Saturday, July 28, 2012

Farming: A Hand Book

Late July's bounty is upon us, in all its colors.  It is a time of feasting and joy, and as farmers we celebrate the fact that we are still in one piece after the spring's crazy demands on our bodies and mental states!  I thought I'd share some photos from the last few weeks on the farm, and some poems from a book I've been reading lately, "Farming: A Hand Book" by Wendell Berry, written in 1967.

Sowing the seed, 
my hand is one with the earth.

Wanting the seed to grow,
my mind is one with the light.

Hoeing the crop,
my hands are one with the rain.

Having cared for the plants,
my mind is one with the air.

Hungry and trusting,
my mind is one with the earth.

Eating the fruit,
my body is one with the earth.

-Wendell Berry

Carrot harvest, a poem in pictures:

Put your hands into the mire.
They will learn the kinship
of the shapen and the unshapen,
the living and the dead.
-Wendell Berry

 Let me wake in the night
and hear it raining
and go back to sleep.
-Wendell Berry

I love to lie down weary
under the stalk of sleep
growing slowly out of my head,
the dark leaves meshing.
-Wendell Berry


Don't worry and fret about the crops.  After you have done all you can for them, let them stand in the weather on their own.

If the crop of any one year was all, a man would have to cut his throat every time it hailed.

But the real products of any year's work are the farmer's mind and the cropland itself.

If he raises a good crop at the cost of belittling himself and diminishing the ground, then he has gained nothing.  He will have to begin all over again the next spring, worse off than before.

Let him receive the season's increment into his mind.  Let him work it into the soil.

The finest growth that farmland can produce is a careful farmer.

Make the human race a better head.  Make the world a better piece of ground.

-Wendell Berry

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