I keep a sticker on my laptop that reads “Eat like you give a Damn.” That sticker sums it all up succinctly for me: if you are willing to put it in your mouth, you better give it some thought. We are, literally, what we eat after all. Course yesterday at the table my 5 year old and I had this exchange: “Daddy?” “Yes Dear?” “What does *damn* mean?” As we don’t believe in Hell that was a fun conversation, but it ended well.
Today was the kickoff for the farming season for me. I pulled the Grillo out of the storage center, was pleased it fired on the third pull, loaded it up in the trailer behind the Golf and headed North to the market garden with some hand tools and an ounce of Spinach seed from Fed-Co. The weather was perfect – about 37 degrees, but bright and clear enough that I would be shedding my sweatshirt as soon as I got moving in the field. I had the stereo on as I drove. Music is important to me – I use it to mold, augment, or stifle my emotional state at most times; unless I am in for a Big Think I am typically listening to something. One would think that heading into such a bucolic scene I would be listening to George Winston’s Spring or at least something introspective or calm like the Shins, Ben Harper or the Be Good Tanyas. Nope. I was deep into Rage Against the Machine and Rise Against with some FloBots thrown in for good measure. I was Calm Like a Bomb and itching for a Fight.
Rather than melding my spirit with the rhythms of the Earth I had the very real feeling like I was preparing for a Revolution – the Carharts, boots and gloves I had donned were my uniform as a frontline insurgent in the Fight for the Future; my Grillo and DeWitt hoe the weapons of the New War. This was not a communion – it was battle.
Of course I was not at odds with Nature -She’s my greatest Ally and raison pour l’existence. But each of the 2000 seeds I sowed this morning were a statement that I want tomorrow to be different than today. With those seeds I palpably stated that I want to bring into existence 50#’s of sustainably grown food that would not have been there without my labors. I planted those seeds because I Give a Damn, to sell and barter to people that Give a Damn.
And it is a routine that I and thousands of others will repeat every weekend for the next 24 weeks. I will break it up with tours and workshops to help the Movement gain more momentum. I will blog about it to help others learn and to keep the discussion going. I will learn from others and refine my techniques so that we can reliably produce surpluses of food with little to no non local inputs and support local markets sustainably. Together we will win.
As made famous in the Battle of Seattle:
Your fist is the size of your heart – keep loving, keep fighting.
Be the Change.