The shorter the chain between raw food and fork, the fresher it is and the more transparent the system is.
I didn't really see a way to make a living on the farm. I always loved writing. I was the guy who won the D.A.R. essay contest and things like that, and it was the era of Watergate, and I decided I would be the next Woodward and Bernstein, and then retire to the farm.
God doesn't just miraculously and physically intervene in the whole process, so if I just go and drop a bunch of chemicals and herbicides that leach into the groundwater, I can pray all day to keep my child healthy, but if the herbicides gone into the groundwater come up my well, my child's going to drink that water.
I think it's important to understand that in the big historical context of things, there has been land degradation from civilisation since the beginning of history. I mean, the Rajputana desert in India is a manmade desert caused by overgrazing.
There's a short chain between field and fork, and the shorter that chain is - the fresher, the more transparent that system is - the less chance there is of anything from bio-terrorism to pathogenicity to spoilage.
From my earliest memories, I loved the farm. My grandfather was a charter subscriber to Rodale's Organic Gardening and Farming Magazine and had a huge, well kept garden with an octagonal chicken house in the corner.
The linear, single species idea of farming is an assault on ecological function. Something's going to break down in that system - anything from soil structure, in economics... but where to start is with true ecological function.