Aug 6, 2013

What have you done to the Old Home Place?

'The Old Home Place' - Southern Ontario farmland gobbled up for gravel

When I look at this photo, a tear comes to my eye.

I grew up near this farm in Southern Ontario. It wasn't the best farmland in the area but people did make a living on that land for over 100 years. Now, it seems, the gravel is worth more than the farmland. The hills have become a gravel pit, a hole in the ground.

This farm is not alone. The growth of the GTA (Greater Toronto Area) has destroyed 1000s of farms for subdivisions, malls, industrial areas and roads. And many more farms have been gobbled up for gravel. Gravel has to come from somewhere. Concrete requires gravel. Development requires concrete.

To most people this is just another old farm. For me, it's personal. I knew that farm. I knew the people who lived there. The demise of this farm disturbs me. It feels like there's no meaning attached to heritage, to history. And I wonder … if we destroy all the farmland … where will we grow our food?

I am reminded of a bluegrass song, The Old Home Place, written by Mitch Jayne and The Dillards.

What have you done to the old home place?
Why did they tear it down?
And why did I leave, the plow in the field
And look for a job in the town?

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