farms - quotes and descriptions to inspire creative writing
The farms of that region were built of the same stone that lay beneath the grass, every building with mottled grey walls and a slate roof. Only the newer buildings, the ones made to accommodate the modern factory methods, were built of steel and corrugated iron. For the most part the sparse buildings looked as natural as the sheep and cattle in the pastures. The lanes leading to them were one tractor width wide with more blind corners than a labyrinth from antiquity.
They were farms but not the ones conjured in slick advertising. Each building was a steel and iron behemoth, none of them with windows, only adequate ventilation and strip lighting when necessary - the animals grew faster in the dark. The livestock were units for sale, each one carefully managed for cost control. An open door once a year counted as access to pasture and for the most part their backs were never kissed by the sun. Every eye was sallow and slow to move, every head hung low to the detritus on the ground. An inability to move combined with rapid weight gain gave them pressure sores and deformities, yet their feed was organic and so their meat was sold at a premium. Should the farmers not agree to house their animals in this way, they were of course free to become bankrupt. Freedom for stock meant inefficient conversion of grain to muscle mass and loss of animals from both sickness and predation...
The farms dotted the hills, from the distance no more than little grey boxes amongst the green. Up close each was a farmhouse, two storeys with a large kitchen diner right after the front mud-room. Across a yard were the barns for animals, feed and machinery. One farm in then still used a horse to plough but by and large they had converted to the allure of John Deere.
With a proud eyes I surveyed the farm before me. Vines clambered up wooden poles, carrots pushed their way out of the earth and fat pumpkins sunk into the ground. Leaning my hoe over my shoulder, I tipped my hat back and squinted at the sun. I still had another half an hour of work before it became unbearably hot.
I had always loved going to my uncles farm. I was allowed to help take care of the animals. Cows mooed quietly in one corner and in the other corner came the squeals and snorts of fat pigs. Ducks sat amongst the water's surface and sheep grazed eagerly in the meadows. My favorite was the horse pen. Uncle's farm was massive spreading across a good four acres and despite the countless times Mum and Dad have tried to persuade him to sell the farm and settle into a retirement home, he refuses and continues to work in the farm everyday come sun or rain, or even snow.
With each new hill peak came a new farm, so small were their endowments. They could keep enough animals for their own consumption, any excess bartered with neighbours for whatever they could not grow themselves.
The corporations pushed the farms into ever decreasing profit margins until they sold or became victims of their own shotguns. Then they bought them up for pennies, "modernizing" and making everything "efficient." Nothing changed for the far away consumers, but for the animals and the land there was no room for sentimentality. The notion of kindness came with no identifiable increase in profit and so it was cast aside. The CEO's demanded maximum profit just the same way they did when making widgets in a factory.
The farms of that dale were tied together by the choice of stone for their walls, but the similarities stopped there. Every one had been built by a farmer to his own tastes and then extended by subsequent generations. Often the original house had been converted into a stable and a more grand farmhouse was build close by, two storeys or more with a fine slate roof.