May on the Farm

Good food is beautiful.

When we justified our coming here, our reasons were mostly moral. We believed in the real food movement and wanted to give it our support.

There’s another reason I didn’t give, although the influence for me was just as strong. I came here because of an artist. In his images he depicted life on a farm, and I thought it was beautiful. I fell in love with this way of life before we were living it.

Now I can see how much bigger it is than the pictures I fell in love with; or rather, that the images mean more when I revisit them. There are ugly aspects to farming, even this kind. Animals die and crops are washed away in the rain. Waste happens if we forget to protect the plants on a cold night. Mistakes made aren’t taken lightly, although they happen often.

But farming is beautiful here. What is beautiful about a factory farm? A commercial egg-laying operation? Animals lost won’t be mourned there. You’ll never shake that farmer’s hand, and his pigs will never feel fresh ground beneath their feet.

Life sits stagnant in the concrete buildings where most of our food is produced or processed. But here there is an ebb and flow.

And looking closely, you’ll find beauty in the balance.

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