We tend to take our cultivated areas for granted and because we buy most of our food in grocery stores we don't really consider what our food sources are. It is crazy that we can buy produce in one of the grocery chain stores that comes all the way from California yet is cheaper than the local veggies and fruit. Why is that? Well, the agribusiness farms of California grow half the "fresh" produce in the United States and a lot of ours as well. These farms require intensive chemical applications to grow produce on such a large scale, fossil fuels to get them here, and uniformity in product. The food is inexpensive at the cash register but costly in other ways.
How did we get to this industrial style of food production which has made us so dependent on transported produce while we continue to pave over some of the best farmland in Canada?
Several years ago I wrote about a novel called Jayber Crow by Wendell Berry. Berry is a college professor, a farmer, and a Christian. The story is told by the local barber, Jayber Crow, who watches through the decades as his farm community changes. His neighbour Ashley Keith farms his 500 acres in a sustainable way but when his son-in-law takes over he has big ideas and moves to an agribusiness model. It is a well told but sad tale.
So much of the Old Testament considers the land and its importance as a gift from God and as a trust to humans. Perhaps we need to read it a little more carefully.