Monday, March 17, 2008

New trend: Urbanites becoming Organic Farmers

Confession: In many ways I'm a cliché. Yes, I went to Sarah Lawrence College, am now vegetarian (vegan for Lent!), and have chosen a commune type lifestyle in which I make little money. I eat organic when possible and care about where my food comes from. I am trying to switch from driving to biking to work, and I am about to buy into an organic coop. What next? I've been dreaming of moving to a farm for years. I've thought of going to work on my brother's girlfriend's family farm in Iowa, or going to a Catholic Worker farm in upstate New York. One of my current housemates is from a farm outside Baltimore and I'm tempted to volunteer my hours there this summer. It seems I am just one of the many young urbanites seeking to work with the Earth. Lately I've been discovering more and more how I value practical knowledge and working with my hands. It is so gratifying to cultivate or create something tangible. To take raw elements and work them into something delightful to the eye, mouth, or touch and also nourishing or functional has been an evolving theme for me this year. As I learn to repair bikes, knit socks, cook dinner, and grow a vegetable garden, I'm learning how empowering these tasks can be. It's nice to be able to do it for yourself and know the craft and skill that goes into these things. Besides, you learn so much by taking matters into your own hands.

This year I'm leading an organic gardening club at the school where I teach. Let's see if I can even maintain a garden patch before I start dreaming about having my own farm.

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