Dear Farm Journal,
In the last couple weeks, I have been asked by both a child and an elderly person if we do our farming “by hand”. When I replied in the affirmative, a confused look came over the child’s face as if the information did not compute, and the elderly woman looked like she was going to drop dead. Both the question and the reaction to the answer strike me as a bit odd. However, I think it only seems odd to me because I am immersed in the world of small organic vegetable farming. To the rest of the world, farming means tractors, chemicals, and mechanisation do most of the work. In my opinion, this type of agriculture lacks the personal touch and close relationship we cultivate when we farm “by hand”. In a heated argument about “conventional” versus small organic vegetable farming, I shouted, “You don’t even touch dirt!” The sad truth is that the style of agriculture we practice at Keewaydin is endangered and I worry it will one day become extinct for many complicated reasons, but one of them is that people think doing it “by hand” is just too much work.