Hard Questions

Pigness of Pigs

What a summer!  I stepped away from writing as I felt God calling me to be more focused on my little people and husband…and the garden.  The amount of blessing poured out of my “truck patch” this season astounds me.  Plus, all three kids were able to partner with me in some way to take ownership over what was growing.  That pride and lesson in hard work cannot be replaced!

Mid-September I stepped away from the busyness and went to Mother Earth News Fair at Seven Springs.  My husband has affectionately dubbed it “hippie fest” but encourages his granola wife to attend.

I set aside this weekend every year and make it a fun time with my mother-in-law.  My two younger kids each take a day to go with me, as they have free admission and can attend workshops designated just for them.

This year I was able to attend a talk on poultry given by Joel Salatin.  Many enjoy his farming principles and practices – plus he gives a great talk using information in a relatable and fun way.  I had started reading his book, The Marvelous Pigness of Pigs, earlier in the weekend; making me truly curious by the time Sunday morning came.

I enjoyed his talk on creating a profitable poultry business, and as I have continued reading Marvelous Pigness, I am drawn to the fact Mr. Salatin doesn’t shy away from asking tough questions about the intersection of farming and Christianity.  Many of the questions he raised in my reading are those that I have honestly struggled with or attempted to reconcile to my new life as a farmer/homesteader.

Before I go any further – if you haven’t realized, The Marvelous Pigness of Pigs is not a book about how to raise pigs.  It is a call to honor God-designed natural process in farming practices.  Honestly, much of what Salatin wrote is hard to swallow.  I can’t make it easier or more digestible – his discussion levels realities of practicing what we preach in all areas of our life, including food production.

While this may deter some from reading the book, I would encourage anyone to read it for the questions.  I think, particularly if a person is Christian, we need to contemplate what our faith requires as response to stewardship and God honoring practices for our food system.  It is incredibly difficult to create a cut and dry answer for these thoughts – but I’m considering what it could look like on my farm.

I would encourage you to think about your food, whether you agree with Joel Salatin or not.  Where does it come from?  Do you know how the animals or plants are handled before they reach you?  Have you considered how powerful your dollar is in decision making for food production?  Is there more you can do to make a local business/farm your stop for meat and produce?  Have you made friends with a farmer?

I hope as you begin working through these questions and searching for answers, you will begin realizing how powerful our choices are.  Even small changes add up and create ripples you would not have believed at first.

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