The Crop of His Dreams
Lenfald Local Challenge XXV - Feeding a Nation
As the third son of a middle class merchant, Kenneth never expected to inherit more then a position working for his older brothers. Then King Chartes imposed tariffs on all goods entering or leaving Lenfald and everyone he knew suddenly had a common enemy who could be blamed for everything from the the milk going sour to the neighbor's daughter running away with that no-account tinker. It was wonderful to be surrounded by people united in their opposition to one man and all his minions. Everyone was affected, even his eight year old daughter, Lila.
One day she came home from playing with her friends and asked him, “Dadda, why don't you do something to help fight that silly man in a crown? Jerome's pa joined the army and Sally's started growing butternut squash. Could you do something like that?”
That got him thinking. What could he do? He could join the army, but there were lots of men and even women taking up arms to defend Lenfald. He wanted to do something more practical for the long run. So he decided on farming. He had some friends whom he could ask for help, and if he could get a loan from his father to buy some land. . .
Several months later.
Kenneth was out in his pea field attacking weeds with a gusto that had initially surprised him. Who would have guessed that a merchant's son would actually like farming. His whole family had taken to farming as if they were born to it. His wife Melina had a beautiful kitchen garden and spent half her day helping him tend the fields. Lila helped her mother with the kitchen garden and tended the breading hogs he had purchased on the advice of a friend. That was Lila's favorite part. Her dadda had hogs and she got to spend half of the day in the woods watching them. She could read or climb trees or build forts and her friends could join her when they got the chance. It made him smile every time he heard her laugh in joy or scold one of the hogs for getting into something it wasn't supposed to.
Kenneth looked up and spotted Melina coming down the lane by the field stone wall. She held a jug of cool water and a basket of food. He smiled. It was time for another of their family picnics. He had never known who much fun picnics were when they lived in town. Now they had them whenever the weather cooperated. I just might have to thank that pesky King Chartes, he thought, I would never have tried farming if he hadn't imposed that tariff.
(The unidentified crop on the left is beets, or it could be carrots, but I was going for beets. :)