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Farming in Manhattan

Posted 1/20/2012 6:36pm by Jeanette Wilson.

Well, it's time to make those New Year plans and analyze what is going well and worth continuing.  It's the time that we look at every acre and see if we are doing what is best for that particular piece of land.


It's is this time of over-thinking that causes me to think about the value of land in general.  Some places in the world are so high-value that the real estate commands incredible prices.  These are the places where important decisions are made every day which affect millions of people. Places in these, usually urban settings, are recognized as the ultimate real estate purchase, a testimony to the owners' success.  

What does that have to do with a little mountain farm in Western North Carolina?  Only the word association game in my mind connects them.  High-value - best crops - best return - most nutrition per serving - grows well in our climate - heirloom variety... see where I go with this?  What is the best way to use our small acreage?  Why give animals so much room to walk around when we could pen them all up for cost and efficiency savings?  Why use organic treatments in our fields when we could use a cheaper and faster synthetic solution for bugs and disease?

Why even pursue a business with so much risk as to be heart-stopping?  Because of the high value of it all!  What farmers do daily seems pretty mundane, even unpleasant at times.  But when I think about the neighbors and families we serve, they strike me as being important - and the methods we use provide a different kind of produce and meat.  It reminds me how unique our opportunities are to keep the best and freshest and purest foods available in our own community.

So when I am checking my field maps and making plans and seed orders, it helps to recognize that even way out of the centers of power, where appraisers don't always see much than some bottomland, or hillsides, or timber, there might be something valuable.  In a way, it reminds me afresh of the entire feeling of doing the best with the role we have been given in this life.  Now that's a New Years ambition!  

Soli Deo Gloria!