Wednesday, March 23, 2011

It's A Way Of Life

"So, why do you want to farm?"

People often ask me this question after we strike up a conversation. Most of them are curious as to why a young person would choose to live and work on a farm when they could live in a big city or earn a college education.

All of us farmers have varying reasons for why we chose this occupation, but for me it is more than a job or livelihood; this practice of farming, which nurtures the earth, animals, and people, is a way of life.

Having been first taught conventional farming methods, I have a deep appreciation for the grass-based, beyond-organic farming practices that are lived out every day at Polyface Farm. Here are a few reasons why I farm:

Healing the land: Through years of skillful grazing management, the land is being healed with increasing amounts of organic matter, earthworm activity, and fertility, which boosts grass growth and pasture stability.

Raising happy animals: By growing in an environment that mimics nature, animals are able to fully express their natural behavior and way of living, which makes them happy and healthy.

Nourishing people: Food from pastured animals contain healthy nutrients, minerals, and good fats & proteins, not to mention excellent flavor!

Good, hard work: Farming requires long hours of hard physical labor, but the work is good and fulfilling, and keeps us active and strong.

Community: The people that I am blessed to work with every day enrich my life; they provide the support and community that keep us all motivated and energized. The positive, encouraging attitudes here are a blessing!

Spiritual fulfillment: Psalms 24:1 says "The earth is the Lord's, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it." Being able to care for what God has entrusted us with is a noble and rewarding lifestyle.

How about you? Why do you love your lifestyle?


Grace said...

You make an excellent farmer!

Wendy said...

LOVE this Kristen!!!!!!! Best job ever!!! xoxo

Rick Hanson said...

I homestead because I get to decide what I eat by what I feed my animals, and what I ammend my soil with.
If you need to be a chemist to read a food label, do you really want it in your body?
Excellent job, Kristen! You ladies rock! Farm on!

Anne said...

It all makes sense! Well said, Kristen.

Sheeps and Peeps Farm said...

All great reasons to be a farmer... to lead a farming life. Love 'hearing' your different 'voices' on the blog.

skell said...

Loved this post!

skell said...

My wife posted above, and told me to check out your post. It is really cool to hear what the Polyface ladies have to say. And especially a young woman as yourself with an agenda for good, awesome!

I thought I would give an answer to your question,
Why do I love my lifestyle?

I don't, but let me explain.

Mine has not been one of quick answers and spontaneous activity. My lifestyle has involved patience and struggle. I haven't always felt like I knew what direction to go in but I think it is in struggling with that that I am beginning to understand the best of all things.

As someone who follows Jesus Christ, I am excited by seeing Him in my life.

Those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength, they will mount up with wings as eagles, they will run and not grow weary.

Joel said something one day about making our life sacred, our work and our activities. Even further, to make your life a sacrifice to God: a sanctuary. To abandon your own selfish ambition, your own prestige, in order to worship God in your life. It is that goal that gives me fire in the eyes.

I don't love my life but I am certainly excited by the pursuit of God. What could be better?

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