Miseducation of a Farmer

1,112 total words    

4 minutes of reading

Dear Farmer-Producer-Nutritionist-Agronomist-Farmhand-Cultivator-Grower-Sharecropper-Geneticist,

How you must deliberate
On how you may have been reckless
How will you win when you’re not right within?[1]
How can you deny your alleged impact on climate change?
Shall we call it something else?
Get in formation
Prove to her [Mother Earth] you got some coordination[2]
Tell us the truth
“You can’t be what you can’t see”[3]
Akin to pregnancy—long and arduous hard work and may not be able to deliver the so-called “goods”
All the while remembering that without community there is no liberation
Knowing that they don’t love you like I love you
Thinking—“What a wicked way to treat someone who loves you”[4]
Though I ain’t sorry
You say—“Stop interrupting my grinding [producing]
Left a note in the hallway
By the time you read it, I’ll be far away”[5]
Rest in peace my love
Who I took for granted—soil, water, air
Dust to policies, CEOs, & big corps


 • • • • •


My focus is: KALE through FARMERS


Abundantly &
Memories of


Titles are everything in this world
To simplify our lives, we categorize EVERYTHING
I am a farmer
Are you?
By the very definition provided by Merriam-Webster: “a person who pays a fixed sum for some privilege or source of income; a person who cultivates land or crops or raises animals (such as livestock or fish)”[6]
So. . .What happened?
What was the turning point on your journey to nourish souls and bodies?
How did we come to where we are now?
On the upside—we have many growers/producers who have similar goals of our historic past
My worry is—slavery was real and still is alive today
It just “looks” differently now
It seems every decision in Ag has had major consequences

1. A detachment to the land/Earth/natural resources

2. However, a variety of food choices

3. <Air Quality
4. <Water Quality
5. <Soil Quality
6. <Ecosystem disruption
7. <Natural Landscape disruption

One major question I have—How does this disconnect impact our engagement with the Earth’s amazing life force?

I understand the need to make food more nutritional
How did that turn to everything we eat falling under the category of “GMO”?


• • • • •


Do we even realize just how much we have altered nature?

As a soil scientist, I know it is imperative that the soil is valued and appreciated
Historically, farmers attempted to value their soil in the best way they knew how
The soil is a formidable opponent in the game of farming—as we’ve witnessed
Why aren’t we listening?
Most insects start their life in the soil
Medications are by-products of soil
Soil filters our drinking water
Oh Farmer—what have we done?
Is it reversible?

Remember when you didn’t have to read labels before buying and consuming foods?
Wonder who was the first Individual to do so and call out the disparities
Wonder what was the original scheme and how well it’s playing out
It must be shocking to earlier farmers that the food we are offered comes from trucks carried from factories to grocery stores that are inequitably distributed geographically
Sugar, salt, fat—the main ingredients in our food now
So many gimmicks to lose weight, diets, eat healthier, eat organic. . .
How can we be more accountable to our food choices, production, and delivery?
What will it finally take for us all to be more mindful and demand accountability from our nation’s farmers? Leaders?

It feels like this:

“No one wants to be defeated
Showin’ how funky and strong is your fight
It doesn’t matter who’s wrong or right
Just beat it, beat it
They’re out to get you, better leave while you can
You have to show them that you’re really not scared
You’re playin’ with your life, this ain’t no truth or dare
They’ll kick you, then they beat you,
Then they’ll tell you it’s fair
So beat it, but you want to be bad”[7]

P.S. My Farmers. . .
Nourish my soul, my body, my spirit


• • • • •


Let’s embark on a symbiotic relationship
Where I provide you an enthusiastic customer
You provide organically produced products in season
I don’t want a geneticist, I want a green thumb
I want someone who speaks to the life in a “whisperer” kind of way
I want the opposite to visit your land and lend a helping hand
I want to know what practices you have pursued and your strategic goals to combat water pollution and climate change
All life is sustained through water
If we aren’t more decisive, the world’s water supply might not be available for the next generations
Changing mindsets
Changing directives
Evolving with the Earth
Eating sustainably
Cures most health issues that plague the world
The rise of mental health issues is no phenomenon
It’s all connected to the food we eat
If you go to the doctor
What do they say?
Exercise and diet
What a winning combination
If we were all farmers we’d get the exercise along with a more nutritious diet
Obesity is real
Many of us are part of the vicious cycle of poverty, poor eating habits, lack of education, and lack of motivation to evolve
There are several ways to combat this issue
One way is to continue factory farms and factory production of our food
How is that organic?
Food sources are unlimited if we broaden our horizons
Hmmmmm. . .What happened to the seeds in the watermelon?
Seems we lose as soon as we play the game
You might win some but you just lost one,[8] and another, and another one
Everything you do is so tired[9]
Food is supposed to inspire—“how come we ain’t gettin’ no higher”[10]
I’ve been here before this ain’t a battle this is a war


• • • • •


Doing things independently so I don’t over expose myself—I don’t have to go out looking for you and you came looking for me

. . .Observe how a legacy do it

Singer Alene Johnson has a Masters degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. Her passions include helping people reach their full potential of mental wellness. Alene is dedicated to removing the stigma in communities that lack information about mental health. She is most proud of her work with empowering under-serviced youth to use their voice and know that they matter too. Alene’s commitment stems from understanding the dynamics in disadvantaged communities. She is determined to continue to educate communities about how anyone can experience the challenges of mental illness and that it does not discriminate based on race, color, gender or identity.

[1] Lauryn Hill, “Doo Wop (That Thing),” on Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, 1998.

[2] Beyoncé, “Formation,” on Lemonade, 2016.

[3] Marian Wright Edelman in “Miss Representation,” 2011.

[4] Beyoncé, “Hold Up,” on Lemonade, 2016.

[5] “Sorry,” on Lemonade, 2016.

[6] Farmer (n.d.) In Merriam-Webster’s collegiate dictionary. Retrieved from http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/farmer

[7] Michael Jackson, “Beat It,” on Thriller, 1982.

[8] Lauryn Hill, “Lost Ones,” on Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, 1998.

[9] Lauryn Hill, “Superstar,” on Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, 1998.

[10] Lauryn Hill, “Superstar,” on Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, 1998.

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