Tuesday, May 12, 2009
Thoreau Buys a Farm
When I wrote of farmers unwitting destruction of the Redheaded Woodpeckers habitat, it brought to mind Thoreau and the Hollowell Place. It was a rundown, overgrown farm and ol' Hank was moved to buy it before anybody had a chance to "improve" it. That was probably 150 years ago, so I guess this grubbing out and cutting down has been going on for a while now. He seemed to be describing my Mother's parents farm. The house was uninsulated, without indoor plumbing or central heat,...and Mart Cassel was in no hurry to fix it up. To improve it. He lived and farmed at his own pace, with a pretty team of Belgians to pull his old machinery. Grandpa was a terrible farmer, but the result of his sloth was a wonderful place for us kids to play. He hung in there, scratching away a meager living from a poor farm, until arthritis took the reins from his hands. If Thoreau had seen the Cassel place he would of bought it in a heartbeat.