March 22nd

Last night when I got home from an evening meeting, my coat was so wet from walking across the parking lot that Dave hung it in the laundry room to dry rather than put it in the closet.  Wet weather is an inconvenience for some of us, but for farmers and gardeners too much water is as bad as not enough water.  Agriculture has been described as the biggest gamble of all.  We who grow food are dependent on the whims of weather—I know weather doesn’t really have whims but it is alliterative.

My favorite books growing up were the “Little House” series by Laura Ingalls Wilder.  Those books describe a family in Minnesota and South Dakota trying to survive as farmers in a climate that was very harsh.  The last book of the series is called, “The First Four Years” and in it Laura describes the first four years of her marriage to Alonzo.  Every year their crops failed because of one natural disaster after another.  Through no fault of their own they had to leave the homestead in South Dakota and seek a new way of life. 

Family size farms continue to disappear from our landscape.  We all lose as they disappear because they provide a needed diversity of crops and from them we can learn better stewardship of the land.  As we pray in thanksgiving for our daily bread, we give thanks for farmers who grow the wheat! (and rye, and oats, and flax, et cetera) Amen.