Thursday, July 4, 2013

An Independent Memory

About mid way through my early farming days, a most amazing and interesting man came to my farm. He said he was inspired by what I was doing here at my little place, and yet, it would become a mutual inspiration.  He would go on to show me his views of how the simple act of growing one’s own food, was a bold step of revolution – peaceful, but revolutionary still the same.

I’d always thought of growing food as logical, creative, deep and almost magical all wrapped up into one. Why grow a bunch of ugly, water hogging grass when you can raise beauty and food? Why buy something at the store you can grow yourself? Especially when it can be grown at a much lower cost than you could buy it for, and it comes with the added bonus of knowing that it is safe to eat.

And, growing your own food, for me, has always been a deep connection to all of nature. I am really communing with my Creator daily on the farm as I rely on Him to awaken the seeds from the soil into their perfect colors and textures; to orchestrate the choir of earthworms and microorganisms in their complex act of breaking down solid materials into nutrients, so the plants can absorb them; to bring the sun, rain, wind and the temperatures together in a perfect melody to provide a perfect growing environment; to send along the majestic little honey bees and native pollinators to almost magically cause the beautiful flowers forming, to turn into vegetables. To watch this process happen; a beautiful plant to grow up into something edible, from a simple seed I put into the ground with hope for it to grow – is nothing short of beauty and magic, mixed with common sense. I guess that’s why it has always just felt perfectly right for me to do this; growing things.  

Now this man I’m talking about, he saw all of this, too. After all, we spent many a day playing in the dirt side by side, laughing, singing and talking with each other and the plants, insects and all of the life in the garden – whether seen and heard by others or not, we had a great time. It was always an experience way beyond just the act of sowing and harvesting, preparing and selling. The connection to the people we sold to, was also a bonding experience of nurturing, empowering and giving back, forming the whole idea of farming and gardening as a most beautiful thing to share with someone.

But, no, this man I knew, he saw farming and gardening as something even further than all of this. To him, it was also an act of revolution for the people. What greater act of independence is there, than to be free from a corporate run government food system? To join together with neighbors, friends and family and grow food was freedom! Whether in a community garden, or in someone’s front or back yard, people coming together in a place where everyone helps each other work, shares in the bounty, breaks bread together in the sunshine – ok, we’re in Texas, so we break bread in the shade - and it's gluten free these days, too, I suppose.... But do you see the picture? I did. And it was inspiring.

And when you are growing your own food, it means no more eating GMO foods or food with pesticide residue, grown in fields sprayed time and again with herbicides that float down into the water tables. This not only means safer to eat for you, but it means, we’re not supporting the exploitation, abuse and neglect of farm workers all over the world, Si Se Puede! - or the abuse of our planet.

Yes, growing a garden is indeed revolutionary – a great and peaceful act of independence. This man has been a great inspiration to many with his art and led many peaceful actions throughout his whole amazing life as he’s stood for what he believed in to be good, beautiful and lovely. He can really have a great impact on growing food locally and empower many more people with his ways. I look forward to playing in the dirt together again some day. Among many other things, he has a fresh set of eyes to see beyond what gardening and farming could mean to people and he had such a gentle way of sharing that vision. I’ve always wanted to empower others to grow their own food so they could better control their health through nutrition. Now, you can add to it, that it is also an act of a peaceful revolution. Happy independence day, wherever you are. 


Eat Your Food - Naturally!