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New Edition of Born-Again Dirt Available!

 
A new edition of Born-Again Dirt, with an added foreword by Joel Salatin, is now available! Newly revised, with editing changes and some bonus material, I am hoping the Lord will use the changes we have made to help encourage more born-again farmers.
 
I want to thank Mr. Salatin, for his generosity in providing a foreword for this new edition. He is a very busy fellow (speaking 100 days of the year!), but was kind enough to read Born-Again Dirt and take the time to contribute some of his unique, meaningful, and humerous thoughts.
 
I also want to thank Mr. Jack and Marilou Dody for volunteering their skills in editing, and for all their encouragement.
 
And many, many thanks go to my typesetter/book guy, Kyle Shepherd! He did a great job putting the first edition together at such quick notice, and has been very patient with me as we worked for a year on getting this new edition out.
 
You can purchase the new edition here, or use the buttons on the sidebar.
 
Also, there is now a follow button down in the bottom right-hand side of the screen if you would like to be notified whenever I post a new article (since my posting tends to be erratic).
 
Your Fellow Steward of the Soil,
 
Noah

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Discussion Question: As a Born-again Farmer, How do you Manage your Time?

 
I think one of the main things that I struggle with as a farmer is time management. As many of you know, there always seems to be more than enough work to fill the hours of the day. Many times I feel as though I am treading water trying to keep everything from sinking into disrepair. But as a follower of Christ, I want to be excelling in the work I do for Him, not just getting by. It just is hard, sometimes, to juggle farm production, marketing, maintence, ministry, family, church, and my walk with God. Lately the Lord has been teaching me to just trust Him, walking in obedience to His Spirit each moment of each day, but I know I have much to learn. So I would like to hear what the Lord has taught some of you about managing your time.
 
Please use the comments section of this post to share thoughts, ideas, testimonies, verses, tools, and practical examples of honoring the Lord in your time management as you work for Him. I hope it will be edifying for us all and will encourage us to be better stewards of the time, talents, and treasures the Lord has entrusted to us.
 
“In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps.” Prov. 16:9

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Fence Posts and the Provision of God

 
As I farm with and for the Lord I enjoy seeing how He reveals himself in little ways, showing that He is sovereign and faithful and sufficient for all I need.
 
This week we are working on building a fence around a ten acre pasture we cleared last year. Yesterday we marked out and dug holes for the corner posts before lunch, then counted up the number of posts we already had in order to determine how many more we needed to get. Well, we lacked thirteen, so I hopped in the truck and headed to town while my farm hand worked on clearing some lanes for the fence. When I arrived at the farm supply store I walked out to the yard to look at the posts. Apparently it is the season for fence building, because the yard was cleaned out of most of the supplies of posts and wire. However, there were still a few corner posts in a bin, and when I counted there were exactly thirteen! As I checked out the clerk said that someone else had come that morning and bought all but the baker’s dozen I needed. I know that the Lord kept just the right amount of posts for me, and I thanked Him for His Provision. Sometimes I overlook the way God works in my daily life. But it is encouraging to realize that if He cares for my daily physical needs He will also provide all my spiritual needs as well.
 
“And we know that in all things God works for the Good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. . . What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all – how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?” Romans 8:28,31,32

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The Simplicity of Farming for Christ

 
Sometimes the complexity of farming can be a bit overwhelming for me. Every day there are so many decisions to make; what to work on, how to care for plants and animals, what to do to fix a predator problem, etc. Sometimes I wish that I just had someone to tell me what to do! Then I could just focus on accomplishing things without always having to second guess whether I should be doing something else.
 
But I do have someone to give me direction throughout my day! My Saviour, Jesus Christ, says simply, “Follow Me.” He doesn’t say, “Try to use what you know to figure out how to serve Me today.” Instead, He says, “Trust and obey.” God has promised to give me wisdom if I ask. The problem is I don’t always ask. Most of the time, if I am really honest it is clear what God want me to do. My real problem is not a lack of knowledge of what I should be doing, but a struggle with wanting to do what I want to do, rather than what I know I should do.
 
But thanks be to God! Christ has conquered my sin and I am no longer a slave to it. I now have the freedom to say “No!” to sin and “Yes!” to Christ. I don’t have to figure everything out. I just have to trust and obey. Walking with Christ has to do with taking one step at a time, keeping my eyes fixed on Him.
 
So as I begin my day, I offer it up to God and commit to walk in simple obedience as He shows me His will one step at a time. And to start off with I can begin to do what I know is His will: “Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

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2013 Born-Again Farm Prayer Day

 
On March 14th, join other born-again farmers in praying for each other’s agricultural endeavors.
 
The farming season is coming fast upon many of us. Lately I have been busy preparing ground, planting early crops, getting ready for new chickens, and working on the all important marketing! Before we get too much further into the year I would like to host a day of prayer for the 2013 growing season. On March 14th I invite anyone who would like to participate to join us in praying for God’s blessing on each other’s farms.
 
As born-again farmers we are very aware of our dependence upon God for our provision and livelihood. We can’t make seeds sprout, cause rain to fall, enable animals to conceive and give birth, or make people buy our produce. God is the only one who can grant us success. One of the primary ways we can show our dependence on God is by praying and asking for His blessing and provision upon our farms. And I believe that God listens to the prayers of His people.
 
“The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.” James 5:16
 
On the farm prayer day I would encourage us to pray for each other in two areas:
 
1. First, I would encourage us to pray for the Lord to change our hearts and make us into more Christ-like farmers. God-glorifying agriculture starts with the born-again hearts of farmers. I know that there are many areas of my heart that still need changing if I am going to glorify the Lord on my farm.
 
2. Second, let’s pray that the Lord would so bless the production and fruitfulness of our farms this year that people would marvel when they see them. Then we will be able to point to God as the source of our success, and give Him all the Glory.
 
Anyone interested in participating should do the following:
A. In the comments of this post, briefly describe yourself and your farm/garden/agrarian interests. Then list a few specific areas in which you would like the Lord to help you become a more Christ-like farmer. Finally, list specific ways you would like the Lord to bless the production of your land this year.
B. On March 14th, set aside at least one meal during to day to fast and use that time to go through the comments on this blog and pray for all the needs listed by your fellow Christian farmers.
 
I am looking forward to this! Please spread the word to anyone you think may be interested. May we be strengthened in our faith as we join together in committing our lives, our families, and our farms to God.
 
“Isaac planted crops in that land and the same year reaped a hundredfold, because the Lord blessed him.” Genesis 26:12

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The Pilgrims in 1621: Agriculture

First Thanksgiving by Brownscombe

As the American holiday of Thanksgiving is celebrated we often will hear some bit of the story of the Pilgrims and their “First Thanksgiving.” Regrettably, their story is often boiled down to the basics and we lose some of its fullness. Here I want to flesh out a small part of the story concerning the Pilgrims’ work in agriculture.

In the spring of 1621 the Pilgrims and the Indian tribes planted and worked in the fields of agriculture. We can see that both the English and the native tribes had skills and abilities the other lacked. We read in William Bradford’s book Of Plymouth Plantation, “Afterwards they…began to plant their corn, in which service Squanto stood them in great stead, showing them both the manner how to set it, and after how to dress and tend it.” Squanto and the Indian tribes had great experience with the land that the English lacked. They had a history of learning from mistakes and finding what worked. They knew the right seeds to plant. Squanto taught the English to fertilize their corn with the fish that would spawn in the river nearby at just the right time. If they didn’t, the nutrients in the land would get used up.

Pilgrims with Samoset

Here we can recognize that God provided the Indians with fish that would spawn at just the right time to fertilize the land so they could eat and live. As Matthew 5:45 says, God “makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.” Here the Pilgrims reaped the benefits of working with the pagan tribes by learning the good things God had given them. This was a very providential blessing as their own seed did not do well, but thanks to this help they had enough food.  But despite God’s blessing on the native tribes, they were not exactly prosperous and thriving. The help was not all one sided, as we can see from an event that happened two months later.

It had been a little time since the English had seen Massasoit and so they sent two men along with Squanto to meet with him. This expedition had several objectives. First, to reaffirm peace with Massasoit and to keep a good relationship with him. Second, to exchange for seed for experimentation. The Pilgrims wanted to make sure that had a variety of things planted in case some failed. Third, to find out which tribe it was that they had taken corn from in the winter, so they could pay them back for it. Fourth, to explore the area around them. And fifth, to limit hungry visitors. It is this last objective that shows something about the Indians’ work ethic and food production. What was happening was there were many Indians that were taking advantage of the Pilgrim’s hospitality and staying there eating up their food. The Pilgrims wanted to be hospitable, but did not want to run out of food and so asked Massasoit to limit visitors to the amount they could handle. They were generous with gifts and hospitality, but did not want to become welfare providers, especially when they couldn’t afford it.

Pilgrims with Wampanoag

As the small expedition went out they could start to see why many Indians preferred to get the food from the English. The Indians, despite having a great abundance of natural resources, still struggled in having a stable food supply and clean habitations. As Edward Winslow (one of the two men on the expedition) says in his book Mourt’s Relation, describing a meager meal they had with Massasoit, “this meal only we had in two nights and a day, and had not one of us bought a partridge we had taken our journey fasting…he was to have us stay with them longer: but we desired to keep the Sabbath at home: and feared we should either be light-headed for want of sleep, for with bad lodging, the savages’ barbarous singing (for they use to sing themselves asleep), lice and fleas within doors, and mosquitoes without, we could hardly sleep all the time of our being there; we much fearing that if we should stay any longer, we should not be able to recover home for want of strength.”  Bradford remarks concerning this lack of prosperity among the Indians, “For the Indians used then to have nothing so much corn as they have since the English have stored them with their hows, and seen [the Englishmen’s] industry in breaking up new grounds therewith.”  On their trip some Indians desired that the Englishmen kill some crows, because they had been ruining the corn. There the two Englishmen with their superior weapons killed 80 crows in an afternoon.

We can see that the Indians benefited both from observing the English work ethic, and the technology it produced (such as guns and hows). This work ethic had come from the long history of Christendom where it had been taught that work is worship to God, that work is a blessing, that we are created to work and produce to the glory of God, that our first command from God is to “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion” (Gen. 1:28).

Even the monks in the Middle Ages were taught this and spent much of their time in working and agriculture. The Protestant Reformation continued this and expanded it with its teaching of vocation, that the farmer and the pastor are both doing God’s work. The Pilgrims understood the importance of work and produced great things. When my family and I were in Plymouth in 2009 we saw a mill built only fifteen years after the Pilgrims first landed. It was amazingly intricately designed with all sorts of wheels, gears, stones, and levers–and it’s still working! We can see that the Christianity of the Pilgrims made them hard-working, productive, and a relatively prosperous society. It was this culture that built America.

Read more at The Christian Philosophy of Food

Thoughts on The Life of the Land

 
Wow! Thanks everyone for the great discussion on what the Bible says about the life of the land. You all covered a lot of good points and came up with a lot of helpful Scriptures. I don’t know if I have whole lot more to add, but I will give a few summarizing thoughts.
 
1. There are different types of life: When we try to answer the question, “Does land have life?”, we have to define what we mean by ‘life’. If we mean the breath of life, as the Bible refers to the life of animals and people (Gen. 1:30, 2:7), then we would obviously have to answer no. But there is apparently there is a variety of what could be considered life. Fish and sea creatures apparently are alive, even though they don’t have the breath of life. And plants, although vastly different from what we would consider creatures, definitely have life compared to rocks and minerals (seeds dying, coming to life, 1 Cor. 15:36), though perhaps the reference to them ‘living’ and ‘dying’ is more figurative.
 
All flesh is not the same: Men have one kind of flesh, animals have another, birds another and fish another. 1 Corinthians 15:39
 
2. Life must be valued and respected: Another thing I observe in Scripture is the principle that life is precious and must be valued and respected. However, not all life has the same value and isn’t all respected in the same degree. The life of man (male and female of every ‘race’), made in the image of God, is the most valued of all life and God forbids the shedding of man’s blood (Exodus 20:12) except in the protection of life (self-defense, Neh. 4:14) and community (capital punishment, Exodus 21:12). The life of animals is far less valuable than man’s, but God still requires us to respect it. Although we have been given the right to take the life of animals for our own use (Gen. 9:3), we must not abuse animals unnecessarily (Prov. 12:10) nor are we to eat their blood (Gen. 9:4), because the blood represents the life of the animal. As far as plants, it doesn’t appear to me in Scripture that they ‘die’ in the same way as living things with spirits (man and animals, Eccl. 3:21). As Dan said, I can only find were Scripture refers to plants as withering, not dying. And I find no references where we are commanded to respect the ‘life’ of plants. However, I would say the passage in Leviticus 19:19 about mingling seed could refer to an honoring of the design of the plants, and the commandment for the Israelites to abstain from cutting down fruit trees when besieging a city could refer to a recognition and appreciation of the gift of plants God has given for our benefit.
 
3. Only life can work and rest: As far as I can tell, the Scriptures never refer to anything ‘non-living’ as working or resting. In the Ten Commandments, the commandment relating to the Sabbath day of rest lists some of the things that must rest: family, servants, livestock, and foreigners, all apparently living. And the only other thing that I know of that God ever commanded us to let rest is the land (Lev. 25:4). Now, I wouldn’t say that Scripture supported the idea that land is a ‘being’, with a spirit. However, the term ‘land’ could easily include the complicated system of life that is based in the soil, as well as the physical ground itself. This living system is what the commandment seems to be directed at in terms of resting. It is this system that expends energy to bring forth food. And it is this system that God has chosen to let rest from plowing and planting.
 
Comment Quote: “Why would something dead need to rest?” -Nancy
 
4. Land must be treated as something living: Based on my studies so far of the Bible, I would say that land definitely doesn’t have the same kind of life that God has given to man and animals. However, although the definitions of ‘land’ and ‘life’ can be confusing, it seems clear that the Lord wants us to treat the land (the ground and its living system) with some of the same kind of respect that we give other living creatures that can be worked. Otherwise the land becomes merely an inanimate resource to use and manipulate as we see fit, instead of a wonderful gift from the Lord that we should care for and use for His Glory.
 
Comment Quote: “Whether or not it is “alive” in the sense that a cat or a pear tree are alive, we are to treat the land as if it were alive.” -Ellen
 
P.S. In case you haven’t already noticed, this post is slightly tardy, and I apologize. As most homesteader/farmer/bloggers know, it is hard to make time to blog when the immediacies of the farm and family are ever crying for our attention. But, as God gives me grace, I will do my best to be more consistent. Thank you for your patience and support.
 

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Famine, Food, and Freedom

“People have, age after age, starved to death in lands with small populations and rich soil, and also lived richly in heavily populated areas…Much of the world has rich soil, but little of the world has the free men to make use of that soil.”~R.J. Rushdoony (Law and Liberty, p. 184-185)

http://www.thechristianphilosophyoffood.com/

Discussion Question: Is Land Living or Non-living?

Many people, especially in the organic movement, often refer to land as having ‘life’. Obviously much of this comes from earth worship and the idea of ‘Mother Earth’. Others, coming from an industrial mindset, tend to view land as a growing medium used to hold plants in place while they feed on chemical fertilizers. As Born-again farmers, we don’t need to decide which side we agree with. Instead, we need to go back to the Scriptures and see what God says about land. Instead of giving you my own opinion up front in this post, I would like to throw out a discussion question and try to get you to think before I give you my thoughts. Here is the question:

In regards to the land, do you think the Bible supports the idea that it should be treated as something living, or non-living? Why? How does this impact our management of the land?

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Why We Farm! Or a guide to relational farming…

Farm fresh produce

The ritual begins during a fading Texas evening. I open the rear hatch of my van, and pull two picnic-worn coolers out onto the chapped pavement. I clear the beads of sweat from my forehead before opening the big white cooler and pick out a healthy specimen of cantaloupe. Behind me stands a small gathering: two newlywed couples, a gurgling baby in a baby carrier, a father and daughter, and a doting grandmother perched over the infant. Their task in this ritual is to watch.

“These were picked this morning,” I say, carefully handing my charges to the first couple in line. The husband flips the fruit around in his hand, inspecting the tiny ridges, and nestles his nose into the plant’s navel. He sniffs in the aromatic perfume with pleasure and satisfactorily deposits the fruit in his wife’s handbag.

I move onto the blue cooler, pulling out a crinkling store-labeled grocery sack stuffed with purple pea snaps, bell peppers, okra, tomatoes, cucumbers, banana peppers, basil, and oregano.

“Eighteen dollars and fifty-eight cents.” I recite from the yellow receipt, and the husband hands me a crisp twenty.

“I hope you have change,” he states, subtly reminding me of my lack of change the previous week.

“Yeah, I do,” I say, quickly shuffling through the stuffed envelope of coins and cash until I find the right amount. After he is done, the couple stands there and admires their food while I move onto the next couple’s order. The wife occasionally glances back to her mother-in-law and infant and smiles.

“My baby girl just loves the squash you gave us last week. I mashed it up, and she just took it right down.” I turn my head far enough so she can see me smile, and reply, “I’m not sure if anymore will come this season.”

“Really?” 

“But I’ll check to see if any will be here by next week.” My brother, Gerred, owns and runs the farm, I just run the business side of the operation. I often find myself telling customers that I must check, since he keeps a constant check on the farm's pulse.

“Thank you! I like using it as her baby food.” I listen as she describes how long the produce has been lasting in their fridge, longer than any produce they could purchase in a store. I listen on as her mother-in-law, a woman whose eyes light up at the red beefsteak tomatoes, describes just how good the cucumbers were last week. 

“Best cucumbers I’ve tasted in my life,” she states and goes on to describe the thin skins and moving down to the rich, succulent meat of the vegetable. Having eaten some earlier that day, my own mouth revisits the textures and flavors. One by one, I finish the orders, finally passing off cantaloupes to the father and daughter; the former sniffs the fruit without saying a word, while the latter chuckles, “I think he’s really going to enjoy himself tonight.” Everyone trickles off except for the newlywed couple with the infant, who now sleeps soundly in the growing dusk.

“You know, this coming growing season we’d love it if you would grow some acorn squash,” the husband requests, “I can eat that all day! Oh, and we love spaghetti squash.”

“Do you think you could give me an estimate of how much you’d eat in a month?” I ask. They provide me an answer and I mentally log the numbers for my brother to consider.

“We’ve enjoyed your produce,” are their parting words, “I don’t think I could ever find better produce at the store.” They scurry to their car, and the ritual ends, and I watch my charge, my food, become another item in someone's fridge. As I drive home, my mind wanders to the farm work, keeping communication with our various buyers, trying to determine what they will want next growing season, and all the feedback I need to get back to my brother. It’s that time of year, a transition from summer to fall, zucchinis and cucumbers will dissipate to allow in cabbages, lettuces, pumpkins, and squash; as I calculate the figures of how much we can make on our small plot of land, I consider the grand scheme that has brought me to this most basic of professions.

* * * * *

Where does your food come from?

Why farm? Why choose a profession and lifestyle that runs against a cultural tide of sharply dressed, well groomed talking heads, who preach the advantages offered by fancier, cleaner, and more lucrative careers? American culture may claim to romanticize agrarian life, but the love is less than legitimate. USDA statistics show small farms and their farmers have been declining in size since the 1940s, even though number of large farms producing single crops have grown. Yes, the dirt and grime attend to the farmer as an occupational certainty, but any college management class will inform you that “employees” are more motivated more by “intrinsic rewards” than “extrinsic rewards,” or, more simply, workers want to feel as if their work has lasting value. What greater reward could be given than the foreknowledge that one is satisfying the hunger of humanity and your community? The answer lies with the changing idea of American food philosophy, what I would call a purpose-driven understanding of the role of food and American food suppliers in culture.

In an age when food has cheapened with advances in science and technology, we have allowed the doctrines of food and food production to shift, even from my grandfathers’ time to my own, when he grew apples in Washington state during the 1960s. He lived under the philosophy touted by the US Department of Agriculture, which made the US farmer out to be a national hero. He says to have grown food to supplement his teacher’s salary, but the country also saw a national icon and international competitor for American interests, and the American farmer had an built in intrinsic value that extended beyond profits.  

My grandfather’s generation of men sat in darkened movie theaters and watched Frank Capra's classic series, “Why We Fight!,” which taught them why the nation’s role in World War II was necessitated. My grandfather went on to rivet B-17 wings for the war effort, and when he was done, he found that his country needed him in a new capacity. The Government had gifted my grandfather and all American farmers with a new vision: The farmer could forget about the people and the land, and see only a machine, carefully oiled, static, and prosperous for the faithful user. For farmers like my grandfather, any affects that the land experienced were of no concern to him. The system made him more money as long as he kept improving the “machine,” and the food appeared unchanged. If the soil was affected, he could believe that a fix would be over the horizon. The miracle workers of World War II had made a new miracle. 

* * * * *

Industrial farming has taken the heart out of our food

The USDA produced films that showed the miracle of modern food production: thousands of individual farms brought together in a large corporate system to supply supermarkets with a cornucopia of produce, meat, dairy, and canned goods from disjointed regions of the US; the laboratory extending into the field, making larger, more nutritious, and better tasting crops; and the consumer, offered the convenience of this food, enjoyed the prosperity of American ingenuity. The purpose for growing food was simple: Be a part of a new miracle and make more food with less land using whatever means suited that end. It was a system that begat success, so long as the system’s management was carefully regulated. Our food philosophy had shifted, and despite this growth, one factor from previous generations of farmers remained: The community knew the farmer, and the farmer had a social accountability to that community which the government could not override. Even as farms began to cannibalize each other to remain in the system, the farmers were still “independent agents," able to still create life-filled nutritious food, instead of merely "safe food."

The USDA first began to preach this system during World War II, praising farmers for working alongside the government to slowly bring this massive food supply system to being, accepting the government’s aid, and producing what they needed for the war quotas. In one film titled, “Henry Browne, Farmer,” the farmer was described as a “soldier of production” who must produce the right amount of "oil and fats" to combat the Japanese agricultural production. Government had a reason for centralizing farming, out command the marketplace. The farmer’s duty would not be divided between field and national duty.

The national audience grew accustomed to this changing view of farming. Originally, our former food doctrines allowed for a collection of decentralized family farms that occupied the 1910s and 20s, and these businesses had not satisfied the nation's stomach during the depression. Food had lost its plentifulness in the land of plenty, and the government was determined to make ordinary food into something it could have never been on its own, and for a broader use in the world stage. The farmer still had his local connection, he still provided food for his neighbors, but the marketplace was making a way for him in the world, a way that my grandfather would fill, and now, a way my brother and I could fill: the way of mass production, yielding a greater world, filled with complacency toward the simplest action of our humanity. 

The modern world driving home I see different farms as I drive home from my delivery run. These farms are still run by grandfathers, with some migrant workers that drift through. Some have families who work together, but most do not. The crops I see are one of three: Corn, Sorghum, or soybeans, grown to fill the stomachs of cows and humans as cheaply as possible, while the farmer remains accountable to state regulations only. And what a world those regulations have built. The fields are still alive with food, but the food is empty, plastered together with an assortment of chemicals, pesticides, and other toxins that render the life still imagined in the soil a hopeless corpse; at least they can say our food is safe, free from the bacteria that harms us. The plants grow as they are supposed to, guided by their genetic modification, but they remain merely signposts set against the sky of what this world has become. Vastly rich, but hollow-shelled, flavorless, and impotent. The modern farmer can assert he has the same reason for growing food as his predecessors, for although he still feeds that masses, his food has no heart left to give to the table. That's why we don't farm anymore. The life that was found in the fields, is no longer life to us. It doesn't provide substance to our bodies, it doesn't even provide a bottom line for the farmer, it just replicates mindlessly, without thought.

* * * * * 

The beauty of the harvest

I return to the farm after the delivery run and help my brother plant the fall crops. I think about the series "Why We Fight!," and wonder, if I made a documentary entitled, "Why We Farm!" what would it try and communicate to an audience. The answer slowly comes to me among the rows of peppers and tomatoes. I mentioned in the beginning of this piece that I consider my work a ritual. This ritual is the familiar way to be a farmer, or the way I have found familiar. For far too long, farmers have become familiar with growing food better, but I want to be familiar with growing food right.

In "Why We Farm," I would say I grow food because I imagine myself being a part of the world that takes longer to mature, to achieve success, but remains a work in progress. I grow food so it becomes rich again, full of life, and containing the DNA it was supposed to contain. I grow food because I imagine one day, when I have kids, I will want them to grow as they were intended to grow, at a slow, steady pace, ready at the right season to accomplish what they are supposed to accomplish. I grow because a mother sees her child starting that journey, and believes the food I am growing will yield an abundance for the body. I hope that people will see the value in the food, the richness of nutrition, the communities that knew the seminal work that made any table look like a feast. The joy of the God-given command to, “Be fruitful.” I grow food, and the reasons why sprout up to say hello without fail every season.

Now, I am hoping you will ask yourself a similar question to mine, “Why am I not farming, or at least growing food in a pot?” I think the answer is easily found. You only need to look in a mirror, and see a face that is packed full of nutrients, vitamins, and minerals, and rub it until you know it’s real. Then, stand at the edge of your child’s room or find them in the yard and watch them play, see their muscles attached to tendons attached to bones moving back and forth; lastly, I go to the fridge, and take a stock of what is contained inside. Consider the value of that food, whether it was made to give you strength, or whether it was made just to fool an eater. I believe the answer to your question will come easily. 

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