Posts Tagged ‘land’
We rented, but we cared.
It seems against our nature not to care. Caring for ones shelter is surely innate. But it wasn’t ours, and this became more and more obvious as the years passed.
We planted a peach tree the first year on Second Street. The next spring we raised chicks to chickens and turned our lawn into food.
“You need to cut down that tree when you leave,” my landlord said as I was moving out. “I don’t want to have to take care of it, and it’s too hard to mow around.”
Today I bought someone else’s eggs for $3.50 and ate a peach from the freezer.
The land is vast, but taxes surely make it expensive. What is the answer?
There are thousands of cows placed on a small plot of land. Food is dumped into troughs, and manure is scooped away. It’s extremely efficient.
The smell is somewhat nostalgic if you have grown up on a farm, but this is not your grandfather’s family farm. These CAFO’s are jarring in their depiction of what is truly for dinner.
Is efficiency what we desire in our animal related agriculture? This is the kind of question we must ask if we are truly to be a sustainable nation.
“To us the ashes of our ancestors are sacred and their resting place is hallowed ground. You wander far from the graves of your ancestors and seemingly without regret. Your religion was written upon tablets of stone by the iron finger of your God so that you could not forget. The Red Man could never comprehend or remember it. Our religion is the traditions of our ancestors — the dreams of our old men, given them in solemn hours of the night by the Great Spirit; and the visions of our sachems, and is written in the hearts of our people.”
- Chief Seattle in Contested Speech
Wendell Berry talks of two types of people in the world, the nurturer and the exploiter. The more I begin to understand my own tendencies and those of the people around me, I’m frightened by human potential and those types who have defined our history.
I think often about owning land. Why? Do I crave the security of entering into the communion of homeownership? Do I want to draw a line in the sand as if to say, “This is mine?” Or is it just a bit of the ol’ “if you can’t beat ‘em join ‘em?”
People talk of owning property in terms of “view” and “location” but rarely does someone say to me, “I would like to buy this piece of land because the history my family has here.” It’s as if the land has become only something to look at and possess, another thing to place in a box in the attic or in a storage facility nearby.
I’m well aware of the belief that if one doesn’t own something then they don’t care for it. This I believe only if one is brought up without a strong value system and/or sense of entitlement, but I’m not sold on this idea when it comes to the land. No law or ownership is required for me to know that I shouldn’t throw trash from a moving vehicle, nor should I dump my refuse while going for a walk in the woods.