Reproclaiming the Everlasting Gospel
I was contemplating how to introduce myself to Friends here and I found one of my old writings which although not spiritual or remotely religious in content, it seems to sum me up. I come from along line of Quakers on my mothers side, our ancestors can be traced back to the 1680s in Herefordshire England. My fathers side are all Catholic, some from England and some from the North of Ireland so its a bit of a mix. I started to be involved with Friends in Winnipeg Canada in 1990 and presently attend (when my vocation of ranching/farming permits) Vernon Monthly Meeting. I am what is known in Canada as an Isolated Friend, and as I am a Conservative type who sticks to the good old King James Bible most are probably glad I am Isolated!!
A Tale of two Hats.
I often wear hats, either to keep me warm or protect my thinly haired scalp from the sun. I have a particular aversion for wearing a cap that advertises something I don’t support or believe in. With sixteen years of prairie ranching I have a fair collection of “free” baseball caps, “free” meaning it came with the $60,000 tractor you just purchased, or a $5,000 bull to keep your girls happy. Most of them are still unused in the draw, the miserable curmudgeon I am ensures they never see the light of day as I do not wish to give the companies free advertising on my head.
I have two favourites though, one I wear around the farm as it’s too old and ugly to go beyond the farm gate. It came from a neighbouring rancher who supplied me with many quality black baldy cows over the years. If has his ranch brand -0 which was “bar none” an apt though cocky name as he had the best working cows around. I wear it with fond memories even though the brand has long gone on its many trips through the washing machine.
The other is a some what strange cap with just two words on it, Farmer Pirate. It is sold by The Small Farmers Journal a quarterly magazine from the States concerned with heavy horses and old sustainable farming techniques. The magazine is strong on community, self sufficiency, and traditional methods, not things that are part of modern mainstream agriculture. Those that read it are not back to the land dreamers, but practical farmers who have found the old ways suit them their land and their lifestyles better than modern agribusiness. They also realise that all the food we need could be produced this way, thus providing healthier, tastier food and more sustainable rural communities which people would be happy to stay in instead of rushing head long to the city. I am proud to wear this hat as I am some what of a Rebel farmer, saving my own seed to “beat the man” and raising pasture meats with out genetically modified grains, hormones or antibiotics which seem to be the main ingredients in our modern livestock.
I realize there are few Conservative Friends and even less that are Farmers or Ranchers but if there are I would love to hear from you.
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