"For the past several nights I’ve been shelling black beans. Hours of my time have been spent snapping these brittle husks to try and fill what seems to be a bottomless bowl. It’s not like I’m creating any economic stability for my family here. Lets say that I could shell three pounds of beans in an hour (which I can’t). I can buy organic beans for $.80 a pound. That would give me a net worth of $2.40 an hour and that doesn’t include spreading compost, planting, cultivating, and harvesting. So why waste my time? Several reasons really. First, it feels right. Work the ground, add some seed, water, light, work, and love, and I’ve got nourishment for my family though the winter. Second, beans are an important rotation crop for the fields, as they build fertility. Third, I don’t believe that I can even buy beans of this quality. Besides the biodynamic preps, I’ve known and tended them their entire life. Fourth, it’s real, or I should say it grounds me. It brings me closer to reality. If we run out of oil, if our economy should grind to a halt, if the lights of the city flicker and are extinguished, I’ll still plant beans for the winter. And fifth, I have rarely seen the true correlation between the actual value of real food and the work that it takes to create it reflected in its actual price.
Some things cannot be expressed in terms of monetary value. Their worth actually transcends it. It is both priceless and free, depending upon the circumstances."
Excerpted from Awakening to Nature: Gardening and Nature Observation as a Path of Spiritual Development, Chris Korrow
Rockwell Beans, heirloom native to Whidbey Island.