Sunday, June 8, 2008
Five and a Farm
I have a secret that not many people know.
I am pretty sure any one who knew me in high school or college would be shocked.
I want to be a farmer.
I have a secret love for farming and well, more than being a farmer, being a farmer's wife.
This love for farming has grown over time and is just now boiling over.
I've always been a city girl and proud of it. I love that Fort Worth is city and yet small enough and unique enough to have a little country in it. When my parents moved to their second house it was sort of "out in the county" but is now right smack dab in the middle of suburbia! I remember my whole family mourning the loss of the trees and fields around our neighborhood. Maybe this is where it started?
My family also has a very strange thing it loves to do on lazy afternoons... go for a drive. We load up the car and hit up a gas station for some cokes and snacks and then we just drive. We go out and see lakes and mansions and all sorts of things out past the street signs. Even when I only slept in the back seat, I still loved going for a drive. To this day, I love a good road trip and even driving from Texas and Kentucky sometimes just feels like a long drive in the country to me. Maybe this is where the root began?
Then a couple from my church in college decided to leave the life of the "city" of Bryan/College Station to move out and start a farm. They have an organic farm where all their animals are free-range and they don't use any chemicals or toxic anything to keep them alive. They are very natural and so far, very successful. They have a quaint little house with a huge front porch. The wife makes bread and tends a garden and helps with the chickens, cows, goats and pigs. I love reading about their farm and pretending to be there.
We've also gotten more into organic, I know, you Texas people probably don't understand... but here it's what every one seems to be talking about. After doing a little research I am mildly convinced (as convinced as my budget will allow) that all these chemicals and preservatives are just not good for us. Look at all the illnesses that are becoming more and more common in America... especially in kids. (ADD, Autism, Severe Allergies etc) In researching about my allergies (which if you know me, you know are severe) they are finding all kinds of links now to these chemicals and hormones in the food that may trigger allergies in certain people. Well, that alone makes it worth it for me to at least try some organic.
We are also members of a farm co-op where we pay in advance to get vegetables and fruit from local organic farms once a week for 25 weeks. This is a way of supporting our local farmers who are doing the merciful thing for their animals and their clients in the way they raise food and livestock because they don't get as many (if any) support from the government pocket.
All of these things have been cultivating my love for farming. I would love to just go back to when it was a little more simple. People helped each other harvest their crops and then they traded what they needed from one another and had a lot of community going on all the time. Kids helped on the farm and therefore got to know their parents, especially the dad, and matured and developed character by learning how to work hard and help with family. etc... I can just see myself making fresh bread and pulling weeds and sweating a whole lot. That's the surprising part b/c most of my girlfriends know that in the past (and probably a little still) I have not prefered to get sweaty if I could help it! haha.
Well I found some one who is sort of holding on to this old way of life without computers or cell phones. Wendell Berry. Berry is actually a native to Kentucky and occasionally teaches senior English at our local classical school. He writes poems and essays and novels all by hand and his wife types them on their typewritter and then his other peeps finally get it into a computer.. that's what I've heard at least. He's sort of a legend around here. Well I just finished my first novel by Berry and it was inspiring. It is all about this small town and some nobody in it. There is this constant theme of being led, which is always compared to "the river" and how it rises and falls but always flows. Berry doesn't let the smallest detail get away without at least a paragraph dedicated to it and he makes the country come alive in your mind. It makes you want to get your hands dirty and break a sweat or sit on a front porch with friends and just talk about life. I cried a lot in this book because it also shows the end of the family farm era. It shows the effects of war on ordinary human life. It shows what it means to really love some one even if there is no happy ending. It made me want to simplify and take a few steps back from this world that is running constantly headlong into who-knows-what. I'll keep the internet and A/C but I could stand to let go of a lot of the technology and corruption that has come along. I would love to know my neighbors and know that neither of us was going anywhere for a long time (Lord willing). I would love to be in a place where community was more important than social status or careers or privacy.
I don't know. Maybe I wouldn't like it once I got it. But maybe there is a little call from Eden or The New Earth in my heart calling me to want to cultivate the earth and rule over it as we were meant to. Maybe eternity is just planted in my mind and only comes out in the costume of this or that that I want to grasp on to... but I know we will never be satisfied until He comes and restores us and the world... but until then I hope to be more like Berry and enjoy the simple pleasures that are all around and suffer well.
read it... it's good. ( ha I never told you the title... Jayber Crow The Barber of the Port William Membership)