Finally, there seem to be but three Ways for a Nation to acquire Wealth. The first is by War as the Romans did in plundering their conquered Neighbours. This is Robbery. The second by Commerce which is generally Cheating. The third by Agriculture, the only honest Way; wherein Man receives a real Increase of the Seed thrown into the ground, in a kind of continual Miracle wrought by the Hand of God in his favour, as a Reward for his innocent Life, and virtuous Industry.
-Benjamin Franklin, Positions to be Examined, April 4, 1769
Heart Sold to the Honest Way Andrea Ridgard, June 2011
The duck's feet were tied The farmer's face was calm His words were prayers under a tongue tying truth to understanding His feet were firm and rooted Deep, like the depth of the soil growing barley that nourished the meal that would soon be his.
His goats bleated standing by His chickens crouched in their stable His ducks waddled, circling their open pasture And the quiet of all that noise, as the legs, breast and beak below tied feet fell weighty with the passing out before death, quieted pain, too
Through the brush, Earthway and six row seed endless brassica and head lettuce, carrots begin to look like themselves and onions toy with the idea of breaking the drying soil with their rooted sweet bulb The farmer paces out her row Her feet in an exact heel-toe concentrated line that will service the bare, booted and sandaled for months of weeding and harvesting She is voiceless to the passersby But her whisper draws nourishment from the compost her partner spread until dusk, And absorbs warmth from the open sun to exposed sprouting maroon amaranth As the breeze seems to move with her rhythmic step, encouraging the motion of the nature she is assisting to cultivate
Their smiles gleam like those of children Ever in wonder at the earth's ability Ever in wonder at their own Their scruffy dog curls in their arms and waits patiently as they plow yet another field--This one, now fresh with the youngest of cabbage purchased at birth for fermentation; a team attends to its weeding by hand in the afternoon heat-- The protective canine looks on, rarely barking out their accomplishment, just greets them, as the sun sets, with companionship
On Wednesday's eve, you can see them You can listen to the frank, yet careful word of the farmer selling green duck and puissant You can sense the quiet connection she has with the earth and her heirlooms, and his strength as he makes way for their success You can melt at the two with the dog and their green things, one bunch of Spring onions, $2.