(Originally posted on July 4th, 2010)
Today is the Fourth of July, our nation’s celebration of independence from Great Britain. Our course we all know that what we celebrate is the declaration, not the actual fact. Independence was only achieved after a long hard war.
Farming has a lot to do with being independent. Many see family farming and small farmers as the final frontier in the struggle for independence. I used to think this was a lonely venture, to be trod in relative solitude. No more.
This year I have discovered that many people want to stake a claim to freedom that is found in the economics of the small homestead farm. We have had the most amazing number of volunteers turn up at our farm-gate, wanting to learn how to feed themselves. I’m witnessing a small revolution, one that is centered on the gift of good land and all that it implies in our lives.
This year, the 4th fell on a Sunday. And so it is appropriate to acknowledge that freedom is ultimately a gift from the Creator, and we are blessed with the ability to choose how we use that freedom. What my volunteers are teaching me this year is that many are using that freedom to help others and grow themselves in ways that only a connection to the creation, and ultimately the Creator, can. I do not know what the future has in store for this country. I do know that the liberty of freedom is coupled with the burden of responsibility – to each other and to our gift of good land. JB