What Is A Farm?

farm (färm). n. 1. A tract of land devoted to agricultural purposes.

No. The land is not the farm. That is so clear. How could a major dictionary have got it so wrong? The land was here long before the farm and long before the people or the business. The land is completely its own. The people and the business need the land. The land does not need either.

A farm is a synthesis of the land, the people, and the business. A blending. A new entity with a personality–that is the farm. No two combinations are the same; each farm is unique, with its own character. The land contributes its climate, topography, soils, precipitation, biological diversity and eco-systems. It is fixed in a location. The people bring their passions, skills and labor, their relationships, creativity, and emotional patterns. The business brings its financial capacities, its reputation and earned good will, the culture and market it operates within. There is no one-size-fits-all. Each farm must develop its own strength and place.

When one aspect is changed all are affected.

Excerpt from Turn Here Sweet Corn: Organic Farming Works

© Atina Diffley 2012

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