Sunday, March 2, 2008

An Agriculturalist's Credo

I believe in America’s agricultural revival. I’m 23 years old, the product of a small liberal arts college and a bustling, cosmopolitan graduate school, and I’m comparison shopping for work boots and overalls in preparation for my first day as a farmer. I’ll be honest; I don’t entirely know what I’m getting into. I grew up in the city, have never grown so much as a tomato. Call me crazy, but I actually believe that I can do this.

And I believe that I am not some fringe element, a Luddite burying my head in the compost and refusing to acknowledge the globalized world in which I live. I know this because of the response I hear when I describe my new job. Where I expected incredulity, I have been met with excitement. Again and again, my conversation partners confided in me their own dreams of living off the land. I received book recommendations and reminiscences, and I learned just how many people are thinking local, even if their refrigerators suggest otherwise.

As for me, my reasons for this abrupt change of scenery are simple: taste and integrity. I want to eat well, and I want to practice what I preach regarding food. What better way to promote gastronomical mindfulness than to construct my daily routine around stewardship of the very earth that sustains me? Time invested yields richness of experience. That richness grows out of following a process from start to finish, something infrequently facilitated by a conventional, industrial food chain. My food chains are about to become dramatically shorter, slower, and more interesting.

I’ll punctuate this record with matching recipes and pictures as often as I can. Check in, dear reader, if you’d like to remember what sunrise looks like, or if you’ve ever been impressed by the verdant abundance encoded in a seed.

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