Wednesday, May 21, 2014

An Ideal Setting?

The fact of progress is written plain and large on the page of history;
but progress is not a law of nature.
The ground gained by one generation may be lost by the next.
                    Herbert Albert Laurens Fisher
          

When I drive by this beautiful place I smile, well at least a half smile, not only because it is somewhat beautiful and looks to be the perfect abandoned cabin on a lake but because I remember what it used to be before progress came knocking at its door.

It certainly does look very different from the productive farm it used to be. It has now been reduced to a couple of rundown sheds. It is now lacking the most beautiful white clapboard house with its big old porch and the old gray weathered wooden barn that disappeared one day; in fact, it was knocked down and gone so quickly I missed it. It is now what I have to refer to as a productive part of our huge appetite for more sustainable energy. That is in my years of observation and humble opinion very similar to most progress, it suddenly appears and you never really knew how it got there or that you needed it.


Look closer; oh yes that is not a lake tucked behind on those acres and acres of farmland it is now acres and acres of solar panels tapped into the electric (Hydro) grid making money for some, and supposedly saving all of us money down the line, if you live in Ontario you will understand my hesitation and that word supposedly, we have very expensive Hydro electric rates, here in this province. It is probably true about the savings to come later on but, it fills my mind with many questions. The rays of the sun and reflections of the blue sky bounce off those panels creating the illusion of a beautiful blue sea.

Don’t get me wrong I have no problem at all with solar energy I actually think that it is the responsible way to go and I am all for using land that is not of any use in farming but I do have a problem with covering acres of something someone has labelled non-producing farmland when there are acres and acres of rocky useless land covering so much of this area. How could this have possibly been non-producing farmland when it had sustained many generations of farmers, their families and the people of the towns and villages down the road?

Does it fall under that “non-productive” label now because it is more difficult to work with the big equipment we use today and more than likely too small of acreage to make those big bucks that our farmers really need now-a-days to survive in this agribusiness world? I have no idea. Did it slip through a looph-hole unnoticed because possibly most of us do not really know what is truly productive or unproductive farmland in this world where we can buy everything we need at a grocery store or big box store without even knowing where or how it was produced.

Oh, I remember this farm from the time I was a kid and sitting in the back seat of an old Buick, my Dad driving hungry children to the nearby town to pick up what we needed. I remember that porch and a man out ploughing those very fields. Driving by this one time thriving for many generations farm, where proud generations of families worked extremely hard from dawn to dusk supplying food and contributing to a society that relied on each other and not on big business…. surviving and self-sustaining.


That being said as I look over to my electric oven with a couple of loaves of bread baking, those tantalizing smells waft through the house while working on my computer and am grateful for the progress of this world, wondering if the electric (hydro) power pulsing through my house is partly coming from that once thriving farm making my life easier and I thank the people who found a better way to produce sustainable energy.

What would those hardworking farmers of long ago think of what we have done?

Progress….. Yes, I guess it is…….. But I still have so many questions.


Later

39 comments:

  1. I have always wanted to have some solar panels, but the cost is exorbitant - even with a government grant to help. Maybe if I win the lottery ;-)

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  2. I'm with you, Buttons. I think BIG business is harming our environment more than most of us are aware of all in the name of PROFIT aka greed. Future generations will pay heavily for what our generation has done.

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  3. Oh Buttons I hear you there . Many of the cranberry farmers here have tossed over there beautiful cranberry bogs filled them in and gone in that solar cover direction around these parts as well ( and it is sad and not at all attractive) . Co ops that are now hard to get into with some of the bigger companies have squeezed out some of the famers so some farmers can get big money for there crop others only pennies.The solar option is luring them in for the money. I dare say a lot the lovely cranberry bog landscapes in this area will be sadly changing .

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  4. It definitely does sound a little odd that they would suddenly be calling it non-productive farmland now Buttons. Sounds as if there might me more to this than meets the eye for sure. I feel bad for modern-day farmers. They likely feel pulled in so many different directions.

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  5. I thought it was a lake or pond behind the sheds. Food for thought here. The small farmer is no more. My father and brother were farmers. My dad also had a full time job in town and my brother a contractor business. They can no longer make enough money to provide for their families. Enjoyed reading your post.

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  6. oh, oh, oh yes! when "the man" tells me, it is progress... when "the man" tells me, i need it... when "the man" tells me, this is best... when "the man" tells me, not to wonder or question, because "he" knows what is best... when "the man" tells me, almost anything, i do not swallow the cool-aide.

    "the man" always has an agenda. and "his" agenda is what's best for "him".

    &*^%$#$^&*((&^%$ to "the man"!!!!

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  7. I have the same questions when I see miles of windmills.

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  8. A very bittersweet use for the land - I agree.

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  9. how very interesting - and yes, progress can sometimes be hard to take.

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  10. Amazing the panel on good ground.
    Here we have them on houses including the farm houses if people wish to. We don't have them here on our roof. Hugs M xx

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  11. It seems that we will one day be forced to come full circle...had a bit of a discussion with my farming neighbor the other day. We cannot continue to go forward the way we are now, the earth will not sustain us.

    I love that quote that says "we are treating the earth like there are more to be had after we ruin this one."

    Makes me think twice.

    Thank you for the thoughts and prayers.

    Jen

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  12. What a lonely looking house. I agree with what you've said, B. And, I have read that the huge solar panels cause such heat that they are killing our Bald Eagles and other birds. So sad...all in the name of progress. I grew up on a farm and it's sad to see how the farming landscape has changed.

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  13. Nothing like the smell of bread baking to lift our spirits eh?

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  14. A great post Buttons! We are getting a lot of the wind farms (as they are called here) in Illinois. I think they are pleasing to look at but not nearly so pleasing to me as a soy bean or corn field! HUGS!!

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  15. A very thoughtful post Buttons, and I can't say I disagree with any of it. Very sad to see a generations-old farm abandoned and unloved, but I suppose farming the sun is still farming of a sort?

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  16. If there is one thing that gets me is seeing this almost every day. I remember the farms and the farm land and the families working on them and now replaced by shopping centers that no one seems to visit.
    As my house is sitting in the middle of the next round of progress, I wonder if my house will be like the clapboard house. Freeways seem to be more important today than people.
    I am glad you are up and about today. I bet it was pretty to see.

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  17. I'm not so sure about all this "progress". What are we going to do when there are no farmers or land left to grow our food? I can see that day coming.

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  18. That's really a beautiful location and such a pity that it is no longer productive as farmland. Many wise and true words in your post. Wish we could get back to locally grown food and the independent store owners.

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  19. It's hard to sometimes agree with what they call progress. We have several of the big windmill areas here in Oklahoma. They are amazing to look at when there are so many of them, but just wonder how many farms it took to get them going? I am your newest follower.

    Judy

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  20. Reminds me of the big solar farm near Peterborough. Such beautiful farmland being used for something other than agriculture. Oh boy, I better not get ranting on THAT topic...

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  21. there are so many pros and cons to this...I would never want to go back to life without conveniences...but why must it be at the expense of the beautiful farmland?!

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  22. I didn't know they had such huge areas of solar panels. There certainly is concern over use of land. Many times the rules around zoning let people do what ever they want.

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  23. That is so sad. That's one thing they can't make more of - LAND!
    Cheri

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  24. They had fields and fields of solar panels in Nevada.. But they are in the ugly desert and nothing would grows there, maybe some cactus. Sad to see them put on farm land...

    Hugs~

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  25. B,

    Oh what a beautiful old place, it's a shame it's now a shed. I would love to scoop up that place and change it back to a place to live.

    I can smell your bread baking down here in Oklahoma :-)

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  26. I do think that solar is a better choice than wind. When I see those massive wind turbines, I shudder. Of course when I think of agribusiness, I shudder too. I have many questions as well, but I don't really know if there are any real honest answers.
    Our family tries hard to support local(organic)farmers by opting into CSA programs, and embracing the 100-mile diet. Unfortunately, the majority of people find it more convenient to just go to the local huge SUPERmarket and get what they want, without contemplating the consequences.

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  27. I thought it was a view of a lake too !
    Great to know you're baking... yummy freshly made bread, nothing like it :D)

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  28. This post certainly brings up mixed emotions. If that building were around here, it would be torn down immediately and planted to corn>ethanol. Most of our dairy farms have disappeared. I think that farmers of long ago would look at what we've done and not be so sure that it was progress.

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  29. I know what you're saying B. There is a need for it,now. But it seems that once the acceptable was done so that the world could communicate with a single touch of a key, someone, somewhere decided, well let's go all the way, so much destroyed, you know as well as I know that what is mistreated will eventually rebel. That is the law of nature. Soon nature will respond to all this destruction, to those who are greedy, greed is one of the worst sins, we will all pay the price...I don't know what will happen, but i know something will and I'm willing to die for what we've done. Even If I cry when I see a hundreds of year old tree in perfect health caught down so someone can have more sun...that is unbearable..I know how you're feeling there is a need ...need fulfilled they, the greedy should have left well enough alone, but hey if they see an empty space well they see dollar signs, and it breaks my heart. That abandoned farm can I move in with my three cats?

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  30. I didn't realize they put up acres of solar panels like that!!! What a terrible thing to do to the view!

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  31. Simpler times...I find myself longing for them more and more. Sweet, nostalgic piece, my friend~

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  32. It's interesting that something so manufactured can give the illusion of something so natural. I also wonder why the question is always "how to make more power", rather than "how to USE less power". I would rather have that conversation.

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  33. i have a love/hate relationship with progress...i feel oh so conflicted!!

    there are times when i would give anything to live in the woods but i love my life too much to give up the things that have made it better. we either have to accept all of it or none of it......once again, i am conflicted!!

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  34. I'm all for more sustainable energy and mess reliance on the Middle East - but I'm not sure how sites such as these are chosen. This looks like such a beautiful setting for a farm. I agree - so many questions.

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  35. Buttons, you'll never go far with that kind of common sense attitude! LOL; what ever happened to common sense? Politicians seem to not have any kind of sense, and in complete abundance, and make all sorts of stupid rules and laws.
    krazy!

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  36. I'm all for solar energy, too, but I've never seen them laid out on land like that. That does seem like a poor choice of location when the land probably is still productive. Sad to see changes when we don't know the effects down the road.

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  37. The place looks calm and pleasant. People who like to live without disturbance of anyone can live a wonderful life!

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  38. I needed to come back and tell you of all the things I have seen in my work and travel, one thing I know is that nature is resilient and no man can conquer her...even with chemicals and stout structures, she finds a way...


    xoxo

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The mind grows by what it feeds on. J.G. Holland

Thank you so much for your comments, they mean more to me then I could ever express. Hug B

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