I grew up in the city, not exactly the place to acquire farming skills. But I had roots in the country and I knew it. The Shelby County, Illinois census declared that my great-great grandfather, Rezin Whitlatch “went to farming on land he purchased in 1865.” I discovered pictures of my two grandfathers, one plowing behind two mules and the other casting seeds on the land where my mother grew up. But when she married and moved to the city, she wanted her four daughters to be cultured which meant piano lessons, ruffled dresses, and classical music. However, there was a bit of a problem with that. I liked to climb trees, collect bugs and salamanders, and I enjoyed pet mice and catching crawdads in the creek…and I hated piano lessons. While my mother was busy making us into ladies we still took trips back to my grandparents’ farm. I have memories of aunts gathered in the kitchen to put up freshly picked produce, the clucking of chickens, climbing trees in the apple orchard, and the outhouse down the hill close to the trash pile. I ate homemade biscuits, strawberry preserves, smoked ham and bacon, and drank from tin cups. Yet it bothered me to know that mine was the first generation in our family not to grow up on a farm.