Dear Farm Journal,
This morning I taped a radio show with Paul and Paula Grenier called The Heart of Wellness on WDRT 91.9FM. It will air 3/19 @ 9:00am. Today I am recording a follow up segment on my community based research project with Johns Hopkins University on socially responsible food and ethical food consumerism. For my graduate thesis, I conducted research on social values concerning local farming and food. I talked about how the Driftless community has revitalized farming and food through going organic and cooperative, how capitalism is destroying our food system, and how we need to restore social values and world concern in our society. This afternoon, I beat myself up for all the things I should have said or didn’t explain well. I feel apprehension about speaking from inexperience as a new farmer and recent graduate, but at the end of the day, I am glad that my farmer/activist voice was heard and maybe I influenced someone to think more deeply about farming, food, and change. The major highlight of my day is when Paula compared me to Wendell Berry, poet, author, activist, and farmer. I learned about him and read his work during graduate school and he has been an incredible inspiration, so those were extremely humbling accolades. I give honor with one of his poems.
Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front
Love the quick profit, the annual raise,vacation with pay.
Want more of everything ready-made. Be afraid
to know your neighbors and to die.
And you will have a window in your head.
Not even your future will be a mystery
any more. Your mind will be punched in a card
and shut away in a little drawer.
When they want you to buy something
they will call you. When they want you
to die for profit they will let you know.
So, friends, every day do something
that won’t compute. Love the Lord.
Love the world. Work for nothing.
Take all that you have and be poor.
Love someone who does not deserve it.
Denounce the government and embrace
the flag. Hope to live in that free
republic for which it stands.
Give your approval to all you cannot
understand. Praise ignorance, for what man
has not encountered he has not destroyed.
Ask the questions that have no answers.
Invest in the millenium. Plant sequoias.
Say that your main crop is the forest
that you did not plant,
that you will not live to harvest.
Say that the leaves are harvested
when they have rotted into the mold.
Call that profit. Prophesy such returns.
Put your faith in the two inches of humus
that will build under the trees
every thousand years.
Listen to carrion – put your ear
close, and hear the faint chattering
of the songs that are to come.
Expect the end of the world. Laugh.
Laughter is immeasurable. Be joyful
though you have considered all the facts.
So long as women do not go cheap
for power, please women more than men.
Ask yourself: Will this satisfy
a woman satisfied to bear a child?
Will this disturb the sleep
of a woman near to giving birth?
Go with your love to the fields.
Lie down in the shade. Rest your head
in her lap. Swear allegiance
to what is nighest your thoughts.
As soon as the generals and the politicos
can predict the motions of your mind,
lose it. Leave it as a sign
to mark the false trail, the way
you didn’t go. Be like the fox
who makes more tracks than necessary,
some in the wrong direction.