Bonding with History Through Agriculture
When I began my time at Red Dog, only a couple of months ago, I knew that I was joining one of the longest, if not the longest, unbroken lines in history: the line of the agriculturalist. For as long as human civilization has existed, and probably for even longer, agriculture has also existed in its various forms. It is, in fact, one of the standards by which we often define civilization. From the terrace farmers of the Inca to the wheat farmers of ancient Germany, humanity has been practicing agriculture, for all intents and purposes, forever. I am honored to have the opportunity to allow myself to join the vast majority of human history and toil in our fields to supply our wonderful community with food. I am honored to have the opportunity to feel a little bit of connection with my ancestors.
It is a curious feeling, knowing that I am performing actions similar to my most ancient of family members. It helps me feel connected to them. Growing up in 21st century America, I have felt little connection to my lineage, whatever that may be. How could I ever imagine what it would have been like to live in, say, Germany in the 15th century CE? And yet, I know that my ancestors would have devoted themselves to difficult, sometimes monotonous tasks as we do at Red Dog. I know they would have taken joy in the immense natural variety produced by our crops. I know that they would have chatted with their friends and family as we do now to make the time pass quicker.
Farming brings together human history. Aside from humanity itself, it has been almost our one constant throughout our existence. When I reach into the earth and rip a purple carrot from the ground, I know my ancestors could have removed a similar carrot from a similar patch of earth, thousands of years ago. When I feel the rain on my face and look up from the dusty ground to the suddenly gray sky, I feel the joy my family might have felt long ago glancing at a similar sky. When I work on our farm, I feel the definitions of time slipping away, and I feel more connected to my kin, and myself, than I have ever before. I know they smile on me, proud of my decisions and, I like to imagine, jealous of the delicious food we are bringing to your table.