The Romantic Farmer…

August 25, 2020

I don’t consider myself a farmer by any means, but I’m a great helper, picker, and weeder and I’ve done my share of volunteer work on CSA farms and co-op farms, among other things.  I often romanticize farming, especially today, when we have so many CSA’s, hobby farms, and other farms that defy the big comglomerates of past decades.

Now when you compare American farming to say European farming, South American, or Chinese or Indian farming, I would think we would fall far behind, but am I right about that?  We’re not known as a farming country anymore, but I’m always hearing about under the radar farms like CSA’s and hobby farms with great connections that give me hope that farming will one day find itself at the forefront of the American economy.

I think of farming in other countries as sometimes more romantic than here in America.  For example, farming in France, Italy, Spain, and parts of South America just seems so loved and part of the culture.  And I’ve heard some things about China and how farmers use their small patch of land to grow several crops and it just sounds like something Americans and other countries could learn from!

I know farming has somewhat changed in America from big comglomerate, commerical farming to smaller farms and you’ll hear of people growing gardens more than they used to.  I sometimes hear how farming is in trouble in America, but is it really? I hear, read, or see how people off the beaten path are putting in serious time to make soil farmable, or use non-GMO seeds, or make a farm habitable again (like the amazing doc “The Biggest Little Farm”).

And with this pandemic making us all enjoy the outdoors more, I think about regular people turning to small scale farming for relief, therapy, and just better healthy living.  I think of Americans as pretty outdoorsy (but not compared to some Europeans), and I would like to think that our evolving farming speaks to that.