A Tale of Two Farms

February 19, 2013
Cheryl Woelk |

We were on the island! The train had risen about the surface of the water out of the underwater tunnel that had taken us a half hour to traverse. We looked at the rural villages, the mountains, the fields. This was Hokkaido.

On our trip to this northern island of Japan, we enjoyed the food, scenery and the people we met. We also had the privilege of visiting Menno Village, a small community trying to live together, farm sustainably, and promote a different way of thinking about food and economics. It was a wonderful visit and we learned a lot.


While we were there, we also visit the nearby Menno Farm (Mennonite Dairy Farm) started by a graduate of the Mennonite Vocational School in South Korea. His is a family with the most modern and latest technologies to make it in the current food economy. It reminded me of being on the large farms of my relatives in Saskatchewan.


Visiting both farms in one day, I realized the breadth of the Mennonite church and the beauty of it. As in this piece on diversity and unity, I see this as a symbol of something good. Not that I don't have a preference for one or another model of farming and agriculture, nor that I don't have value judgments possibly attached. But that the church can be such a radical community to embrace those on the cutting edge of change and those at the heart of the mainstream at the same time is inspiring. There's something there that challenges me and draws me to that challenge.

Author Name: 
Cheryl Woelk
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