This summer I have spent some time with migrant workers downeast during the blueberry harvest. I am also in the midst of trying to start a workers co-op for farm workers. So the issues of farm workers are at the front of my mind these days. When we met with the folks from the Coalition of Immokalee Workers this summer one of them shared this biblical quote with me:
From the book of James Chapter 5
1Come now, you rich people, weep and wail for the miseries that are coming to you.
2Your riches have rotted, and your clothes are moth-eaten.
3Your gold and silver have rusted, and their rust will be evidence against you, and it will eat your flesh like fire. You have laid up treasure for the last days.
4Listen! The wages of the labourers who mowed your fields, which you kept back by fraud, cry out, and the cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord of hosts.
Then I found this poem:
Cutting stalks at noontime.
Perspiration drips to the earth.
Know you that your bowl of rice
each grain from hardship comes?
At the FDA hearings the other day I couldn’t help but think of this quote:
It would be nice if the Food and Drug Administration stopped issuing warnings about toxic substances and just gave me the names of one or two things still safe to eat. ~Robert Fuoss
But back in my own garden I remembered of this:
It’s difficult to think anything but pleasant thoughts while eating a homegrown tomato. ~Lewis Grizzard
The message? Grow your own. Know what you are eating. Take some responsibility. And if you need help on your farm treat your workers well. With dignity, respect, decent wages and working conditions. Wake up folks. Producing food is hard work and the people who do it deserve to be paid a living wage whether they are farmers or the farm hands who work for them.