Farming – Freedom or Drudgery?

Americans tell themselves two different stories about farm life.

One is a narrative about the farm as a place to escape from because it’s a dead-end workcamp that will trap you forever. This is an old story told by many an escapee and found in popular media and films. Stuck under the thumb of his tyrannical father who runs a hardscrabble operation in the hinterlands, the ambitious budding actor runs off to find fame and fortune in California and leaves hard days of labor behind. We’ve all met many a successful professional whose parents wished them a better life, having told them to flee the farm…go and make something of themselves.

The other story is a romantic one that is pulled from our Jeffersonian ideal of the proud yeoman farmer. In some ways it’s the reverse of the first story. Instead of escaping the farm, our character escapes the chaos and loneliness of the city and wage-slavery of a 9-5 job to find real freedom through his own honest work. Instead of enriching some faceless business, this proud American builds his own and joins the ranks of other hard-working, honest farmers who are the backbone of our great country.

Of course, each is an ideal that is only partially true. I tilt towards the second as it fits my own romantic ideals and sensibilities, yet I have certainly lived days where I’ve felt the first down in my bones. If I were honest with you and myself, it’s a little of both and that magic gives the farmer his or her depth and heart. Only through hardship does the farmer or farm family find the well-earned freedom or strength of spirit so lauded by Americans.

In the box:

Each day when I stop after solid a 10-hour slog in the fields, I’m able to admire the tangible work of my labor and find a satisfaction no other kind of work can provide. Yesterday, as I finished a sit-down meal on the cabin porch with my farm crew of Marissa and Maya, a familiar peaceful, tired calm drew over me. As the Two-Hearted Ale kicked in and we engaged in lively debate, the sun set over the back hill. At that moment, my only wish in the world was that more people could experiece the same camaraderie and joy.

  • Crimson Sweet Watermelon
  • A Couple Ears of Corn
  • Celery
  • Tomatoes
  • Glow and Italia Peppers
  • A Couple Jalapeno Peppers
  • Garlic
  • Carrots
  • Beets
  • Eggplant
  • A Couple Leeks

One recipe idea we had as we were packing boxes was a grilled corn salsa to put these two ears of corn to work together with the jalapenos –

Source: The Minimalist Baker (

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s