Published Apr 16, 2010

Farmer Among the Tombs

By Teresa Opheim

A wonderful aspect about having a member-directed organization is that we respond to farmers’ priorities, and not staff members’ own individual priorities. That is much more difficult to accomplish than you might think!

Often times members have on their minds topics that I’ve rarely thought about. Take today, for example. The topic that’s getting a lot of traffic on the PFI listerv? Rural cemetaries and how to keep them up.

Despite our “practical” name, the postings haven’t all been on the nuts and bolts on how to fund cemetary maintenance. Case in point is Jesse Robbins’ post, a quote from Wendell Berry:

“I am oppressed by all the room taken up by the dead, their headstones standing shoulder to shoulder,the bones imprisoned under them. Plow up the graveyards! Haul off the monuments! Pry open the vaults and the coffins so the dead may nourish their gravesand go free, their acres traversed all summerby crop rows and cattle and foraging bees.”