Can Farming Be Genetic?
I do classes and workshops on why people should grow organic and why they should grow heirloom veggies. People are always intrigued on what an heirloom vegetable is. At one workshop I did, someone asked me how I got into farming. I quickly responded ,”Genetics!”
While working in the gardens one day, I actually had thought of this. “Why would one chose to farm”, when in today’s world, you can just go to the farmers market or nearest store. I thought “who on Earth would choose this life”.
I have always loved dirt. Even as a child, I would dig holes for no reason. I just wanted to see how deep I could get them. No, I never made it to China. I would go off foraging in the “wilds” of Massachusetts where I grew up and forage for food. I have always loved nature.
Fast forward years later to New Hampshire. I was renting a little apartment. I wanted to have just a little garden that I could grow some tomatoes, or maybe some cucumbers. With the landlord’s blessing, I started my little garden. Oh, how thrilled I was when the vegetables started to grow. I planted more, and more. I couldn’t get enough.
We then bought the farm in the fall of 2006. I stood looking at all that land I could plant on. My heart was filled with anticipation of getting started. That winter, the snow couldn’t melt fast enough for me.
In the spring, I dug up the fields with enthusiasm. I was in heaven. All that dirt. I loved just taking off my shoes and running through the newly plowed fields. Something I look forward to after each long winter. I planted every organic seed I could get my hands on. It was a banner year. “I can plant more next year”, was my thinking. And so I did.
Not until one day out in the gardens while I was talking to my husband did I have the insight into what led me to all this. “Genetics”, I said. “It has to be genetics.” You see, both sides of my family were farmers. Both sides had farms all the way back to France and Ireland. When they came to America they owned farms and grew their own food. During the WWII, both sides had Victory gardens. Not until the 1950′s did they get away from it.
It made sense to me at that moment, why the love of the Earth was so intrenched into my soul. I don’t mind. I look forward to sticking my bare feet into the Earth’s soil soon.