Sustainable farming as a career move? Let’s dive right in, starting with a battle royale:
1) Farmers versus Zombies
During a zombie apocalypse, two life-skills are immediately paramount: the ability to wield heavy, blunt objects, and the means to procure food. Suffice to say, when New York becomes a mosh pit of living dead, “Proficient with Microsoft Word” suddenly loses its pizzaz on the ol’ curriculum vitae.
Farmers, almost by definition, are especially adapted to survive a zombie apocalypse. After an entire season of hoeing, shoveling and driving t-posts with six pound sledges, farmers have been known to unwind by reorganizing their root cellars. From carrots to cattle to kohlrabi, farmers can grow it, preserve and—if need be—defend it. So who’re you gonna pick in a zombie fight: a farmer armed with a splitting maul, or a champion gamer who’s admittedly “pretty awesome” at Resident Evil 2?
But moving on to more practical matters, here’s a pop quiz. Which is more likely: a mass resurrection of flesh-eating corpses, or a catastrophic drought? For those who answered “Necromanced flesh-eating cadavers,” I’d like to draw your attention to the frightening phenomenon called The Drought Of 2012 (my take on it, HERE). Too ‘science fictiony’ for you? Okay, how about the Great Dustbowl of the 1930’s, where
entire farms entire states blew away over the course of a decade?
Fail to prepare, and prepare to fail. More than their muscles, sustainable farmers use their brains. That’s right… their Big, Juicy BRAAAAAAAINNNNNNS. Preppers, forgive me. But I’m placing my bets on a hoe over a crossbow.
2) Growing food is the new outsourcing
Remember those hilarious days of ‘outsourcing,’ when we shipped jobs, services and intellectual capital overseas? To paraphrase an American president, it was all about the economy, stupid. LOLz, what a hoot! [Pauses to wipe tears of laughter off keyboard].
While we’re Moonwalking down memory lane, remember how we used to get polio, believe the world was flat, and wear leg warmers? Hill-Larry-Us. (Full disclosure: On more than one occasion in 1989, I cabbage patched to Milli Vanilli’s Blame It On The Rain).
But time passes. We learn from history, or are destined to repeat it. So, pop quiz #2: what country now owns the largest pork company in America? If you answered ‘Umm…America, right?’ then try again: In 2013, Smithfield Foods, far and away our country’s largest pork producer, was bought by China. To quote a chief executive, the deal creates “a leading global animal protein enterprise.” How poetic.
So what’s the pig deal? Allow this fact to sink in. Presently, 1 out of every 4 pigs in America is owned by China. Rather puts the ‘oinks’ in zoinks.
Xūn ròu is ‘bacon’ in Mandarin. Nothing against China, but I prefer keeping a closer eye on my sausage. The bottom line? If you’re craving local pork chops, then get thee to a piggery, and preferably one run by a sustainable farmer.
3) Farmer Tans are the new tattoo
There’s nothing that says “Gosh I miss 2009, that’s when I sipped my first PBR,” quite like a tattoo. Sorry duder, but that was then; these days, farmer tans are the hot new tat.
Remember how chicks used to dig scars? Inexplicably, tattoos somehow replaced them. It started about fifteen years ago, when anyone with two hundred bucks and a penchant for Celtic crosses got an immediate Advance-To-Cool card. I can’t prove it, but I suspect it’s all linked to the Great Urban Flip-Flop Revival of 2008.
Good things, as we know, must come to an end. Time to trade in that barb-wired bicep for some real barbwire, Punky Bro-ster. Grab a seed catalogue, spin a little Tattoo You, and for goodness sake… Start. It. Up.
4) Real Lumbersexuals… bring the sexual lumber
Wood management is a big deal on sustainable farms. Get the point? Bonafide.
5) People gotta eat
Another quiz. Which one is not like the other one:
a) Did you watch Dancing With The Stars last night?
b) Dude, when does the new Assassin’s Creed come out?
c) Have you eaten food today?
The answer is “c”.
6) Because Math
For all you Logic Junkies out there, I’ve taken the liberty of organizing the final reason into an simple equation, and solving it for you.
(Zombie + Tattoo)United States Congress/(Justin Timberlake—Justin Bieber) + (Red Bull x Five Hour Energy)/Jumbo Bucket of Buffalo Hot Wings =
# Of Lobbyists You Can Cram In a Phonebooth Sustainable Farming Opportunities
Even a high schooler knows that you can’t argue with math… or for that matter, a math teacher. Someday soon, however, these very high schoolers will need jobs, food, and their parents’ basements. I can’t vouch for the basements, but those jobs and food will have to come from somewhere.
Look. I know it sounds absolutely crazy, but we need food. Yeah, crazy… until the zombie pigs outsource all our buffalo wings. So let’s start a serious effort at promoting agriculture as a viable career path, and get more youth involved with farming. After all, lest we forget, summer vacation exists solely because of agriculture.
Save Summer! Hmm. I think I just came up with reason number 7.
Okay, this was a complete hoot. Nicely done! I’m getting my tattoo removed and heading to the fields.
Fantastic! However, did you also know that we are now shipping our chickens to China for processing and then they send them back to us? Check it out. It is true. look here
It’s an old post but I just clicked the first link in the search I did. As far as “New Farmers” go, After several years, my children are just now starting to learn how important it is to “Grow Your Own” food. They are all (4 of them) 39 yrs. old, and above, so you would think they would “Get It”
Even though I am starting over with a small garden, I am, at least, trying to start over and then plan to “Go Big Time” for good. I have no intention of eating what is out there today. This old lady is too used to homegrown GOOD food. One problem though, I just purchased another lot next to my old one, and now that the property is so much bigger, it is a lot to handle by myself. However, your writing does indeed lift me up, and remind me that it is SO VERY WORTH IT to grow your own. Loved this message, and thank you for getting me to remember, it’s only land, and I can take charge of it, and how much I hate foods that are not from a farmer and above all, SAFE. God Bless you Forrest, Sheila
Waiting out the rain to get birth weights on the Farm’s latestadditions (two healthy meat goat kids), I enjoyed reading this piece. I’m right there with ya bro. Add to your equation LF = SF. Local food from Farms equals safe food with taste that is good to feed both gut and soul. “Food from FARMS not factories”, is our battle cry. I’ll be “manning the walls” right there with ya!
Oh how I love your humor! Thanks for being “out there” Forrest!
We are planting our seeds this month for a bountiful harvest!
I crush on lumbersexuals. Can I move in with you?
[…] the message and humorous delivery of this article are superb. Hope some of you readers enjoy it as a start to your […]
“So what’s the pig deal?” Yes! I was literally crying laughing by this point. Thanks for the humor Forrest, loved it. More pig puns!
I love reading your blogs!! My husband has been farming his whole life and I left the “corporate” world behind to do the same with him. We can totally relate with your writing:) keep it up!!!!
[…] maybe even 200g (remember, that’s still only 800 calories, which is not all that much for, say, a lumberjack, or someone else with a physically demanding job), coming from things like potatoes, parsnips, […]
[…] portions were generous. (For my 5’2” female body, anyway. Larger folks and lumbersexuals might need […]
[…] my blog because you enjoy my writing, you might be interested to know whose writing I enjoy. (Hint: Forrest’s – “Lumbersexuals,” HA! [Also: Jodi Picoult’s. And Amy Tan’s. And Dave Barry’s, for good […]