Sunday, November 8, 2009

Down on the Farm

The valley has two or three major arroyo systems that drain the water from the high mountains down in to the city. Each arroyo is a winding twisting road of sand and trees that guide the nourishment in to the place where people thrive and prosper. It is here that the farm sits. On a flat plain just a mile outside town is a lovely spot of fields and trees.

This land has sat fallow for decades until one day someone came along and decided to plant some food for the local inhabitants to eat. This is a special field that is tucked into the community and each week people come to the farm to tend the fields and harvest the crops.

As I make my way out on the land in the late autumn light, I am struck by the sheer beauty of my surroundings. The desolation in a sea of nothing, yet all around me is life, sustenance, and a knowing that the quiet soothes me each day.

Our food is our sustenance, yet where does it come from. Are we aware of who grew our food ? Or do we just walk into the local store and pick it up. The foragers knew that the root or plant that they picked that day is their meal for the evening. Thousands of years ago, before agriculture came into existence, the only things we put in our mouths was the stuff we caught, picked, or were given to us by a neighbor who was generous enough to share a meal with us.

Maybe thats why sharing of a meal is such a special place in our heart. From a long time ago we remember what it was like to come across our neighbor hungry. For that day had not yielded any forage, and so as the night fell, we were used to that sense of hunger and yearning for what we need to go on to the next day or week.

The farm provides us with that place where we can grow our own food and then harvest when the time is right. But as we look around the sweeping vistas that surround the majestic valley of sun, rain, and wind we remember that time not that long ago when we did not have the luxury that over thousands of years seed storage, planting, and sustenance guide us forward.

I walk back in to the field and harvest my beets, turnips, and carrots for the evening broth and make sure to leave some for another day. For it may be not to far in the distant future when that beet is no longer there. Not a thought or contemplation of the many, but yet something that provides for the thankfulness of yet another meal to share with ourselves and the world of hunger that needs us.


  1. It sounds like you are living on a farm, working it. Maybe your friend owns the farm and you are there helping. If so, I could break clods with my own bare feet. On the other hand, it sounds wistful, a wnting for simpler provision. Either way works, and I have done both with pleasure.

  2. I am looking forward to your help in the garden, now that you have appreciated its pleasures... Sharon has put down fertilizer and watered but she's leaving soon... Tonight we had a farewell for her and I made "International Falls Art and Poetry Salon Salad with Apples, Walnuts, European Cucumber, and Egg with a mayonnaise sauce..." "International Falling Red Bean-Pumpkin Chili Soup" "Salade of Rainy Lake Salmon and International Wild Falling Rice with Garlic Sesame and Peanuts" oh and some spicy hot homemade enchiladas, and also and gave her a a large sunny marigold plant with these instructions " for Sharon until Friday, then plant yourself as a golden marigold plant in the Poetry Garden, we will water till you return from the frozen North!" I think we need a plant for you... what shall it be? Will you be tending our garden here or shall you be a plant for us to tend to??

  3. Sharon, My friend does own an organic farm here in Silver City, so its fun to hang out with him and tend the Earth. Enjoy your journey up north, and I will follow your blog as well.

  4. Kathabela, Glad to hear your garden is doing good as well -- looking forward to seeing the progress upon my return -- getting your hands dirty and watching plants grow is certainly a joyous feeling -- keep digging.