As a history major and teacher by trade, I’ve always enjoyed comparing the present with the past. As a farmer/grower one of the the topics my mind frequently explores is the development of agriculture and commerce in general. It wasn’t long ago that if you needed something and couldn’t get it locally, you were out of luck. Often this meant that small towns had people with a great diversity of skills. Carpenters, wheelwrights, wagoners, blacksmiths, candle makers, seamstresses, soldiers, millers, merchants, bar and inn keepers, and plenty of farmers working with a few animals and a few acres of land.
The beauty of this village system is that people depended on relationships with others. If you were good at what you did and folks trusted you, you’d have plenty of business. Typically, people were short on cash but good to their word, often paying with labor or trading services. Credit could only be established if your character and reputation warranted it which caused villagers to work hard, lead honest lives, and develop their community together.
Contrast the intimacy of the village with the anonymity of today’s bustling cities, the suburban areas surrounding them, and even true small towns. You won’t find very many people depending on one another. You also won’t find too many people whose character and reputation is known by anyone else. Sure people might think others are “nice” or “friendly” but they have nothing more than a see-you-next-week relationship with them. The sad truth is that most of us have a better understanding of our smart devices than we do of the human beings around us. Our lives no longer depend on our character, our word means nothing, and collectively we fail at establishing relationships with others.
Many parts of modern life are amazing in their own respect but I think if we could utilize technology without losing our connection to each other, our society would be much stronger and people would lead more fulfilling lives. We at Pine Grove Pastures want to resurrect a piece of the village; the small farm. Our character and our reputation will be established over time and we’ll always be seeking those who want to develop a deeper relationship with their food and their farmers. Because food matters, and so do people.