By Walter GeigerWhen the people find that they can vote themselves money, that will herald the end of the republic. Sell not liberty to purchase power.’ -Benjamin FranklinFaced with an abundance of cucumbers from the garden, I turned to the area’s expert on pickling, jarring and canning Julie Knott.Julie had a very successful catering business but now concentrates on gardening and putting up the proceeds of said garden for future use. She also makes, jellies, jams, relishes and as a kicker – is comfortable fooling round under the hoods of antique Fords.You can follow this Energizer bunny of a woman on Facebook at her ‘˜And she can cook too’ page.I wanted Julie to take my cukes and return me a portion in pickles but she politely declined. Not up for the rigors of pickling, my family is eating a lot of cucumbers.Ruminating on this dilemma and those to follow when the beans and okra come in, I thought about the old community canning plants.Back in the 1930s and 1940s communities set up these canning plants with government assistance.Students involved in Future Farmers of America at their high schools were trained and would staff the plants during the summer. They were usually supervised by the high school agriculture teacher or FFA sponsor or both.Citizens would bring in produce from the farm or garden and process it at the canning plant and take it home to the pantry, putting away vegetables to feed their families until the next garden or crop came in. The last I heard, there is still such a canning operation running in Roberta. There may be others out there flying under the radar. It is sad our government does not do more of this type thing – encouraging people to provide for themselves and show some work initiative. Instead, it punishes those who work hard for their money to provide for those who wouldn’t work at any wage. Instead it runs advertising encouraging people to sign up for food stamps.These ads run extensively during Spanish channel soap operas, encouraging illegal aliens to belly on up to the taxpayer-provided trough.Barack Hussein Obama has put more people on food stamps than any American president in history, hoping those EBT cards will buy votes as well as groceries.Think about that come November.If you work to feed yourself and your family and expect others to do the same, the choice is clear.If you refuse to work and feel entitled to the same lifestyle enjoyed by those who do, your choice is also clear. Walter Geiger is editor and publisher of The Herald Gazette.