What is the origin of a “farm”? How is it defined? From whence does the “farm” arise? And why are we so accustomed to reliance on farmers for our nutritional needs? What is it, really, that has played into the dependence on farms and large- scale agriculture? Who raises our food? Even if we establish organic cropping systems and rotational grazing of animals, even if we develop prime agroforestry landscapes, and we do all of this with the market in mind, we are willy-nilly enmeshed in the cycles and competition that markets succumb to.
Success and failure may be basic to our being as race, yes, but whose success and failure are we banking on? Why all this crazy research dedicated to “cash” crops, food fads dictated by the powers that be? To where has the farm led us as a race- progress as an expanding species?
The gadget syndrome. Of course there is always another gadget out there to satisfy our collective sweet tooth. But hey, don’t worry, because when the urge surfaces again, there is always enough to satisfy that sweet tooth once again, even if for a while, and again.
Back to the farm, the way it used to be, before agricultural chemicals and big ass combines and fuel fueled War of the Worlds style monsters that can strip a field of cotton in minutes took center stage. But who harvested the cotton before this War of the Worlds? Does anyone remember the history of the plantation culture in this country? Farms and markets. Markets and the greenback. Who can climb breathlessly to the top of the food chain and manacle the hoards? They are subtle, these chains. They make us obese, they flatten our lives into two-dimensional pundits that falsely make us believe that we “know” something.
What is food? Is it corn? What is sustenance? What is a farm and what does it really represent to us, and what have we become as a result of it? Foragers of the marketplace seeking the next best pluck for the holidays? Isn’t there something somewhere about teaching people to fish rather than putting fish on their tables? But hey, there are plenty of fish swimming in the basements of banks and office buildings, albeit, all across this “modern” world.
So we pay heed to all the delicacies spread out before us smorsgasbord style in the marketplace and we all live and breathe the little that is left, the last vestiges of a once thriving and abundant nature. We have fricked and fracked our way along a strikingly incongruous path that weaves and wends linearly from source to sink. We hollow out this earth like so many termites all for the precious baubles that dangle from our ears, noses and eyebrows.
When a product enters the marketplace it is suffused into the whims of price, want, desire and habit. Plant trees that yield nuts and fruit. Harvest healing herbs and use them to heal. Strip the outer cellulose of a milkweed stalk and make rope, baskets, clothing. It is all at hand and immediate and it travels not, except if a walk in the sun to fetch it is considered travel?