FARMING FROM a spiritual perspective

Not too long ago, as I drove my tractor to the fields, I admired the crops and the landscape flooded by the morning light. The words of a psalm I particularly love came to thought: "The pastures are clothed with flocks; the valleys also are covered over with corn; they shout for joy, they also sing" (Ps. 65:13).

My family and I have often had the opportunity to ponder the deep meaning we give to our work on the land. My parents are grain and vegetable farmers, and, after my studies, I rejoined them on the farm. I've always loved nature very much. But we had begun to see that in several places intensive farming was polluting the soil with chemical fertilizers and pesticides, thus rendering the soil less fertile. During an internship I had just before I returned to work in the family operation, I had to prepare chemical treatments for the soil. I was troubled to find that even a small quantity of herbicide can ruin an entire harvest. Besides this, I became aware of different scandals that related to food production that were making consumers feel insecure.

Westward ho!
September 22, 2003

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