Thursday, June 18, 2009
My brother thinks I am a nut. A loon. A crazy person. Depending on one's definition of "crazy", that may not be completely objectionable to me. Where I see a need for a larger return to the land and pastoral pursuits, he places his bets on science, technology, and modern advance. I tell him that it is in part BECAUSE of this modern advance that there is this need to return to the land.
I believe we all should relearn what our ancestors knew. Simplicity. Humility. Homesteading. Relying on and helping our neighbors. If my neighbors were the barn-raising type, I would have a chicken coop already built, and so would they. They would have a king sized quilt and winter scarves, and I would have 2 cords of wood and a store of raw honey.
I like modern technology as well, since it does allow me to share this post with you, but I do not take for granted that such conveniences are without cost. I am ready to throw my cell phone into the abyss. We are too readily lapping up what we are fed by society and big business, and we have forgotten how to tie our own shoes.
I think I should attempt to feed myself (and as many others as possible) by growing and canning my own food. My brother thinks the supermarket and restaurant will do just fine. But what is often missed in this equation is that we are allowing our government and big business to know it for us, and in so doing, we are giving away our rights. If you have never heard of it, try reading Everything I want to do is illegal. Visit Food Renegade and read about Wendell Berry, who is willing to go to jail to defend our rights against the sweeping NAIS legislation that will change all of farming. Why was there a need for police presence at an agricultural meeting?
Have you ever sold lemons or other fruits from your trees? I have; in front of my house to make money when I was a child. Have your children ever run a lemonade stand with lemons from your tree? Mine has. Do you ever sell eggs from your chickens? Do you want to ever be able to do any of these things? These things may all soon be illegal. Legislators want to make sure every individual is regulated in the name of safety. But they remove my right (and yours) to choose in so doing.
I am not a nut. Or a loon. Or crazy. I am awake and aware, with my eyes wide open. I want my choice to eat and produce and obtain whole, real, healthy food. I want the food at the restaurant where my brother eats to have the right to serve whole, real, healthy food. It will take more than just me and Wendell Berry to ensure the preservation of that right. It will require you as well.