I have been thinking a lot about philosophies of farming–the spiritual aspect of the choices we make when we farm.
In corporate farming, the philosophy seems to be to make as much money as possible as quickly as possible. On a small farm where abandoning the land is not an option, that philosophy makes no sense. However, that does not mean all small farms have the same philosophy but it does mean small farms “get” each other and have a common bond.
Our philosophy on our farm is an evolving thing but now, after over 20 years in the biz, I think our philosophy has a bit more form and shape. First, we acknowledge that most of the work we do will not benefit us. John says quite often, “We are making a darn nice farm for some young couple.” And there is nothing wrong with that. As a boomer myself, I am well aware how my generation has taken and taken without giving much back. This is a way to give back.
Second, for us farming is about having faith. It is about believing that there is a reason and a plan. It is about trusting that each “plague” has a cure. It is about waiting that extra day, despite the temptation to throw chemicals and money at the problem, and being visited by dragonflies (they are called “mosquito hawks” for a reason!) and by bugs that love a weed and a rain that turns parched plants into nutrition-rich healthy foods.
Third (and finally) it is about the joy and satisfaction that comes from a hard day’s work and an honest sweat. It is about staying connected to the cycle of nature. It is about finding yourself and figuring out what really matters.
So, I thank God for the life I am blessed to live and the farm for helping me believe in abundance instead of scarcity. May the life you are living bring you equal joy.