Growing Stuff and Thinking of Eskil & Agnes

I don’t know exactly why, but I feel proud somehow that my Grandfather and Grandmother were farmers.

There’s something inherently honest about farming. It’s so fundamental to our existence and makes most of today’s professions seem constructed, superficial and retroactively rationalized – until we don’t even question their actual usefulness anymore. 

Come to think about it, most modern occupations only exist as a consequence of our way of life – not because they’re quintessential or critical to our ability to survive as a species.

I have vividly fond memories of staying with Grandpa Eskil and Grandma Agnes as a young boy. Fact is, of all my childhood memories, the couple of years I spent with them – spread over a five or six-year period – were among my best. Now, I don’t know if I’m romanticizing those visits because living with my mother was such a fucking nightmare. Probably. In any case, Grandma Agnes was always extremely kind, gentle, and loving towards me. Which was something I had little experience with but likely helped me gain insight into what selfless love looked, sounded and, felt like.

When I visited, during the early and mid-1970s, the farm was winding down. The cows, chickens, and horses were gone. Ingo, the cute but horrendously smelly Beagle, was still around. Grandpa Eskil, a hopelessly macho man with a prosthetic leg and short temper, still hunted moose and plowed the few fields he had left with an old Volvo tractor and harvester. Eventually, the car manufacturer SAAB absorbed the remaining fields…and so, after their farming days were over, there wasn’t much left for my grandparents to do but get older and eventually pass on.

Aside from those visits to my mother’s parents and growing sunflowers on a balcony in Götebrog when I lived there, I have zero experience in farming. But somehow it feels almost inevitable that I would at some stage in my life explore what it’s like to grow at least some of my own food. And I can’t think of a more apt time than right now to learn how to cultivate at least a few tasty veggies. I’ve got a lot of organic seeds to plant over the next couple of days.