Seeing Farming as an Art
Artist: one who has the ability to bring out the inherent or natural beauty of something.
David Moore showed us he was an artist the very first time he set foot on our road into the farm. We already loved our farm and felt it was a beautiful site. But when David began to walk down the road, he immediately started pointing out hidden beauty we never knew existed there. For one thing, he heard the sound of bees. He suggested honey production. We’d seen an Abundance of bees making hives all over the place, but never paid attention to the sound or seriously considered honey production. Bees are attracted to some natural beauty within the land. David knows how to balance the bees’ role and the farmer’s role to produce a beautiful, shared product: honey – an art indeed.
Many artists inherit their talent from parents or a family member. David’s father was a farmer and greatly influenced him. As a small boy, David marveled at how few foods their family had to buy from the market. His father grew food in Abundance. And so they had enough for their family’s consumption; the extra food, the Abundance could be sold on the market. Today, David teaches young farmers – some of them single-parent mothers, to do the same thing. From a small parcel of land, they grow food in Abundance – enough for their families and enough to sell on the market.
David’s daughter realized that she was gifted with her father’s and grandfather’s talent. So she followed in her father’s footsteps, got her training in agriculture at the university as he did, and is now Bong County Coordinator for the West Africa Agricultural Productivity Programme (WAAPP). David says training in the art of farming is very important because Liberia has changed. The dynamics of our land and people have changed and we must learn to farm in a more sustainable way. Farmers of today must have the willingness to learn the prime factors of sustainable farming and practice its best principles.
Even with all the “book” knowledge, however, the most important quality a person must have to be successful in natural farming is the “love and passion of farming. In Liberia, if you tell any man, ‘You are a farmer.’ He feels insulted. No passion.” Your passion for farming must be so strong that you will Persevere until you get the results you must have.
David’s Perseverance always yields amazing results: “When I try to grow something for the first time and fail; then I try the second time and fail; then I may fail again and again until I finally succeed! That is most amazing to me.” Consistent Perseverance can yield a work of art: “My proudest farming moment is right now where I’ve cultivated my twenty-five acre farm with palm and integrated beans with it.”
David Moore, proof that farming is one of the Cultural Arts.