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Asuka Hishiki, Turnips

Definition of a Good Farmer

Philip Britts

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  • Dan Grubbs

    Mr. Britts' definition of a good farmer appears to be a direct result of studying God's word and studying God's creation. For both God's word and God's creation cry out for us to listen to what they are saying all the while revealing God Himself to us. My own study of the Bible and creation have revealed the same observations as Mr. Britts'. I encourage everyone to share these observations with their family and friends who are farmers.

A good farmer is one who:

  1. Realizes that his farm is an organic unit in which all the organs must function in cooperation and reciprocation.
  2. Realizes that the fertility of the soil is the life-blood of his farm and that this fertility is not static, but is a dynamic and perishable balance.
  3. Realizes that humus is the mainspring of fertility.
  4. Realizes that for each part of the farm there is a best natural use of the land, and conforms to it as far as possible.
  5. Realizes that climate is the most powerful single factor affecting crop production; that it cannot be controlled, and should not be fought against, but cooperated with.
  6. Fights insects and diseases firstly by prevention and uses poison sprays, dusts, etc., with caution and reluctance.
  7. Realizes that grass is the earth’s most important crop, takes care of his permanent pastures, and uses temporary pastures to protect and replenish his soil.
  8. Realizes the importance of the genetic constitution of his plants and animals, and makes use of breeding to improve quality.
  9. Has the energy, tenacity, and organizing ability to keep the farm clean and tidy, and to keep clear records.
  10. Realizes that he knows next to nothing of all that there is to know, that he is dealing with eternal laws that he did not make and cannot alter, and that the most brilliant achievements of human knowledge are simply the closest obedience to these laws.
Asuka Hishiki, Turnips

Asuka Hishiki, Turnips
Image reproduced by permission of the artist


Excerpted from Water at the Roots: Poems and Insights of a Visionary Farmer.

Contributed By Philip Britts Philip Britts

Farmer-poet Philip Britts was born in 1917 in Devon, England. Britts became a pacifist, joined the Bruderhof, and moved to South America during World War II.

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