"What are you?" I was recently asked. A very Zen sort of question I thought and proceeded to give one of my usual smart arse replies. However, the young man appeared unsatisfied with my answer and explained that he meant to ask what sort of farmer I was? Was I "into" permaculture, organics, green living or self sufficiency for example?
I replied that I was none of these things.
So let me make it clear. I consider myself a farmer. I grow food, real food, for my family. I do not use modern chemicals or fertilizers. Nor do I use modern high production methods for profit. I do use natural fertilizers and sprays I make myself. I make my own compost and keep nutrients on the farm. I know all of my animals and ensure their quality of life. I farm in a manner mankind has been using successfully for thousands of years!
I therefore call myself a farmer as opposed to the modern farming I refer to as "Chemical agriculture" which I believe is one of the greatest ills to beset the modern world.
I am not a Permaculturalist or Organic farmer. I do not follow the Green path or whatever name it has this week, I am not into Holistics and I am not self sufficient. We do not need any silly label for our lifestyle. I am a farmer, nothing more, and damned proud of it!