My story of connection to the land is one of re-connecting. I’m in process.
I grew up in Lincoln, Neb., with essentially no connection to place. My parents had lived together in Goshen, Ind.; Iowa City, Iowa; and Berkeley, Cal., before I came along, and they had both spent their growing up years in various places—Ohio, Indiana, Pennsylvania, Iowa and even Ontario. So I grew up in a city with no family history there, and my parents were professors—they had “thinking” jobs, their work abstract enough that the physical world around them didn’t seem to matter. So it’s no surprise that I, as a young person, paid no attention to my landscape, and had essentially no concept of my life being part of the natural world, let alone dependent on it.
I went to college as a math major, preparing to continue in the abstract line of work of my parents. But while in college I began to think about the world, all the diversity of people in it, and all the problems that cannot be solved in a classroom or laboratory, but only face-to-face, with broken hearts and dirty hands.
And so I investigated different kinds of activism—environmental, anti-racist, etc., and I landed on farming. What better way to serve humanity than to steward the growth of the plants and animals that feed us? What better way to serve the earth than to acknowledge, through my work, that my life depends on the earth’s health and fertility?
So I have worked on farms for four years or so—in Texas, Iowa, and now here, as Humble Hands Harvest. In some ways I have been following in my parents’ footsteps. I have not found a place to know as “home”—only places where I am for now. But I now move through life with a desire to call a place home: to be able to envision my role in a community for decades into the future, and to work toward a healthy, beautiful Earth to sustain life for millennia to come.