Wednesday, May 16, 2012

A Social Conditioning to Farming

What is it about a simple (yet extremely difficult) farm life that is so appealing yet so repulsive to me at the same time? I am astounded at the dedication that it takes to plow one’s fields with draft horses and the effort it takes to attempt a closed nutrient system.  When I think about the practice of farming for one’s own food in a subsistence manner or farming for the purpose of feeding the masses a closed system is the only kind I can imagine myself trying to attempt.  This would be a moral obligation to me as I would feel immensely guilty abusing the land of its resources with the information I currently have about the land we live on and biotic system of which we are apart.
Greg is an extraordinary individual as he not only practices this style of farming, but he also loves the practice of doing so regardless of the immense work that accompanies it.  For me this seems almost impossible.  It is true that I could attempt to farm in this manner but I think the best that I could do is to subsistence farm for myself or my family. 
I was interesting to hear Greg speak of his farming practices and proclaim that he did not believe that this style of farming could feed the world.  Yes, it is difficult to believe that there are enough individuals in the world that are willing to live this difficult lifestyle even with seven billion human beings in existence.  But is this not at least in part a result of the type of lifestyle that we currently value?   Would anyone naturally desire to be a stock trader?  It would seem absurd to believe that either farmer or stock trader would be a natural inclination from birth, but surely farmer would make more sense as a reasonable career.  In order to live one must have food and providing for others, especially family, can be very rewarding.  Perhaps when we shift our focus to caring for others and recalling our connections to nature and the natural need and appreciation for nourishment we will increase the number of individuals who desire this lifestyle making it more reasonable as a way of feeding the world.

1 comment:

  1. Nice sociological argument. Does this mean we would need to pay farmers as much as stock traders? Or just shift our values in a way that made farming seem like a more attractive lifestyle?