Farming as a Necessity
Things are rapidly changing in our country and I don't want to be one of those people who brags about how much food I have. HOWEVER. I hope that COVID-19 gets people thinking about our food system and how to make active changes in their lives in order to ensure that they have food in their pantries. It's a basic human right to grow food. You can grow kale, carrots and broccoli in your backyard next to your chicken coop. You can grow medicinal herbs like parsley, marjoram, basil in your condo on the kitchen counter. You can rent land and graze beef cows. You can join a CSA like the one our farm has. We must start taking responsibility for our health and food supply. I'm so impressed at how our little community in South Carolina and North Augusta wants to participate on our farm so that they can learn how to do some of what we do. I think it reflects something deeper.
As individuals we have to ask ourselves, "How am I doing? Am I depressed? Am I unfulfilled? Am I healthy?" Farming helped me overcome years of crippling depression. Though I still struggle with despair sometimes (like after a first-time sow refuses to feed her piglets and they all die) I've found comfort in knowing that I'm a part of something bigger than myself. Creatures large and small depend on me to survive. I take their lives in order to feed people that I love. I get to cook food that I love for people that I love. My dogs get to eat bones from animals that I raised. The whole cycle is surrounded by love and compassion. There is no waste. We cannot continue to divorce ourselves from raw-ness and death. We have to embrace it and try to do it better. The majority of America is spoon-fed and micromanaged and controlled and regulated. Farming forces you to understand that not everything is in your control. Shit happens. Painful, gross, brutal things happen in the animal kingdom that force you to swallow your tears and grow into a stronger person. But I can't think of another career that forges you into the wild, scarred, healthful person you were meant to be.