The Fool Killer

Dad, or Bompa, as we came to call him, was his children’s loudest cheerleader. That some of those shout-outs from the sideline were less than complimentary was not surprising. We grew up on stories of the Fool Killer, a horrible monster that stalked foolish people who ventured out alone at night. Foolishness could be dangerous.

And he would call a fool a fool. But compliments from Bompa were all the more appreciated because he was honest in his praise. He loved a good new idea and was an avid fellow traveler on many an adventure, if only from his armchair. And with eight strong-minded children, there have been many adventures.

Our adventure here on Knopp Branch Farm delighted him. Amazed him and flummoxed him too. Where did this passion for growing and selling vegetables come from?  Why did we insist on doing organically what could be done more efficiently if done conventionally? Farming is hard work, so why make it harder replicating old-fashioned practices when modern living through chemistry was feeding the ever-growing world population?

In trying to explain to him, we actually came to understand more clearly what we are attempting to do. By encouraging and supporting the life in the soil, we believed we would produce nutrient dense and flavorful produce. Rather than extend the exploitation of the land, we would nurture and leave our fields better than they were when we started farming. With proper care and hard work, over time the farm would produce more and better food for the family. And by selling what we grow, we hope to ensure the farm can be sustained far into the future.

He taught us that hard work was a good thing; that doing hard work you enjoy was even better. Leaving the world just a little bit better was the right thing to do and taking care to make the future a little safer and brighter for his grandchildren and great grandchildren was really the most important thing of all. And so Bompa applauded from the sidelines, calling the success of our hardscrabble farm a real “Home Run.”

Nevertheless, we make it a point not to go outside at night by ourselves, without the dogs. Some one out there might mistakenly consider us for fools.

Comments are closed.

Recent Post



 
Copyright © 2011 Knopp Branch Farm All rights reserved. Website design by Click and Create