Farms as Business

Business, as in a non-corporeal loom where the weft of mission is woven within the warp of code and rule to function for the progress of purpose by one or more people. Weaving an exo-skeletal skin of sorts that increases the power and reach of its human engineer(s).

Can we talk about the responsibility of a business to limit its growth based on resources? To question thus, does it really need to keep growing, or is it time for humans to recognize that the longevity of a business doesn’t necessarily require it to become an all consuming and inhumane entity.

This question came to mind, initially, as I was visiting and researching farms earlier in the spring. In a time where the question of corporate ‘person-hood’ has come up again and again, where a growing rift between Haves and Have-nots, is begging consideration and examination, I am also wondering how big farms have to be. And, how to recognize the imminence of that point where the farm begins to cut the quality of its output in favor of just surviving (usually hand in hand with crop industrialization).

In specific, I guess, how to make learning and developing a farms best size a common practice. Does a farm really need to keep growing, or, can it begin with a size threshold in mind? How to recognize and accept ‘too big’.

The other day, I was listening to a local farmer expressing his desire to increase his acreage in order to increase his yield in order to increase his earnings in order to afford to acquire the time, employees, and equipment needed to manage his current situation. It looked to me that expansion, without also examining current practices for improvement, wasn’t going to solve his problem. More like he was just headed for a larger burden of the same complaint.

So I started thinking again about farm sizes and industrialization. About the aspect of farming for feeding versus growing for profit. It’s a very worthy discussion that needs to continue in our living rooms, our schools, and everywhere else. About how the health of our nation is dependent upon the quality of farming output, which is dependent upon the health of the farmers, their community, and the land. And, about how everyone and anyone ought to be allowed to grow their own food. That regulating against people using natural (as in non-damaging to the land and community) growing techniques is lame at best and dangerously short-sighted at worst.

I look forward to further conversation on the subject. Maybe over a cup of fair-trade coffee and locally grown eggs and potatoes at that cafe in town. You know the one, where the farmers gather at dawn around the big, round table in the corner.