The other day I was reading a book I have enjoyed many times called “Thimble Summer”. I was reading the last chapter where two of the characters, Eric and Jay, are discussing what they want to be when they are older. Eric says he wants to be a farmer and Jay says something along the lines of, “I could never be a farmer. You’re always worrying about drought, and crops failing, and debt. What would you want to be a farmer for? You’ve seen the world. I want to see the world, not be stuck here. I could never be farmer.” Eric chastises Jay by telling him he’d seen worse than droughts and that once you’ve seen the world there isn’t much left to see. Besides you would own a farm that belonged to you.
Eric realized something very important that a lot of young people miss: the value of owning your own piece of land. So often young people reach for things that glitter and shine but really have very little value. The don’t realize that satisfaction is actually owning something and being able to turn it into a treasure to be passed down. There is something to be said for being “stuck”. Not that you are truly “stuck”-it’s all in your point of view. You could be living in a fancy apartment in a city and feel “stuck”. The way to not feel stuck is to try to find the value of the things around you and add more value to them. You can only get this perspective from God who values everybody.
Just feeling inspired to encourage young people to go back to the land. 🙂
Here is an article I wrote when I was a teenager documenting my journey to becoming a farm girl. The experience I have written down below happened when I had just turned sixteen. Enjoy!
One day some friends and I and my youth group leader went to the Big City for a missions conference. After we had been at the conference for some time, we decided to go out and get a bite to eat before the ending worship service. When we got outside it was dark and rather exciting to be walking along the sidewalk of a big city at night looking for a place to eat. But as I looked up at the sky above the tall buildings, I realized with some anxiety that there appeared to be no stars. Of course I knew that there were still stars and that the city lights were so bright that you could not see the gentler light of the stars, but still it was rather disconcerting. Later that night as I went to sleep at a friend’s house in the suburbs next to the Big City, I thought about the fact that you couldn’t see any stars. Deep in my heart I started to miss my farm and my family. Right then is when I think the stirrings of realizing I was a real farm girl started to come to the surface. I decided that unless God asked me to live in a big city, that I wouldn’t choose that lifestyle for myself.
Later when an older friend who was out of high school mentioned to me that they were thinking of moving to that same Big City that I had visited, I told them about my experience with the stars. They didn’t move there. I don’t think it was because of my experience that I told them about, more than likely it was their personal decision. Nevertheless, they didn’t move there as far as I know. *Wink.* 😉
I felt a call of action today to garden. Because there may come a time soon when we are not just gardening for fun but for our food.
The wake up call came in the form of my mom coming home from Wal-Mart. She mentioned that there are a lot of items missing on the shelves and not restocked in a timely manner, just empty spaces that used to hold conveniences we use every day. The word that came to mind was shortages. Who thought we’d hear that word in America?! It’s just a whisper now but the warning may grow louder.
All these thoughts made me think of gardening. Because where do we get most of our food? The local grocery store. Not to discredit them, they do a good and useful job. But most grocery stores don’t have a lot of back stock especially of fruits and vegetables. Half of the grocery store would have to be freezers and refrigerated rooms to keep all that food fresh if they were getting one shipment every week. But they aren’t just getting shipments of things every week, they are getting shipments every day, small shipments just enough stock to keep them going for three days and after that, no more groceries.
I sincerely worry about people who have an emergency garden kit that comes in a nuclear resistant can (slight exaggeration) that promises that you can grow an entire garden for a year’s worth of food and all you have to do is store it in a cool dry place. I’m sorry to break it to you; your ‘can’ isn’t going to save you but C.A.N. will. What?! Let me explain C.A.N. Calm Action to save a Nation. What does that mean? It means you need to have skills. Let me expand my thoughts. You need to have a cool head and an inner peace to deal with circumstances that would make your natural human nature tremble in fear. That covers calm. Action means knowing the skills necessary to live in a variety of circumstances and being able to perform those skills to make survival possible. To save a nation. Hmm. Well, call me a dreamer. My hope is that enough people will wake up, stand up, and make a stink enough about certain global and government entities — entities that are doing things behind our backs to get rich and laugh and play their lyres while they watch Rome burn. My hope for America is that people will wake up.
Ultimately, my hope is in God. But I don’t think it hurts to know how to garden.
A friend once mentioned to me that their favorite movie was Wall-E, which made me want to see it again as my family and I haven’t watched it in awhile.
That movie came out at just the right time for my family, we were considering moving to our farm and it seemed quite a daunting step; we were starting from scratch.
One evening during that certain time, we decided to watch Wall-E. One fun tradition that I have is that whenever we watch Wall-E, I always dance to the music at the end while the credits roll. So that night I danced, I danced in absolute joy. All I can say is that the power of God must have fallen that night because the whole family was filled with supernatural joy; God was confirming our steps, He was moving in America-bringing His people back to the land-and we got to be a part of it!
When we did watch Wall-E again, I danced again, and the same joy came back. God is moving in America. We get to join in the dance. Hallelujah! 😀
I clearly remember the day that I decided to become a farmer. We were helping some friends bale their hay into square bales. It was an all day job. The wife of the farmer we were helping told her kids they should go do their chores, so I went with them to help. The kids soon finished and went to go wash up for supper or something-I don’t remember what they were doing exactly-and the grown-ups were finishing baling the hay. I had a moment to myself and I was scratching the chin of a little black goat with floppy ears that belonged to their oldest child.
Now to back track a little bit, I had not grown up on a farm, I had moved to our farm with my family when I was thirteen. And I had been struggling to settle down. I wasn’t sure if I was a farm girl or even if it was something in my heart that I wanted to be. Added to the fact that now I was sixteen and I had a crush on a farm boy who did not like me nor wanted anything to do with me romantically, I was wondering if I had only wanted to do it because of him or if it was really something I personally wanted to do. All this was tumbling around in my head as I scratched the chin of the little black goat.
I remember standing up from petting the goat and beholding a beautiful sunset. As I stood enjoying the sunset and our friend’s beautiful farm in the golden light while listening to the gentle baa’s of the goats, a sense of peace filled my heart and I knew that I loved farming and that everything was going to be okay regardless of what happened with the young farmer, and that I really wanted to do this for my sake and not just to please someone else. Needless to say that young farmer is no longer a part of my life; he moved on and so did I. Now I am twenty and still farming strong. I am very glad that I decided to do it for myself and that I truly love it.