"There's satisfaction in the job we do, but, at least for Penny and I, we get to work with our kids. Working with family."
Addison Chase, patriarch of Chase Farm

A confession. We're longing to illustrate a narrative that's flowing beneath the surface. The river in the ocean that's shrouded by the billowing sail but plays its vital role in carrying the ship to a new destination, a new shore.

For the most part, sustainability and climate change reports carry a bit of doom and gloom in their tone. The guests on our program embrace that reality, but they also bear out that the human spirit can never be vanquished. And with this "brightening on the path," as Ellen Davis puts it, hope is renewed as we rescue what we've lost and ways of living that lie dormant within us.

Meet Your Farmer

The two films included here are part of eight vignettes called Meet Your Farmer. Put forward by the Maine Farmland Trust, an organization that works to preserve farm land in the state, the films tell the stories of — and share the perspectives of — eight family farmers who echo sentiments harbored deep within the core of most of us:

"I think people want to be farmers. I think everybody really wants to be a farmer. I think (laughing). I think they do, deep down inside. Everybody wants to be a farmer."
Aaron Bell, Tide Mill Farm

They share our dreams and clarify perhaps a small piece of the romantic longing inside each one of us, at least to some degree — to live differently, to be more than we have become. For me, it's the notion of being able to work alongside my two boys far into my old age. Never having to leave their sides. To know them deeply, intimately. And for them to know me and their beautiful mother in the same way. The Chase and Bell families are passing down not only a work ethic and a set of values, but a heritage worthy of preserving:

"Children that grow up on farms, near farms, or working on farms — that know how to nurture life, whether it be a bed of carrots or a mother cow that’s having a tough delivery — and know how to even take a life, that know how to put a cow out of its misery, that know how to butcher a pig, that know how to do that in a humane way and understand and respect the importance of it... To know that importance and that meaning. They're going to know the difference between right and wrong. They're going to be more compassionate."

I'm hoping these films prompt you to think about your relationships — to the land, to your family, to your neighbors, to our collective heritage, to your faith — and then into words about what this means for you.

It could be a place — a prairie night sky or an urban garden. It could be an interaction with a neighbor or a local farmer — something that makes you contemplate the deeper meanings of possession of land and its care. The result: a collaboration between us and printmaker Annie Bissett to weave your narratives into a collective narrative through text and images.

(h/t to kateoplis)

Share Your Reflection

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7Reflections

Reflections

Wonderful, I posted to my FB page to share with others. Thank you for this.

I have just set up a fb account. Under interests I listed sustainable farming and farmers markets. Nutrition has gone by the wayside in this country.....for junk foods and produce that has to travel 1500 miles to get to our grocery stores. Big carbon foot print .... for food that has lost a good deal of nutrition not to mention the waste of food deteriorated on the way.
I am interested in being your friend on facebook. My e-mail is ms.ronc@gmail.com. Thank you for your consideration.

This was wonderful. Thank you for sharing with us.

I'd love to support them by visiting their restaurant, but Google couldn't find it. More details?

I am educating myself and family about food because our society has lost the understanding of what food is, how it's grown, prepared to eat and where it comes from (or where it shouldn't come from). These videos are of inspirational, real farmers. I'd like to know more about "backyard farmers" so I can learn from their mistakes and successes before I begin our family garden in Boulder, CO. I'm considering sending you a story. Thank you very much.

This is one o fthe most beautiful things I have ever seen. Thank you Chase Family and SOF.

I love your thought that everyone wants to be a farmer! The videos are well done and heartfelt. I want to be a farmer, I lament at times that what I learned growing up on a small farm that fed us and taught us, is not being passed on, and I also trust that one day I'll be working the land again, .