The other day my six year old shocked and awed me when she stated she wanted to become a farmer when she grew up. . This career was chosen from a list of very attractive options: a donut baker; a professional soccer player, a veterinarian; a rock climber/ski bum; and a baby doctor. She was filling out a form for her school’s wall of fame and this was one of the questions. I wanted to hug her and dance around the room. Then I wanted to call all her hard working roll models- local farmers, family ranchers, and a handful of folks trying to piece together school garden programs. I asked her numerous times if this was REALLY what she wanted to put on her poster. “Yes, mom, quit bugging me,” she responded as she rolled her eyes.
I’m not sure why I was so surprised, except the past few times I have asked her to help me plant seeds she hasn’t been all that interested. I thought perhaps she was bored of the whole thing. I still consider myself a total novice at gardening, but since she was born, we have been dabbling in investigating, experimenting, and experiencing agrarian lifestyles. By the time she was 1-year old she had toured a cheese-making factory high in the Swiss Alps and we have phallic photos of her teething on their artisan sausages. We have spent extended time on a cousin’s cattle ranch in the Trinity Alps, and six months of last year at
I wonder whom she has in mind when she pictures a farmer? The nonconformist Jed and Dale from
All I know is that turning young people on to farming, and teaching them about the interconnection between the earth and everything human, is our only hope to weather the environmental and economic crisis that are facing humans on a global scale. So many people are working toward this end; I just want them to know THEY ARE SUCCEEDING! The global paradigm shift from thinking food has to be cheap and come in a box is being reversed. As Michael Pollan points out in his recent
I think someday we’ll look back on these troubled times as the catalyst for one of the greatest movements in human history. A new president, a global economic crisis that will halt our insatiable consumption, an urgent regard for the environment, and best of all, a renewed passion for good, clean, fair food.