"family" can mean many things. Knox County farmers have referred to their immediate family, their farm, their animals, the community and the church when thinking about what "family" means to them.
Voices from Knox County:
"We do things all together as a team, as a family."
"If somebody is sick around the community, usually they just get together and go do their crops for them or whatever, and that still happens here even though we are maybe not full-time farmers we still help each other . . .That's one of the things that we kind of stress around here. The rules are not written when you come into the township---but it's there."
"The animals are part of our family, too. They get fed before we do."
"I feel like the farm is almost a person. . . When I would come home on college breaks or I would bring the children home to visit their grandparents, when I drove onto the property it felt like we were exchanging hugs---like we were embracing the farm. People have told me that that's not weird, although it feels a little weird. I don't know where that comes from, but I would be really interested to find out."
"I learned this lesson a long time ago: This neighbor I had. . .he was put there like an angel, in a way, watchin' over you. If you needed help, why, he would help you. I always said, 'By gosh, you're gettin' old how would you ever expect me to pay you back?' He looks at me real honestly and says, 'Why I never expected you to pay me back!' He said, 'Just pass it along to somebody else'. . .I thought about that for a long time."
photo credit: Mitra Fabian