up to it for a drink but the outer side is steep for a deep end that provides a home for the fish in the dry months. There are two wind generated water aeration pumps for the lake that oxygenate the water for the fish whenever the wind comes on. Farmer Joe’s farm is connected to the urban electricity grid but he has solar panels on the south side of his barn and home roofs so that most times he is feeding into the grid rather than taking from it, except when the days have been very cloudy.

The most interesting part of the farm is the orchard set within the lake. It is not like a conventional orchard with just a single variety but there are trees of five different varieties of fruit and one more that does not produces fruit but farmer Joe says it fixes nitrogen to fertilize the orchard. The rest of the trees along the road are fruit trees too. The gas for his cooking and the cooking at the restaurant comes from a bio-gas plant that is fueled by cow dung. Farmer Joe wanted to feed human shit into it too but his wife is fussy and did not permit that. She said that she once read a novel about a maid that mixed shit in the cake she baked and served it to her mistress who just loved the unusual flavor and lapped it up, LOL, but Martha was so horrified at the idea that she would have none of that anywhere near her kitchen. Needless to say everything on the farm is organic, fed by the huge amount of compost everything on the farm produces. Not a single leaf or bit of food is wasted but everything goes into the compost pit that is emptied out once every year for farm manure along with the manure that comes from the bio-digestors.

Set within the orchard are a hundred bee keeping boxes that produce honey for farmer Joe and the market too aside from pollinating all the fruit trees and flowers. With so many diverse activities on the farm, farmer Joe does not produce wheat but gets it from the market. He feels wheat is produced best in larger mechanized farms.  But they make their own fresh bread and pasta from wheat that is ground up into flour on the farm itself. Instead he has a patch for fodder for the cows, assorted vegetables and flowers around the farm and home. His roses and tulips are for flower shops in town. farmer Joe does not have to purchase much cooking oil though because there is so much butter on the farm after the milk is separated for the cheese. His wife coverts some into clarified butter and uses that for the fish and chips too, no wonder they taste so heavenly. They do not get much sugar either except for some for the cake icing and dusting the donuts, because of so much honey that they have on the farm instead.

Being a farmer down to his bones, farmer Joe can be very crude when it comes to expressing his feelings on things he feels strongly about. This is what he thinks of GM foods (The F words have been edited out),
Although on rare occasions farmer Joe will use fertilizers and he is also not strictly against GM plants but he is very strongly against patenting any and making a profit. He believes patenting life forms such as plants and seeds and then making a profit out of it is a great sin against life. Those who permit such patenting in his view are committing a great folly in their blind lust for wealth and power and shall be roasted in hell slowly and painfully while an imp of hell fires shall say, I have a patent over your life for me to grill as I like , because you too patented life while on earth, and you know what, I have patented the pain killer too, EIEI O


Farmer Joe and his farm in this post is fiction but included here as an example of the type of farms a post-modern village  might have.




Pond Image modified from


The copyright on this image is owned by Ross Fletcher and is licensed for reuse under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 license.

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