There are a lot of different persectives as to what defines land stewardship and what responsibilities we have to the land as a community and as individuals. Having moved to a rural setting, with the intent of becoming a Steward of the Land, I have met with a lot of these individuals in the hopes to learn and build cooperative relationships. Unfortunately, I find there is more I disagree with than I agree with.
As a newcomer to the land, I have met with a lot of other newcomers hoping to tend to this place. They are concerned with the abuses of the past and are looking for new ways by which to encourage the land and help the earth grow. Unfortunately, I find they do this without an eye to the past, forgetting the hunger and dangers that drove the unsuccessful away from the land they now work. Willing to sacrifice humanitarian objectives to ecological ones, they are quick to chastise those that try to turn a profit. They forget that a person that puts more resources into a project than they take out will eventually bleed themselves dry.
Instead I find myself drawn toward the old farmers, whose families have been doing this for hundreds of years. Farmers who can hear their plant’s growth, smell their soil’s mood, or taste the weather’s change. No nonsense farmers who spray chemicals and watch the markets for changes in prices they can take advantage of. Farmers whose great-grandfathers were born, raised, and died, on the very land they work; and intend for their great-grandchildren to do the same. I don’t agree with everything they do, but I agree with their long-term vision, and sense of generational growth.
So, I find myself trapped between two ways of doing things, not entirely agreeing with either party. I don’t have the resources to start a farm of the scale as many of the multi-generational farms; and operating the “sustainable” farms of the newcomers would consume every resource I have, leaving me destitute in its wake.
The Fisher Kings
Years ago I remmber reading the story of the Fisher Kings.
… more to come