Somehow the realities of smallholder community-based sustainable farming, that struggle, that anomaly - the thing that urban ethical types champion sporadically, some suck off of, and many obliterate with consumption choices...is (almost) too complexly bizarre for my pen these days.
Sometimes the irony is beyond belief..the facts spin like fiction and I feel naked looking at the specter of how local farming is composing and the choices some find necessary to survive.
a) serve the elite; obama arugula salad.
b) grow maryjane in the bushes on the side
c) resale conventional fare or otherwise cheat and fraud
d) be miserably poor somehow independent of the banks toiling to finger bone until old and sick and then sell the farm, or whats left of it.
e) be lucky/connected/entertaining and or compelling enough to become a celebrity farmer
f) join the designate, nextgen agribiz style, selling your soul to the banks and the multi-nationals to pilot self-regulated, dangerous, wildwest style agri future.
While we watch:
a) complacent people not standing up to stop imports flooding markets at local food intervals.
b) consumers not question the value of labour and the notion of "fair trade" in the local sense.
c) the educated stop listening about GE, Nanotech and Synthetic Biology in our world and notable in our food.
d) popular culture accept class and designate those working the soil as the lowest, along with other honourable professions such as early childhod care.
e) regulators and their lobby discredit and silence open dialogue concerning the status quo (including organic regulators).
f) our colleagues farms threatened by damns, droughts, fires, trade dumping orgies, marketing boards, burn-out and or poverty.
I'm in my garden, tending salad, harvesting for market, preparing slaughter of cattle, looking for winter work and dumbfounded at the work necessary for that. I'm gettin it done. But I'm also watching out for toads and observing the history around me. The unmarked, mysterious buriel ground next door, that is marked on a deed but lost to time and land activities, the black cemetary next door (loyalist free folks or slaves?) the village of Beaulieu close somewhere and the home of Beausoeil, and ancient further the Maritime Archaic; Its the fabulous history that picks me up this time, grounds me. I think then of sacred things and it helps me carry on.
Take care, stay strong; and have a bon adventure!
Blessings to the farmers