Written by Marylee Boston
(In honour of the generations of farmers in my family)
Fenelon Falls is known as the “Jewel of the Kawarthas” and for many the jewel is the beautiful lakes, cottage living, and life on the water. For others the land is the jewel and love for the land is their life blood. Generations of area families built a life from growing cash crops and raising animals of all shapes and sizes from this bountiful land. Farming is a business but even more so it’s family affair. Young farmers spend time working with parents and grandparents; learning how to drive the tractor, rake the hay and care for the herd. “Retired” farmers still participate by helping out and sharing advice, solicited or unsolicited!
In its simplicity, farming is the smell of freshly mown hay, the sound of the combine harvesting this year’s crop or the sight of a newborn calf taking its first few steps. These are the moments that make a farmer get out of bed every day no matter the weather; to do the chores, care for their herd, and fix the broken equipment.
A seasoned farmer will tell of the days when horses were the power house on the farm and families were large because the work was time consuming and physically demanding. Today’s farmer will tell you that keeping up with technology, marketing, and rising input costs are just some of their challenges. No matter the generation loving the land means surviving the drought, flood, disease and heart break while still having hope for the next year, the next generation and beyond.
As you travel the highways and byways this fall and you happen to get behind a farmer in their tractor slow down, enjoy the crops waiting for harvest, the hay fields, and animals grazing the fence lines. Next time you see a farmer stop and ask them why they love the land.