Dziennik Związkowy -- April 19, 1909To Farms
Just recently the Daily Alliance suggested the colonization of our people upon the vast acreage that is lying idle, and is begging for the mighty arm of the farmer to take out from it, the treasures of the mother-earth, for she is the only nourisher of the millions of people inhabiting this planet. A few weeks ago this paper had several special features and articles pertaining to this, and, today it not only points this out again, but emphasizes it to be of vital importance.
History teaches us, that Poland was once the important grain center of all Europe; the products obtained by the work of her own farmers, fed practically half the world. Agricultural conditions in Poland in the sixteenth, seventeenth and eighteenth centuries were primitive, yet she was able to dominate the farming industry.
The word Poland, when translated from the Polish, virtually means field-land, 2pointing out that farming was the first important industry, to which perhaps only the Hollanders could approach.
Under the stone-ax fell the virgin forests, woods were removed, arid land was made fertile; the plough-share and hook-plough was used to till the soil; and into it was sown the seed for the crops. The crop was always abundant. After satisfying her wants, millions of bushels of wheat and other grains were shipped to Danzig, and from there all over the world. In return there was gold, of which Poland was not lacking. The great industries of today were not known; mining was undeveloped, commercial trading was unknown and thousands of workers were not lost in the steel or rail mills, or in the dark dungeons of the coal and mineral mines. Speculation in stocks or banking was yet to come. Despite all this Poland was rich in the exchange of exported grain for gold. Poland garbed herself in silks, diamonds, gold and silver.3
She also had copper and zinc kitchenware and other utensils that could be found in the poorest peasant home. It became a byword that Paris styles, goods of Holland, Hungarian wine, and Polish wheat were the most important commodities on this globe. Poland did not boast of horses as did England or Arabia; she did not have the dairy cows of Switzerland or Holland, or the poultry of Persia and Spain, but she had a good breed of hogs, and cattle. Every Polish nobleman, whenever he went to some affair or on a journey, took with him several pack-horses. He never lacked in any smoked or dried meats.
Polish farmers did not know poverty as do people of industrial countries today. Poland did not export machinery, silks or other products, but created her wealth from wheat, oats, and rye; on large pastures fed various breeds of cattle, horses, and hogs; trees were over abundant with fruits and beehives overflowed with honey from which well known liqueurs were made. Various beers and whiskeys were brewed and distilled.4
Malt and barley were plentiful. Foodstuffs were not adulterated with preservatives. All its meats, wild or domestic, were tasty, due to its abundance of good food for the animals.
Poland was a great agricultural country, overflowing with its fruits. Every peasant, even of the poorest class, did not know hunger. His silo was always filled, his cellars stocked with prepared foodstuffs and in the stys, barns, and coops there were plenty of hogs, cattle, and poultry.
Polish hospitality was well known, not only because the welcome was heartfelt but because there was always something to treat the guests with. The table was covered with cloth, of native cotton. Upon it was a large loaf of bread, and salt from Poland's famous mines. Glasses were filled with drink, and jars displayed golden honey and beer. All this was lavished upon guests and servants as well.
There was enough for everybody. In one of the historical centers, thousands 5of people who came to elect a King were fed. Christenings, weddings, funerals, and many other festal ceremonies lasted many days. Upon these occasions many kinds of bakery goods, including cakes, breads, cookies, and tarts were actually poured upon the table. The butchers killed thousands of animals for the cooks. The guests could remain half a year.
That was how the Polish farmers thrived at one time. Time has changed all this today. When industry and commerce supplanted farming and when Polish people lost their freedom, the Polish farmers lost their land. This caused thousands of acres of land, fertile for centuries, to grow wild. High taxes were imposed upon the farmers. This paralyzed the growth of agriculture. Countless hundreds of people, who knew only farming, were forced to seek a living elsewhere, although at one time conditions of this kind were unknown. Drinking spread among the people and the Jewish financiers took control of what remained. Our country lost her power; with it agriculture greatly declined. The first and greatest means of livelihood was lost. But no matter what has happened, the Polish farmer still produces farm products, to feed 6millions. And today we have Polish people, especially from villages and smaller towns, who understand farming and every phase of agriculture. Farming is imbeded deep in the soul and heart, of the Polish people. They are the true masters for tilling the soil. To this day they occupy themselves in this most important field.
Why should not we interest ourselves in agriculture and thus take advantage of the land that is offered?
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