The Art of Farming

We are gathered here today to rejoice and celebrate farmers and agriculture.

The art of farming immerses us in the natural world, the seen and unseen, the world of senses: smell, feel, hearing, touch, and especially taste. It teaches us about abundance in life and gratitude for all we have.

The art of farming is where we become seduced by the vision, the pictures of possibility present on the pages of a seed catalogue. Where we can fall into bed exhausted yet exhilarated. It teaches us hope for a future we can envision. It also teaches us that the present moment is all that truly exists.

The art of farming constantly reminds us that although we sometimes think we have it figured out, the uncertainty and wildness of the natural world breaks through this illusion and presents us with more unknowns yet to be discovered.

It teaches us that life, like the onion, has many layers of complexity and our life’s journey is to understand that we cannot know it all. It teaches us to have faith in the uncertainty.

The art of farming immerses us in the cycle of living and dying, the cycle of seasons, the solar and the lunar, the inter-relatedness of all life forms, the connection between the seed and the soil, the lamb and the ewe, the predator and the prey.

The art of farming immerses us in our human connection. The sower and the reaper, the producer and consumer, the employer and employee, the picker and the packer, the husband and wife, the adult and child. The art of farming teaches us to navigate these relationships with respect, honor, love, and kindness.

The art of farming immerses us in humility. It teaches us awe for the mystery of life. It teaches us to be prayerful before the Ground of all Being . To take our place as one of many players on this planet. It teaches us to be respectful of natural processes. It teaches us about beauty in the essence of all things, the butterfly, the flower, and the fungi.

The art of farming teaches us about the fragility of life. It can be changed and altered through our actions and inactions. It teaches us that we cannot sit on the sidelines and live out our days without speaking out to injustice. As farmers we know that justice to each other and the natural world is the true reality. It teaches us that the heart will not be at ease until all have a seat at the table of opportunity in life.

So, as we sit down to dinner today and enjoy this beautiful setting, let us partake of this wonderful meal prepared by many hands knowing that we are completing the cycle of the art of farming by consuming this food with thankful hearts. Please enjoy your meal and companionship.