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Muck Farms Featured in New Book

On November 10 at Springside at Seneca Hill, a recently-published book about Oswego County muck farming will be presented by local writer Jim Farfaglia.

The program will include a slideshow with photos used in the book, an overview of why muck farming has been so important to Oswego County and stories told to Farfaglia by local muck farmers.

Earl Sheldon, harvesting onions on his Route 176 farm, circa early 1940s. The Sheldon family is part of the recently-published book on the muck farms of Oswego County.
Earl Sheldon, harvesting onions on his Route 176 farm, circa early 1940s. The Sheldon family is part of the recently-published book on the muck farms of Oswego County.

“The idea for this book started with an event at the Fulton Public Library in March 2012,” Farfaglia explained. “I was conducting a reading from my book of poems, Country Boy, which is about growing up in rural Central New York and working on my uncles’ muck farms. Members of several muck-farm families attended and, after my reading, these farmers started telling stories and comparing experiences from the mucks. I saw people nodding in agreement with each anecdote and noticed how one story built upon another. As I listened to the emotion underlying each farmer’s recollections, I knew I wanted to capture their memories.”

Farfaglia proceeded to interview muck farmers, their family members, neighbors, workers and agricultural specialists.

Using the interviews, photographs and maps, he created the book.

“I like to say that I compiled and edited the book instead of saying I wrote it,” Farfaglia said. “About 90% of the book is the story of the mucks in the interviewees’ own words. After all, the people who lived and worked the mucks should be the ones to tell their story.”

Following the November 10 program, which begins at 3 p.m., Farfaglia will present a complimentary copy of the book to each farm family he interviewed, introduce the farmers to the audience and take questions about the book.

Refreshments will be served.

Because of limited seating, reservations to attend the event are required.

Please contact Farfaglia at (315) 402-2297 or [email protected] to register.

1 Comment

  1. I vividly remember in the 1940’s and fifty’s during the summer vacation; getting up at 04:00 am to meet local muck farmer, so I could work on the muck topping onions. That was a life lasting experience, it was hard work but taught me the lesson of life that hard work gets you rewards. I still cherish the time i worked the mucks.

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