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Fodder and Zeal...The Gastronome of The Fields

 "Don't judge each day by the harvest you reap but the seeds you plant."

President Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826), one of Virginia's largest planters, considered agriculture to be "a science of the very first order," and he studied it with great zeal and commitment. Jefferson introduced numerous plants to the United States, and he frequently exchanged farming advice and seeds with like-minded correspondents

The question of whether the tomato is a fruit or a vegetable found its way into the United States Supreme Court in 1893. The court ruled unanimously in Nix v. Hedden that a tomato is correctly identified as, and thus taxed as, a vegetable, for the purposes of the Tariff of 1883 on imported produce. The court did acknowledge, however, that, botanically speaking, a tomato is a fruit.

Acte 12  The House of Commons passed the 12th Acte in 1619, requiring each male colonist to plant grape vines.  "Moreover...every householder doe yearly plante and maintaine ten vines, until they have attained to the arte and experience of dressing a Vineyard, either by their owne industry, or by the Instruction of some Vigneron.  And that upon what penalty soever the Governour and Counsell of Estate shall thinke fitt to impose upone the neglecters of this acte." 
We hear of the conversion of water into wine at the marriage in Cana as of a miracle.  But this conversion is, through the goodness of God, made every day before our eyes.  Behold the rain which descends from heaven upon our vineyards, and which incorporates itself with the grapes, to be changed into wine;  a constant proof that God loves us, and loves to see us happy.  ~ Benjamin Franklin



c. 1781. (Notes on the State of Virginia) "Those who labour in the earth are the chosen people of God, if ever he had a chosen people, whose breasts he has made his peculiar deposit for substantial and genuine virtue. It is the focus in which he keeps alive that sacred fire, which otherwise might escape from the face of the earth."

c. 1781.(Notes on the State of Virginia) "Cultivators of the earth are the most virtuous and independent citizens."

1785 Aug. 23. (to John Jay) "Cultivators of the earth are the most valuable citizens. They are the most vigorous, the most independant, the most virtuous, and they are tied to their country and wedded to it's liberty and interests by the most lasting bands."

1785 Oct. 28. (to James Madison) "It is not too soon to provide by every possible means that as few as possible shall be without a little portion of land. The small landholders are the most precious part of a state."

1787 Dec. 20. (to James Madison) "I think our governments will remain virtuous for many centuries; as long as they are chiefly agricultural."

1795 Apr. 29. (to J. N. Démeunier) "It [agriculture] is at the same time the most tranquil, healthy, and independent [occupation]."

1795 Sept. 8. (to Madame de Tessé) "I am become the most industrious and ardent farmer of the canton..."

1803 Nov. 14. (to David Williams) "The class principally defective is that of agriculture. It is the first in utility, and ought to be the first in respect. The same artificial means which have been used to produce a competition in learning, may be equally successful in restoring agriculture to its primary dignity in the eyes of men. It is a science of the very first order. It counts among it handmaids of the most respectable sciences, such as Chemistry, Natural Philosophy, Mechanics, Mathematics generally, Natural History, Botany. In every College and University, a professorship of agriculture, and the class of its students, might be honored as the first. Young men closing their academical education with this, as the crown of all other sciences, fascinated with its solid charms, and at a time when they are to choose an occupation, instead of crowding the other classes, would return to the farms of their fathers, their own, or those of others, and replenish and invigorate a calling, now languishing under contempt and oppression. The charitable schools, instead of storing their pupils with a lore which the present state of society does not call for, converted into schools of agriculture, might restore them to that branch qualified to enrich and honor themselves, and to increase the productions of the nation instead of consuming them."

1810 June 27. (to Joseph Dougherty) "I think it the duty of farmers who are wealthier than others to give those less so the benefit of any improvements they can introduce, gratis."

1817 May 10. (to William Johnson) "The pamphlet you were so kind as to send me manifests a zeal, which cannot be too much praised, for the interests of agriculture, the employment of our first parents in Eden, the happiest we can follow, and the most important to our country."



Good Karma.  Pass it On.