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Journal Entry 06-01-2012:
As I sit at the farm table munching on homegrown homemade veggies alone, I look over the landscape after a hard rain, listen to the bugs and frogs, see a cardinal atop a tree. After a short time of being out of the city, all my fears are replaced by gratitude. “I can’t believe I made it here. I am so lucky!” is all I keep thinking. “Here” being free, in Nature, work I love, debt free, few obligations or possessions to worry about. I keep reminding myself not to think about someday this or that, but that this is IT! Experience is the ultimate way to learn and I am so grateful I’m finally here. I feel as though I’ve discovered a treat in this way of living; like, why don’t more people live like this, away from so many of the stresses of the usual modern-day life?
Above you see a very delicious homemade meal! The potatoes were given to me by a neighbor farmer after I helped them with the farmers’ market last Sunday. I learned from him the reasons it is important to always buy organic potatoes. Potatoes are, after all, one of the dirty dozen. In short, throughout the process of growing potatoes conventionally, they are repeatedly sprayed with various toxic herbicides and pesticides. Check out this Organic Nation site to learn more about it.
I’ve come to notice that farmers, at least the ones that I have met, are very generous people. They are proud of and want to share what they have grown. Unlike so many jobs today where workers see no physical result of their labor, farming provides almost minute-by-minute validation or challenge: new growth here, insect bites there, a huge magenta carrot pulled from damp soil, or the whole row of tomato trellising has fallen over. Unlike in many modern careers where the stresses are intangible, digital, or corporate, farmers experience directly with their subject matter, solving problems as they arise, planning on a more long-term basis, learning more season after season, year after year. I’ve noticed farmers are involved in their community’s politics, know their neighbors, and help each other.
This is why it hurts me when people come by our farm stand and complain to me, basically a volunteer, that our prices are too high. I want to tell them – this is the real cost of food! I can’t claim to know all the ins and outs of our food system, but government subsidies, importation from countries who don’t pay employees a living wage (include the USA in that) falsely represent the cost of food. And the biggest hidden cost of conventional food to goes to Mother Earth. By abusing our planet, corporations can produce food for lower costs, but this practice will ultimately destroy us.
I feel so lucky to be able to participate in this whirlwind of experience. I knew previously many of the reasons to buy and eat organic, but now having worked on at least one organic farm, I can say from that experience that organic is worth it and local is very worth it.