Sunday, June 21, 2009

Labor of Love

As children, we don't always appreciate what our parents have sacrificed for us.

All the years I was growing up in Mobridge. South Dakota we had big garden to help nurture our large family.

Only now do I realize what a labor of love this garden and it's fruition really was. My parents labored long hours there, Dad in the vegetable section and Mother in the flower gardens, and as a result, we eight children dined on wonderful summer produce, and experienced the beauty and fragrance of old fashioned flower gardens.

Dad was an avid hunter and fisherman, and we often had pheasant and grouse dinners, not to mention many varieties of fish caught in the river and local lakes.

At the time, Carol and I were totally unappreciative of all of this bounty, preferring instead to head down the street to Krause's Drive Inn for a malt and burger. Our younger brothers, and baby sisters probably were more enthusiastic about the full meat and potato dinners and fresh produce, but we were totally oblivious to these blessings. We were thin then, very thin, and maybe that was why.

All of these years later, Dad has passed on, and Mother is no longer able to work in the garden. We are no longer "whisps of girls", but I, for one, appreciate all that they did, and suffered for us, especially now that natural, uncontaminated food is no longer readily available in many grocery stores. How could we have known when we were young, that the day would come when
the food on the store shelves would be largely unlabeled genetically modified versions of produce, and that the meat would come from Confined Animal Feeding Facilities.

Now more than ever, we need to work to plant heirloom seeds and reap the bounty of pure and natural foods for our families, and somehow, instill these homespun values in future generations. They, like we were, are preoccupied with frivolities and their peer group, but they need to be involved in grass roots efforts to preserve our natural food supply, GMO free, even if it takes hard work and dedication to the cause.

It has only been a few generations back that all food was local or home-made. In a future blog, I will detail my Grandmother, Erma Juelfs hard work in getting food on the table, (from scratch) during the Great Depression in South Dakota. Despite the incredibly labor intensive
food preparation processes, people knew the source of their food and clothing in the past, because they raised it, grew it, collected it or made it with their own hands.

We need to return to Local Foods.

Thank you Mother, Dad, Grandma Erma, and all of your predecessors for your hard work and devotion, and thank you for helping us form home grown values.

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