Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Joy of Farming


As a person who grew up in the middle of Detroit, it is hard to imagine what it is like to be a farmer. I did watch my immigrant Russian grandfather tend his large garden, chickens, and rabbits under the shadow of Hamtramck’s Dodge factory. My parents would occasionally take the family to visit the farm of a fellow immigrant, the Gorrs. Outside of a small garden in the back of our Detroit city lot home and my attempts at a backyard garden in Minnesota, my association with the soil has been mainly cutting the grass and raking leaves. Farming seemed a step backwards in man’s quest for the stars.

Now I find myself living with farmers. Farmers who not only grow the very food they eat, but whose hopes for their family’s future depend on their farming skills. There is a joy and satisfaction to farming I never knew. Sore muscles, dirt under the fingernails, the effects of fertilizer, watching for rain, counting leaves and sprouts, clearing the land, or watching pigs eat are the ways and talk of the farmer. To eat the food you produce is a joy every home gardener experiences. This satisfaction of being engaged with the physical world of work brings clarity to life often elusive in service occupations in which most of us are thrust.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

"Farming seemed a step backwards in man’s quest for the stars."

Give a man a fish......

Maybe the 'stars' is not what you quest.

Keep up the good you are doing.
Benjamin Hansen