Agrarianism as a Teacher

Through agrarianism we allow ourselves to transform seemingly hard choices into easily handled decisions. Through our connection with the land, we learn everything that is important, and are then able to infer what is not. We discover lessons that have far-reaching implications through the simple activities we must perform to sustain ourselves, and in so doing, we become strong and truly independent. We learn that we need to provide very little to receive so much. We only need to provide two things: hard work and unwavering faith.

At planting time, I sow oats in rows, cover them with soil, and tamp that soil down to ensure good contact with the seeds. My work to grow these oats did not begin there, and it does not end there. I must intelligently prepare the ground before planting, and diligently cultivate the ground until harvest, when I must perform the physically demanding tasks that process this grain into human food. I may choose to enjoy this work, albeit strenuous, and I do so choose. All the while I must have faith that the crows will not eat every last seed as it sprouts, faith that the rains will come when they must and pause when they must, faith that insects, disease, rodents, and deer will spare the grain as it ripens, and above all, I must have faith that even if I were to completely lose my crop of oats, I would still live on, ever faithful and hardworking, knowing that I will always be provided with what I need exactly when I need it, but not always with what I want exactly when I want it.

If I do successfully perform this hard work, and keep my faith unwavering, I may be rewarded with the abundance that is the grain harvest. It is a wonderful thing, a miracle even, to witness the seed that you have sown and tended with your labor multiply fifty to one hundred times it’s initial bulk in just a few short months. After the harvest there is more hard work to be done, but with every step in the process you can feel, see, smell, and taste how close you are coming to consuming the porridge or the bread, that sustenance your body needs and which you were willing to labor and pray for.

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