Postmodern Farming, Quietly Flourishing

Old Blog Import

The worst farm crisis since the end of World War I never hit Amish farmers. The people of Holmes County and adjacent Wayne County suffer the defections of young people to town life, and the total number of Amish farms has declined since 1987, but not because the”plain people” fell into the technology trap. Government representatives have told farmers for a century that they need to secure themselves against the hard and unpredictable winds of the market economy by constantly increasing production. It is ironic, then, that Amish farmers, who never took that advice, live more resiliently (in this respect) than the great majority. Amish farmers are some of the best farmers in the world and the preservers of a genuine land ethic. The cycle of nutrients that recreates the land is not an antiquated idea; it expresses a fundamental ecological principle that has maintained Amish livelihood on this continent for 200 years. Manure and grazing figure in the curriculums of agricultural colleges and are regarded as cutting-edge ideas in environmental thought. There is no mystery about these methods, and David advocates them every chance he gets, convinced that others can take them up. Bucking every trend of contemporary American society, he says, as though calling out over the hills, We need more people on the land!””

The Chronicle: 6/21/2002: Postmodern Farming, Quietly Flourishing