[Red, White & Blueberry] Personal Freedom, Local Loyalties.

In 1775, the first Marines enlisted in the city of Philadelphia, carried drums painted yellow, depicting a coiled rattlesnake with thirteen rattles, and the motto “Don’t Tread on Me.”

Cherries, Blueberries & Ice Cream!

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July 4th, 2017:“Personal Freedom, Local Loyalties.”

I’ve been reading “Born Fighting” by James Webb, a look back at the history of Scots-Irish migration to, and contributions to America. As “Hugh McPherson”, you can’t get much more Scots-Irish that that, I was intrigued to learn more about my family’s heritage.

On this July 4th, I’ll share just 3 key ideas from the book that I believe apply to all of us, not only the Scots-Irish McPhersons, living in the greatest nation, not only in the world, but in history. These are the tent-poles of America’s success:

  1. Religious freedom. My ancestors were Scottish Presbyterians. Today, no one thinks of Presbyterians as a anything special or weird, but to the Catholic church and later the Anglican church, they were heretics to be persecuted. America is built upon, and today we must not lose sight of, the value of freedom of religion. Intolerance spawned battle upon battle in Scotland, Ireland and Great Britain splitting the [then] greatest country in the world. Let us not do it again, today.
  2. Personal freedom and a healthy distrust of government. The Scots were embroiled in an endless series of battles and wars. Emperor & King worked to subjugate Scotland all the way back to the time of the Romans. As a result, clan and family loyalties ran true and deep. No Scotsman trusted any government because every government had tried to enslave the Scots. We, too, need to have a strong, free press, a healthy distrust for government and resist the government’s control in our personal lives and choices today.
  3. Local loyalty. As the hard-bitten Scots-Irish, and many other immigrants, pushed ever-forward into the frontier lands, there were no services, often no towns and few roads. Families and neighbors had to stick together, work together and defend one another to survive in the harsh, untamed wilderness that was slowly becoming America. A decree from a far-off county seat was meaningless if you didn’t have enough food to make it through winter. Local loyalty, community, agriculture and a whole lot of faith built this country, one perilous inch at a time.

On this momentous celebration of our official Declaration of Independence, I hope you look both forward to the bright future that is surely possible, and back to the past events that have shaped this nation.

America has most certainly not gotten it right every time, but only America offers unparalleled opportunity to try, to fail, to succeed, to learn and to grow.

So, practice your religion freely, and let others do so as well.

Exercise the personal freedom to build your life in such a way as to shine light into the lives of others.

Maintain a healthy distrust of government and resist efforts to be controlled by central authority.

Work in your local community, buy from local farmers, run for local office and actively participate in America; this grandest of experiments, a beacon on a hill, whose wick was lit 240 years ago by the fire in those patriots yearning to be free.

Live freely, and God Bless America!

Farmer Hugh



Maple Lawn Farms: “Freedom Farmers”

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It’s time to share your best Red, White and Blueberry Dessert!
Blueberries! | Freedom Farmers | Zig Z | Arnold Schwarzenegger
3 Things to Know this Week:
  1. Blueberries are PRIME! [CLICK for more]
  2. Fruit picking everyday Mon-Sat 8AM-6PM, Sun 1PM-5PM – Last Orchard entry hour before closing – July 4th – 6PM
  3. We’re social: Connect for updates on Facebook [CLICK HERE]
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Life on the Farm – “Freedom Farmers.”

This July 4th, I’m reminded that my kids are totally tired of daddy’s “America Speeches”. I’m reminded that they need to hear them now more then ever. If I need to be a broken record, well fine. I don’t get tired of reminding myself that most everything we have is based in the uniquely American way of thinking.
It is more crucial than ever to make sure that we don’t forget what brought us this far and can can carry us into a bright future. It can also turn inward and self-destruct because we operate under a freedom principle so powerful, so free that we can use that principle of freedom to restrict ourselves; to limit our future.
I’ll share 3 ideas about freedom, and I suggest that just for a few minutes, you simple read and digest. Before you become overwhelmed with your natural internal reactions, just allow the ideas to sit and percolate a few minutes.
Farmers have had the right idea since the beginning of time. So, I propose on this Independence weekend, we all become Freedom Farmers.
Freedom Principle #1:
We, as free people, can think whatever we want to think.
How it works correctly:
Freedom of thought and being open to new ideas, the spread of ideas, the dissemination of information, rigorous debate and disagreement is central to our society.
Ever have a teacher who wouldn’t allow debate on a topic? If was his way or an “F-grade”. Debate, having-out ideas, working through the points and counterpoints of topics, criticizing the government, business, without fear of retribution is a sacred freedom we often overlook because it is embedded in the fabric of our society.
How it can go wrong:
Unfortunately, with all the positive attributes of this freedom of thought, you get some hate mongers and discriminators; some bad apples. It’s key for us, in an effort to eliminate bad apples, we don’t restrict our own positive ability to speak. In an effort to “muzzle” those negative voices, we set the stage for “someone” “somewhere” muzzling ANY voice.
How to live it:
It’s better to ignore a few hate-mongering losers then restrict everyone’s ability to speak. The power to ignore is often overlooked.
Freedom Principle #2:
Win or lose, we have the right to try.
How it works correctly:
I love the freedom to try. If I want to start a business, grow peach trees, launch an online seminar, sell produce in our CSA, help other farmers make mazes – anything! – I have the right to try. I also have the right to the profits and the right to own the failures. Fly or flop, it’s mine; it’s yours to try.
How it can go wrong:
Failure sucks. Believe me, as a farmer and a business man, I have failed countless times. The principle goes wrong if we look at the trauma of failure and feel that we have to act at all costs to prevent that failure.
Many government programs that were only meant to be a temporary stop over on the road of life through good times and bad have expanded to try to prevent any and all failures. Too much failure prevention, makes our great country soft. If you want a chance to own the profits of your labor, your ideas, your business plan, you have to be ready to own the potential failures.
How to live it:
If it was easy, everybody would do it. Arnold Schwarzenegger said, “If it’s hard I want to do it more because that means I might be the first to do it.” He also said, “Your dreams only work if you do.” Take bold risks. Live out your dreams and work your butt off. We are in a time of unprecedented opportunity.
Freedom Principle #3:
Freedom is better together.
How it works correctly:
We Americans are fiercely independent. The stereotype is of a lone man or lone woman bootstrapping his/her way to the top of success, but that’s not what I’ve found to be the case. Zig Ziglar said, “You can have everything you want if you just help enough other people get what they want.”
How it can go wrong:
Being free is not everything and everyone at all times being equally rewarded. I detest the “Everybody should get a trophy.” mentality. No. Hard workers should get trophies because they earned them.
How to live it:
Freedom loves company. On your personal quest, who is with you? Take your family on the journey, instead of ignoring them to work more. Take your employees on the journey and help them improve themselves along the way.
Freedom Farmers. Farmers live these principles and have for thousands of years.
#1 Farmers have to be free thinkers because they have problems to solve with crops and livestock everyday. Farmers also have one of the only industry wide networks to share growing information through the extension education system. They share ideas willingly knowing that all farmers benefit from a wealth of information.
#2 Farmers are often alone out there working hard, taking risks, growing food for themselves and to sell to the community to enhance their families’ way of life. There isn’t a riskier business then one in which you could lose your entire peach crop you’ve tended for 6 months in a single hailstorm the day before harvest. Or, your entire cattle herd could be swept away in a flood over which you have no control. Farmers complain a lot about the weather, but not about farming.
#3 Farmers work together. Farmer share information. Farmers include kids in chores. Farmers swap equipment, help each other put up hay, and hire neighbors to drive truck and bring in the harvest.
In 1960, the average American Farmer grow products to feed 25.8 other people. Today, the American Farmer feeds 155 people on average. We are growing to meet America’s needs and the world’s growing population.
In addition to all the food we get to enjoy, thank your local farmer for farming with freedom and integrity.
This beautiful nation needs more free thinkers.
We need more risk takers not afraid to try and willing to live with the results of their labor, win or lose.
We need more freedom makers; more people willing to lift others up and bring them along to the bright future we so deeply desire for this great land.
Have a great Independence Day,
Farmer Hugh