Friday, August 12, 2011

sweet corn cart

Meet Frank Thomas and his gelding, Bill — a pair of business partners here in Washington County. I met them at the Agway when I stopped for grain after having lunch with a friend at the Burger Den. Frank's a retired dairy farmer who still raises sweet corn for income. He used to drive it around in his truck, but decided he was done wasting money on gas. "Too much," he said, shaking his head and explaining the logical reasons for his new vehicle. The horse was not a statement, but a practical way to get to town. He drives Bill the 4 miles into Salem three days a week and sells his corn the old fashioned way, pressing the flesh, parking the draft horse in the shade, and enjoying the people and conversation. "People come to see the rig and Bill, and then they buy the corn," he said to me, beaming. This man had his market figured out. I sure bought some ($4 a baker's dozen, picked this morning), and we had a good talk about our horses. I told him about Jasper and he seemed to light up at the fact he wasn't alone working a cart horse (I felt the same way!) I asked if I could come see his farm sometime, meet his horses, maybe watch him harness and such? He said sure. We parted ways with a hug, and I left grinning. If there is any question the world is changing, there's proof in the streets here.

26 Comments:

Blogger bookkm said...

If you have a work horse, why drive a truck? You're feeding the horse, anyway. Smart man.

August 12, 2011 at 3:22 PM  
Blogger Elizabeth said...

And a new friend at your doorstep.

August 12, 2011 at 3:28 PM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

Great price for corn! We are up to $6 a dozen (just a dozen) here now. The Amish will sell for about 3 but the gas to drive out to the farm makes it about 6 by the time you are done! Have you read the book "Why you world is about to get a whole lot smaller?" by Jeff Rubins? If more people read that book there would be more horses on the road for sure!

August 12, 2011 at 3:33 PM  
Blogger Norma from Misty Haven Alpacas said...

Yes...people are getting smarter as the price of gas goes up. What a heartening story.

August 12, 2011 at 3:41 PM  
Blogger Whosyergurl said...

How refreshing! Enjoy that corn!
xo, Cheryl

August 12, 2011 at 3:45 PM  
Blogger Janet said...

More power to you horse and pony users. A lifetime ago, growing up in a small wartime Canadian city, milk and bread was still delivered by horse and wagon and farmers and market gardeners came into town driving horses. In my late teens and early twenties I had a horse and used horsepower for errands and visits which would be done by car today. As the end of carbon fuels nears, those who have and can handle horses will be at an advantage.

August 12, 2011 at 3:46 PM  
Blogger karental said...

I agree! That is one sweet corn cart. And a sweet man and a sweet workhorse. I'd love to see another picture 'round about October 20th with that cart piled high with beautiful orange pumpkins.

August 12, 2011 at 3:53 PM  
Blogger Kimberlie Ott said...

So much wealth and knowledge in making new friends. Especially a wisened man like him. Love the cart!

August 12, 2011 at 3:56 PM  
Blogger Karen said...

We've loved Frank for a long time - as a person, as a customer and now as a sweet-corn-seller-that-we-can-walk-to! He's a fantastic guy!

August 12, 2011 at 4:29 PM  
Blogger Kat said...

Neat! I bet it makes the corn taste just that much better :)

August 12, 2011 at 4:41 PM  
Blogger damnyankee said...

After paying $165.25 to fill up a one ton diesel farm truck with fuel a horse and buggy sound fan-tas-tic....

August 12, 2011 at 4:42 PM  
Blogger NorthcountrygrlNY said...

Very cool, and I bet the corn will be AWESOME!

August 12, 2011 at 5:07 PM  
OpenID JustAnotherGraphicsGirl said...

Now that IS living!!!!

August 12, 2011 at 7:04 PM  
Blogger Tara said...

I'm fascinated that he's concerned about the cost of fuel to go 4 miles. NOT, by any means knocking the guy - I agree! Just fascinated, since where I live everything is so spread out, there are very few places anyone would go within 4 miles. The farmers market I sell at is 30 miles away, and this doesn't faze us at all, since trips of that length are pretty routine. And not just for rural folks like us - city people do almost as much driving. One of the things I love about reading your blog is seeing how differently things work in other parts of the country. Shoot, I'm envious of your corn prices too - we're paying a dollar an ear this year.

August 12, 2011 at 7:09 PM  
Blogger Jamie said...

This story put the biggest smile on my face. Thank you!

p.s. Jennifer--I looked up the book by Jeff Rubins you suggested and it looks great. Putting it on my reading list as we speak :)

August 12, 2011 at 7:33 PM  
Blogger Drummond Farms Alpacas and Woolens said...

What a great day for you. How lucky, for both of you, that you had so much in common. Cheers to you on the great price for corn.

August 12, 2011 at 10:02 PM  
Blogger redbird said...

Heartening, this Frank and Bill and the whole idea of it.

August 13, 2011 at 1:05 AM  
Blogger Karen said...

I love Paint horses! What a find, getting to meet Frank and make a new friend who is on the same wavelength concerning cart horses! May the friendship blossom.

August 13, 2011 at 2:50 AM  
Blogger sheila said...

and the horse provides the fertilizer to grow the corn

August 13, 2011 at 6:13 AM  
Blogger mmgreenough said...

"If there is any question the world is changing, there's proof in the streets here."

Oh how I hope you are right about that, Jenna! This world needs some positive changes.

August 13, 2011 at 6:34 AM  
Blogger mmgreenough said...

Also, $1 an ear for sweet corn.... that's INSANE! If that doesn't motivate people to start growing their own food, what will?

August 13, 2011 at 6:35 AM  
Blogger Amish Stories said...

Greetings from the Amish community of Lebanon county. Have a great weekend folks. Richard from Amish Stories.

August 13, 2011 at 8:32 AM  
Blogger Patsy said...

Gosh, wouldn't that be a wonderul way to get some extra cash. Love the pic.

August 13, 2011 at 9:04 AM  
Blogger cloudberryjam said...

awesome! I dream of traveling this way.

August 13, 2011 at 3:04 PM  
Blogger Monster Librarian said...

So cool! I would def. buy the corn too!

August 13, 2011 at 4:28 PM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

@Jamie - let me know what you think of the book. It totally changed the way I think about the future - not in a end of time type way, but an optimistic, there is an alternative way and hey, I can be among the first to make the necessary changes. I told my hubby last night that some day he will thank me for planting all edible things around our house instead of flowers!

August 13, 2011 at 6:36 PM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home