One of the joys of spending time at the Plymouth Historical Society is the city’s rich farming history. There are many artifacts and documents that help us peer into the past life of Plymouth. Not that long ago, Plymouth was a community that required family farms to survive. Now, Plymouth is a bustling suburb of the culturally rich city of Minneapolis. Those fields are replaced by a much more urban setting with shopping centers, business districts, and a scattering of beautiful city parks and recreational centers.
Farming as Plymouth used to know it is essentially dead. At one time, one of the most common occupations in Plymouth was farmer. Many people grew up on a farm even if they took a different career path as an adult. As the average age of farmers continues to rise (from 50 to 58 during the past 30 years, according to the U.S. Labor Department), the next generation is not going to be exposed to life on the farm. With the endless childhood nostalgia that I have growing up on a farm in the 1990s and early 2000s, I cannot help but feel others missed out on something special.
Besides the hard, manual labor and long hours, farming gave me a connection to animals and the land that can barely be described in words. Unfortunately, this connection to where our food comes from will likely continue to become more and more distant. In this, there is certainly a loss. The pride of milking a cow by hand to put milk on the dinner table is so much different than buying a gallon at a local grocery store.
With the world changing so rapidly, it is easy to forget about the past and where Plymouth’s history started. The Plymouth Historical Society gives us a small glimpse into that past with many artifacts from those farming days. Come check out our many farming artifacts at our next open house or contact us to set up an appointment.