Subjectively speaking, I don’t think farming today arouses the interest of the majority of this human population, nor do I think it could be adequately defined in a cohesive manner by several different cultures simultaneously, as one can observe the radical differences between American farming, Mexican farming, Moroccan farming or Icelandic farming. But this is not an attempt to define the niche of farming into a scientific field, they are the musings of someone who IS a farmer, and knows what that means, at least in my own way, and why that is important to me.
A lot of people would describe me as an atavist, seeking ideals lost in the old world, preserving archaic religion and spiritual abstractions that are peculiar to so few, as to have almost little significance in the current community ethos. I would say they are right on the surface, but wrong to the core. For me, I see farming as a pathway into tradition. A force of creative labor that uses the libidinal energy, in a ritualistic AND habitual manner towards the fertility of the earth, and the production of abundance, both of sentient life, and vegetable life, which by this I mean to incorporate all things that can grow from the soil. Farming uses soil as the alchemical prima materia, or so we can imagine for this metaphor I want to give. Each soil is different in its humus content, its clay deposit, its minerals, or bio-matter, its life and organics. From the soil can be seeded the microcosm of an entire ecological habitat, or it can be depleted in a bad experiment. In the smallest of seeds, protected by it’s husk of armor, the entire biological existence is already mapped out, to come into fruition with all the order and beauty that unfurls. From these very seeds, a culture can grow, one of maize, or coffee, rice, and potatoes. We think of the Irish or the islanders of PEI and their world renown spuds, or the golden corn and blue agave of southern Yucatan that are so ingrained in Mayan and Zapatista lifestyle. We honor vicariously the coffee culture of old, from it’s roots in South America every time we drink a brew. I for one have picked the ripe cherries in the cloud forests of Oaxaca, to be transported away by donkeys, and sorted on sun drying racks. Every time I caffeinate myself with a dark bitter cup, I think about these times.
Farming for a connection with the source, with the past, and with an integrated culture, but also with the future. Being a provider. I often think farming is a form of altruism and meditation. There are no mass profits, unless it crosses the threshold of commercial industry, which I witness to be more of a factory like labor than real farming. You make enough to get by, and support your kin. Small scale farming, centered around the family, community, or clan, is for the most part where I focus my labor and time in the world. Though my four years of experience on the ground do not stack up to the multi-generational farm-steaders I have met in my travels, this only leaves me with something to aspire to. This is perhaps the second reason why I see merit in farming life, for it’s longevity of spirit, and the fact that there are families who have known nothing else, not because they couldn’t have integrated into a modernistic society or business profile life, but because the tenets of life on the land were satisfying enough to the soul to allow a continual feeling of satedness. The modesty that accompanies most farmers is something of a lost human countenance. You don’t meet anyone who brag about their grandfather who worked as a stock exchange man, and his grandfather before that, and the great-grandfather before. It just doesn’t happen, because there is no pride, no learning process, and honor in that field, and above all no growth, literally, and spiritually. I find especially in sustainable small scale farming, there is no need to go big, or to have large amounts of excess surplus because the minute you start producing multiple times more of your fodder, your produce or your product, then you start working for someone else other than yourself, or the extended self, being the family. Your abundance is only abundance in so far as it is now tracked and portioned out, marketed and controlled. Now you have met with the expectations of a society who can not fend for themselves and are parasitically dependent on your work for their sustenance.
I was recently co-erced into working on a rather large dairy. Living in Newfoundland, thinking I knew a fair amount of the heritage here, I went into it with open arms. Tending a 500 cattle herd, milking routine twice a day, right up my alley. But my expectations fell quite short, and the illusion of the matter came out in the wash so to speak. I was hired as a dairyman, and with any sense of truthfulness I was told I would be in doing the milking routine. Well, after three days of being around the cows, morning and evening, not a single drop came from my work. Instead, the cows were auto-milked, and the whole human interaction was missing. Powerful sucking machines placed on the utters for mass production of milk. I thought with a touch of humility, sure you are getting more from the cow, but what about the talent? and the relationship? and the actual work of the body? It all seemed backwards to me. It felt like a factory. Instead I spent my idle hours of work moving manure piles, scraping stalls, moving cows, cleaning the ground, shoveling shite, and nothing else. Nothing with the cattle themselves. There was no work outside, it was all in several barns, and I thought, these are just like my production line days when I lived in French Canada, completely pointless and directionless. I have not learned a thing, and my health was suffering from constantly inhaling the scent of ammonia. I did not get the sense that the other workers cared much for my well-being, and it all felt more slavish than anything. I had a jolt of reality, and realized I could not do this, I couldn’t even bear it or trick my mind to thinking it was still farming because it wasn’t. I had to remember who I was, where I cam from, and why I am. The objective had changed, while these cows were not treated cruely, they were not allies in the sense of other sentient beings worthy of interaction, they just represented a tag, a value, a commodity to be moted about. Besides the fact that I don’t even drink the milk coming from this farm, so how could I support the production of it. Personally I prefer raw free range, goat milk, or some of the alternatives to milk like almond, oat, or rice milk, but that is another tangent. Needless to say I could not continue here, and it brought to the surface an old paradigm of keeping one’s integrity, even in the face of survival.
As a traveler, I am always looking for work, I am kind of an international hobo in that way, but instead riding airplanes and buses, less than hopping trains. The field of labor generally intrigues me and interests my higher self, because I see a limitless potential there so I am genuinely interested in work, and when it comes to farming, I want to have as much archived experience as I can bottle up until the day I have my own land to put it all into practice. I left the farm, and now i’m jobless, but none less the farmer. Because I see one to be not only a provider of the people, you may have heard the adage ‘farmers feed cities’ but also a kind of hero of the land, cultivating it’s worth and artistically rendering the earth to produce nutrients, proteins, and vitamins for the great cyclic system of life, and recycling.
Rather new to the agrarian lifestyle are the agendas of ‘Rewilded farming’, Perma-culture, and Bio-dynamic farming. The latter, a spiritual agricultural disciplined invented by the genius Rudolf Steiner. It’s like sustainable farming with ritual, and moon cycles tied in, which really is a kind of throwback to the Farmer’s Almanac. The former two of these are reactionary, and somewhat archaic types of farming. Rewilding farms to smooth off the hard edges of industrial mono-culture, and seeing the land in a more primal, gaian manner, that can be let to go feral, and still yield abundance. While permaculture is ultimately a counter to intensive agricultural practice as well, global warming, resource availability, politics, and neo-community building. There are amazing principles in each and I have dabbled with all of these, both personally and communally. But the tenets do not change.
I like to see farming in the scope of it’s effect on the consciousness, or more simply put, on the methodology of why. It is one of these past times that preoccupied our ancestors, and farming really means, living in tune with the cycles of nature and is a kind of symbiotic relationship between biology and the people. It represents a society who are dependent on agrarian principles. One must be knowledgeable about the seasons, about ripening times, about pest control, about harvest schedules, about the weather and temperature, about soil health, planting periods, and I can run the gamut, but these are some basics. You can even get more intensive about it, when permaculture is involved and talk about things like; grafting, animal co-workers, hybridizing, hydroponics, soil building, and so forth. These days, these concepts are no longer really seen as important
in mono-culture. The dirt is already robbed and growing one crop in over-tilled soil, seasons do not matter when vegetables can be grown all year round, and we can find something like peppers or cherries in the market even when they are out of season, the state of the food is compromised by a slew of pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, and insecticides, it seems all knowledge and wisdom of natural ecology is thrown out, and there is a single pointed focus on production instead. Even now 3D printed food is a thing, and I consider it almost a marker of a new age, a bizarre one to say the least.
So if farming can mean draught horses, black earth, strong bare chested men, and potato harvests, but can also be chemically induced, genetically modified, big CAT tractors, laziness, destruction, cruelty, and stock shares. I just wonder for the future of farming if I as a holder of the tradition by the very work of my own hands will not be able to place it into the arms of my forebears, if this is the last generation to see real farming. It is a scary thought.
The term organic has become somewhat of a metaphor these days, taken under wing of the 21st century, the label of organic is used push a brand than a qualitative descriptive noun. Eating organic is probably the most addictive of the consumer side of this lifestyle, that is if you can read between the lines. But beyond the certified organic hemp milk, ‘fair’ trade cocoa, and rare amazonian nut crops that you may find in your health food store, there is more to the organic way of life. It takes a bit of universal knowledge, interest in biology and botany, intrigue into ecological issues, studies of anthropology, product awareness, conscious negation of modernism, disciplined use of substances, and well, I guess you really need to cultivate this type of lifestyle like a farm, with all aspects of your existence working coherently and balanced towards a sort of unified holistic machine, an organic primordial force, rather, that is, You in your fullest potential.
Beyond the diet, the hygiene, and yoga classes, there are deeper ways to go into a sustainable and ‘organic’ lifestyle. Everyone has a hygiene ritual of some kind, but some let it become habitual, then sporadic, then neglected, then not at all. If you have ever tried to monitor your hygiene, speaking from a travelers point of view, it is a tricky thing when on the move. The water you are drinking and showering in, the air you are breathing, what you are putting on, and in, or around your body, as in scent, are all factors to your personal makeup.Also think of all the plastic accessories you might be using on your body, like your toothbrush, comb, hairbrush, and the fire retardant chemicals and plastics in your clothing. As a traveler, you pass through the urban megalopolis of the worlds cities, staying in hostels, showering in chlorinated water, drinking the same, cooking on dishware that has been washed in chemicals, sleeping on bed sheets and pillows that have collected the essences of thousands before you, on spring filled mattresses, and probably compromising your diet to eat the continental breakfasts of sausage and battery cage eggs, or buying some inconvenient superstore foods. This is the average European or British hostel. There is an illusion of cleanliness, abundance and proper facilities. The instant resources in every building are attractive, until you start to question. I won’t shy from saying I have spent my own nights in hostels on last resort, but I never stay longer than a couple sunrises, and I always pack in my food, and quick out of the crowded rooms.
At all costs, I am not a tourist, so I prefer to seek out the locals in the countryside, with access to clean well water, fresh breathing air carrying scents of woods, plants, and livestock. Health to me is sacred, and I don’t care if I pay 5 euros for something that would cost me 2 for the heavily processed version on sale. And I would rather walk 5 km for a couple pints of free range goats milk than buy the vitamin-d deficient pasteurized variety in a store. When I look at the labels of modern industrial food, I see to myself, this is not even food. If you took all the individual ingredients of modern food for example, and you imagine them separated on a table, sometimes over 20 items of unnatural flavors, preservatives, sulphites (poisonous), colors, starches, sugar and derivatives of sugar, modified milk, acids, salt, chemicals, syrups, and pasteurization of perfectly nutrient animal products, then you mix it together, this is no longer even recognizable as food. Why can’t something just be essentially what it is, instead of long lists of unpronounceable ingredients. So people are buying these, and because the label on the front is lying to them on what the label on the back says, they are deceived, thinking, it is all one and the same, consciously neglecting their health for a sale, cutting the minutes off their life, and actively killing themselves by depositing these things in their body. Then throwing away a lot of packing. I think individuals just become apathetic and no longer regard their health as vital, so sometimes it is not a question that they know what they are eating, but rather, they have lost the care. This is when it is important to educate. Many people seek a kind of ‘alternative’ source for food when they want to eat clean, and this can be useful, but I don’t like this term. The alter-native denotes something that would have pertained to our indigenous ancestors and is no longer used, an alter native method is proposed, instead I like to think in terms of original sourcing. The ur-product that one always has to start out with, and what is readily available for nature. Nature is the greatest health food store, medical cabinet, supermarket, and pharmacy on earth, if you know how to benefit from it.
It is of extreme importance to me when I travel to forage, whenever the opportunity provides, even in central Europe where there is limited species available for foraging, you can find abundance. I have been able to find tens of species of berries and wild fruits, leaves, and even roadkill meat some times. This is something I hold belief in, that one should not waste perfectly good life. Not by consuming less than nutrient food, or by buying meat. This is why I have only collected, grew, or traded or caught my meat in the last 4 years, though I have found vegetarianism suitable to a routine diet, in reality and biologically, I am an omnivore. I will eat a dead pheasant, deer, or squirrel found on the roadside if not bloated and still fresh, I think there is no disposition in relating this to an organic lifestyle, and I think there should be no taboo surrounding this in the mass population. It is wild, and free meat, so travelers take note, this is some of the finest dining you can get. Cooked over a fire, at your camp, I have even found fish brought up from the lake shallows by gulls and other seabirds, then dropped on rocks, salmon still with the eyes dark, barely hours old, that ended up on my iron skillet. I see the importance of foraging as well for the connection it brings to our most primordial nature. This form of organic living is a proponent I want to propel into anyone reading this. I have yet to be on a hunt, but now in Newfoundland island, I have prospects out for the annual moose hunt, which I hope to procure some high quality proteins for the autumn, though I may have to start small first, the odd squirrel maybe. Hunting is the natural progression of foraging I think, and is not a question of morality or sympathy, but empathy and understanding of ecology.
Beyond food and what I put in my body, I try to advocate for those seeking a simpler and more natural existence, a life without plastic. Yes, this laptop I write on has plastic elements, and I listen to music on a plastic ipod which is a decade old, but I have chosen deliberately to live a life almost completely devoid of plastic. I am always looking for better, more sustainable and reusable products. I have even been investing into a laptop from Africa, running completely off solar energy. From the hygiene products I use made from wood and bamboo, to the surfaces I sleep on and in, a down filled sleeping bag, clothes made from hemp, pure cotton, wool and tweed, my tools and instruments, footwear and even the rucksack I carry everything with on my world travels, built from waxed sail canvas. It is easy to acquire gear and not think about these things, like cheap tenting equipment, books, clothes, and self care items. Often I have rather spent the time building a temporary shelter or sleeping out in the open with just some warm wool sweaters and a goathair blankets under shelter of some broadleaf trees when on the road, for want of not carrying around a plastic house. The modern tents are manufactured with petro-chemicals, polyplastics, fire retardants, dyes, and inorganic fabrics, that are not only claustrophobic, but also carcinogenic to breathing, not biodegradable, not aesthetically pleasing, and stressful to the movements of the person within. A plastic free lifestyle is closer than you think but you have to start from almost nothing. Strip down, naked, and carefully select everything that could be useful for a traveling lifestyle, then work at refining your stock, until everything you own actually brings you joy, rather than just ephemeral use. lifewithoutplastic.com website is a source I found out later, but seems a pretty good start.
Besides being a traveler, I am a farmer, so the fusion of nomadism and agriculture is my main means of survival, and thriving in this world. I find it harder and harder, in the modernized and industrial ‘first world’ countries like those of Northern Europe, Canada, U.S. and the British Isles, but also in the Mediterranean, the prospects of finding good fertile land. And by that I mean, soil that has not been deprived, and manipulated to only grow a few select crops in the millions, or diverse grasslands that have not been mowed down and seeded with one type of greenery for the specific grazing of one variety of livestock. I wish it were not this way, and I don’t feel any pride saying even my home country is hugely guilty of this. With the loss of cultural tradition, subsistence small scale farming, the shifting of age demographic to older generation groups, and the rise of big-ag. there is increasing difficulty to find work, not only for me, but other young travelers I meet wanting to get back to the land. I have been stuck volunteering for the bulk majority of my work, I would say 8 out of 12 months of the year is spent working for free. Romantic and altruistic maybe, but it is because I can not even find a meager living with a sustaining wage on any farm that uses permaculture principles, multi species grazing, diversity of crops, variety of landscape, traditional slow paced practice, hand tool ethics, and manual labor. People are being replaced my john deere tractors, sorting machines, auto-tillers, and massive equipment, and the people who run them are pressing all the levers and buttons to make it all go. Modern farmers aren’t really working hard, or efficient, they are just getting more done because they have more money behind it, and they still have time to live completely modern lives, watch the news, drive gas guzzling trucks, and live in futuristic houses. To add to this, I do hitchhike often, but I have never owned a care, and I advocate highly for riding bicycles, rollerblading or just walking, it is our bipedal feature after all, it would be embarrassing if people forgot how to do it and had to start learning the basics of walking in survivalist workshops. Last week I called a farmer on another part of this island, known for its prestigious farm heritage and pioneering. I was answered by an old man, who upon hearing that I was a traveler looking for work, looked past all my experience with old world breed animals, diversity of gardening experience, self style work ethic, and huge curriculum of experience, and exclaimed his disinterest in even greeting me. This used to be the running creed. Young people are now moving away from life on the land and forced into city lives, working barista jobs at starbucks, or marketing. These dead end routines do not conform to an organic lifestyles, and I see no honor or merit in them. Thus I would continue to urge those dirt worshiping feral men and woman to continue to push towards the farming life, there is untold beauty in it’s embrace and one that I can wholly backup.
With work, hygiene, and diet covered, you can think about your housing, most of the population live in cheap housing. Modern carbon copy houses, insulated with fiberglass which carries asbetos, surrounding by brick, or cinder block walls, chemically treated wood, carcinogenic painted rooms, plasticized furniture, gypsum rock which often has hidden black molds, bacteria carrying carpets, and grimy cooking, eating and sleeping surfaces. All for the sake of ‘public safety’, zoning permits, codes and governmental rules. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out when you spend a few nights in a drafty cabin in the woods, how much better your health will be even after 72 hours. You may get a draft of wind, the odd spider or insect, or even a drop of water through the roof once in a while, but the benefits of submersion in raw nature far exceeds the over-safe cocooning in element proof housing built into concrete wastelands. A week in the jungle even further proves this, you are not competing with unwanted destructive sounds like cars, and sirens, no walls of glass and steel outside your windows, in fact you don’t even have ‘windows’, just mesh screens to keep mosquitoes out, the air is not dead and stagnant inside, and there are plants growing just outside your door. I think the earthship movement is quite radical and worth its salt for how it’s adapting to climate change, and available ‘waste’ materials, to build homes. It is localized and skillful construction on mostly organic principles. Try moving into the wild, and just taking shelter in a natural setting, see how it affects your mental health, your sleep, your dreams. Analyze your thoughts during the day, do you have a long list of chores, or are you content with just sitting in your clearing or on your mountain peak and just being for awhile? There are no cafes nearby to get your morning brew, but fresh air, and unfiltered sunlight are adequate enough to wake you up, and get you going for the day. Then you can even think about bringing others into your company in a set and setting that are attractive to anyone.
Your impact on this world is not only for you, and to paraphrase McKenna for a second “we are the meaning of our ancestors lives”. Such a sentiment should be carried everyday, and I would extend to that, we are the progenitors of our descendants meaning. To follow an organic lifestyle, recognizing your health as sacred and uncompromising, your spirit as sovereign, your hygiene is the way you present yourself to the people around you, and yourself, your work is ethical and important beyond filling your ego and your bank account, culture is not your friend to rap on McKenna again. You need to build your own. You can be unconsciously naive, and never grow, pleasantly idling in ignorance until your shell breaks from revelation, but then you have the responsibility to shift to consciously choosing, what and how you become, as you rapidly adapt to the changing ontology of this game of the fittest.
I met a chicken farmer recently in Gamla Uppsala, with a particular flock of birds unlike any I have seen or farmed with myself. Naturally I took curiosity, and knocked on the side door to ask about his chickens, to which he was overwhelmingly informative on his birds, and told many stories and information about the breed.
Called Hedemora Chickens, they are a native Swedish breed, that he has kept for three decades on a small tract of land beside an ancient Viking settlement. The breed itself has been around since the 17th century Medieval times. One of his oldest chickens was seventeen years in age. He also has interesting looking Musk ducks from south America with a red mask of feathers around the eyes. He told me about their unique feathers which are nearly like fur on some of the lower parts of the body, and have both normal plumage, and down, like that from eider ducks. This is the warmest natural animal material you can get, and he also was highly enthusiastic about the meat quality, being only second to a type of wild Swedish forest bird, related to the grouse.
They are extremely cold hardy and can free-range in -20c, or lay eggs at -5c. They live in a part of Sweden that is close to the same latitude as Anchorage, Alaska. Besides this, their color variations are many. You can have a completely black bird, with black beak, wattle, comb, feathers, bones, and meat, by carefully crossing the birds with the bluish/purple features. Though he said farmers in Sweden never breed for the looks, rather for the quality of the eggs, and the meat. I was given 5 eggs, which are just waiting to be boiled and eaten.
I have looked far and wide for chicken breeds that I would like to own, and have bee favoring towards Icelandic chickens, and possibly guinea hens, but before now I had never known of this breeds existence, and would love to have a few in my future flock, whenever I can build my own farm. Until then, I will have to stare at these beautiful birds, and learn their ways, while they scratch and peck on another man’s land.
I feel a heavy hand tonight, to write this piece because it has been fermenting in my mind for some time now, actually since I wrote the post about hand tools. This is something I want to speak with clarity and coherency about the use of machines on the farm, mostly I am referring to the large machinery like harvesters, tractors, tillers, weed badgers, farm vehicles, etc. I think I can talk with some authority here given my extensive study of permaculture, traditionalist agriculture, and my world work on different ethnic farms. Having also been doing this steady now for 3 years.
In the world of monoculture farming, you are sure to get one thing, by necessity, one crop of whatever was planted, in long row upon row of the same fruit, grain, cereal, vegetable, or nut, and that’s it. Sometimes these farms can swell to immense proportions, in the hundreds or even thousands of acres. The crop is planted once in the case of an annual, and then reaped of all it’s bounty at the end of the season, using powerful machines, then they lie dormant and must be planted again after winter. All the product is shipped far off, probably to another country, and a laborer of the farm may spend years in this field and never even consume what comes off the plant, because it is cleaned, processed, and packaged exclusively for someone else. There is something wrong here.
Now the root problem of this comes in when you ask how you can sow 1 million seeds of rye, or 50,000 blueberry bushes, or half a million heads of corn, then you must also reap them when they are ready to eat. The machines that are used make a lot of noise, consume petrol, are dangerous to operate, they break down and need hard to find parts shipped from Japan, they are ugly and do not fit with the landscape, they damage the crops extensively, break water lines, compact the soil, leave permanent scars and ruts in the fields, need sometimes several people to operate, and are only good at doing one job at a time, during a short window of the year. The aura of different problems can continue but I will posture these as some prime examples. One must ask why there is need for this? Why do machines have to come in the game?
Because sustainable farming does not have anything to do with producing a vast amount of crop to provide a city with their groceries, it means first taking care of yourself, and making sure your closest family, and maybe your small community will be provided for, of course this is most efficient when solo, for then only one person needs to be taken care of. When an entire suburb needs their greenhouse kale every day of the year at their local grocery store chain, there is no possibility of these foods being sustainably grown, and nurtured into existence without machines. When you bring in the big metal, you cause more damage than good, and the attention to quality in work depletes.I have personally experience the gamut of different farming techniques from smallholding front yard gardens to permaculture, biodynamic principles, organic community gardens, monoculture, polyculture, silviculture, and every other culture you can name, almost. When an individual or collective of green minded people put in the conscious energy of planting a garden that is dymamically active, or establishing a food forest that actually mimics nature, and generally sowing a small scale plantation, or orchard of some kind, then there is no use for the big machines. There is nothing quite as dexstrous as the human hand when a blueberry bush needs combing, nothing as efficient as a ladder and a long reach to get every walnut or hazelnut off a tree in fruit, and almost nothing more traditional in the ethnic history of agriculture than good old fashioned shucking of corn. There is no mutilation to the plants that have worked so hard with the natural elements to thrive, no broken branches from awkward machinery, no missed berries, and a more subtle appreciation for the actual food you are receiving from nature. It is slow pace, but does not mean thousands or millions of dollars in investments.
One lazy beer gut can run over a field of barley, and not give a flying fuck where it goes, what it is making, or what it does to the earth, so long as he gets his pay and can afford his bills. He is not a farmer who switches gears, presses buttons, pulls levers, and moves tyres over the soil, killing all other life to keep a few hundred of the same, ignoring the importance of diversity. When you stand barefoot on black earth, or crawling near the shade of plants breathing in the microbes of the soil, and the fresh air, in the elements, with 4-5 others doing the same, carefully digging each potato out of the ground, allowing yourself to be alright without aesthetically perfect food, then what is gained from the work is not only a yield, but an experience, a challenge, and a lesson of teaching. You may find 10 or more plants that you chose to identify that you have never known before, you may see wildlife, in their macro-or microfauna varieties, you don’t need to be closed in a metal box with earplugs, and safety protection, you can forage all day, and not have to take 3 square meals, which is so unnatural anyways. Even weeding can be a catharsis, when the same task is repeated, you no longer have to think about it, and your mind can tackle those pent up problems you have held on to for so long. You can use the weeds as a metaphors for those issues in your life you want to defeat or take complete control of. This idea came to me while weeding a field of shrubs, moving down the line, row by row forever, but at least I kept my dignity, and I had my night planned out before me already in my mind. Through seeing the sacred in the mundane. You connect to if not a wilder instinct, at least a true understanding of agrarian lifestyle. A dependency on the soil that humbles the human nature.
There is no need for the big guns, the crows and the wasps are not vermin, and the winged or shelled ones pose no real danger, no is no such thing as weeds, it is mankinds inventioned farming and his fossil fuel burning behemoths that are the real problem! Can I pose a solution? Think of a pig as having a tiller on the front, and a manure spreader on the back, think of the chicken as a mobile pest control vehicle, think of the dog as an off road sheep herder, the cow as a furrow cutter, and the workhorse, or work moose for all you Canadiana folk out there as a winch trailer for those buff logs to haul from the woods.