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Published on Oct 10, 2014
A young woman, she had the audacity and high spirits to run a farm, an organic farm in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia: Curving into a world of bright-water trout streams, rich bottom land, flower meadows and woodland, their fragrance rising to meet you. A land of black bear, grouse and wild turkey, black walnut and wild berries, once loved by the Cherokee.
How would it be, she'd wondered, to circle the arc of solstice and equinox living as an earth-whisperer, not a brutalizer? How to steward land and leave it richer and more beautiful?
She began alone, but it's a larger question and all over the world earth-whisperers speak hope, in languages which understand one another!
Tucked under the wing of an elderly matriarch, she was fortunate in her neighbors. Salt of the earth, they showed up and kept their word, good as a handshake. They had, however, drunk the County Agent Kool-Aid and did chemical farming.
Ten years later, the young woman left the farm, lightning-struck and poisoned by a power company helicopter spraying Nam-era defoliant. Her neighbors' spray drift had felled her like a tree thereafter. But she had loved the farm with a passion and love given, ripples out beyond our ken.
Organic farmers, once considered quaint and backward, monster GMO spray rigs roaring by, are emerging as some of the sanest people on earth! Small farmers mentor; they build community and livelihood with skill sets we all but lost. The corporate wasteland is coming to its own toxic end.