It's the new year, and time to order seeds for the upcoming season. This is a "found" poem I harvested from phrases in the plethora of catalogs that I pour through every year.
Since I am using some research techniques involving art for my dissertation, I have begun to pay attention to the number of farmers who are also artists. What is it about art and agriculture that they are so often linked? I think about the constant creativity required to respond to changing weather, soils, wind, rain, and animals. I think the best farms are performance art: a dance with an ecosystem. The keen observation skills we need as farmers are also needed as good artists. The patience it takes to create an image one brush stroke at a time is also the patience to nurture a soil.
I am beginning to experiment with the intersection of farmer/artist: making paint out of the clay and compost of my farm, thinking about how visitors experience my farm and how it may inspire them to a stronger connection with themselves and the earth. Perhaps this is the deepest commonality of all: farmers, artists, earth, we are all makers: drawing forth something alive from the dust and water. We just need those seeds.
Dr. Clare Hintz has a B.S. Degree in Biology and Writing, a M.S. in Sustainable Systems with an emphasis in Agroecology, and a Ph.D. in Sustainability Education with a focus on Regenerative Agriculture. She currently teaches permaculture design and regenerative agriculture from her production permaculture farm in northern Wisconsin. She is the editor in chief of the Journal of Sustainability Education. In her spare time she knits, reads feminist science fiction and cooks really good food for friends.