Farming Mutinies

I spent a great deal of time learning about agricultural techniques. Though I hardly regard myself an expert in the area, I have developed a deep affinity with the land. The smell of the fallen rain as it makes its cyclical pilgrimage up to the heavens, the feel of the soil as I clench my toes; I have grown attuned to the fields.
I had not my own.
It was a few weeks ago that I bumped into the town artisan on my way home from the market. He mentioned briefly his intention to convert the plot he owned into a farm and invited me to take a look at it. He had hired a trio of farmers from out of town to work the land.
The soles of my feet were calloused from the distance of many miles over many years, but I felt the parched earth the moment I stepped into his field. The crops, though green, stood stalk-thin and malnourished. There were no irrigation channels – the hired hands had foregone the hard work of laying the land and the seeds they scattered had fallen on shallow, sallow soil.
A pulsing sense of wanting to right the injustice surged within me, but I restrained myself, for it was neither my seed nor my field. But the artisan was unhappy with the state of his field and the work of his hirees. He arranged a meeting with them and brought me along as a go-between.
The trio were quick to size me up. I understood their adoption of a defensive stance, but I made it clear that it was not my intention to threaten their livelihood but to make sure that the artisan, my friend, got the quality of work he paid for.
The artisan had little confidence that they could grow crops bountiful enough to reap any profit and asked me to work on the irrigation, an aspect of the job which the other farmers had neglected to do properly. This meant that the trio would have to give up part of their wages. Two of the three farmers seemed more than willing to lease out the back-breaking work, but the last (who coincidentally was physically the largest) was adamant that their "territory" be protected. My friend the artisan could not convince him otherwise, for the contract had been signed and the wages paid in advance.
I spent the latter part of the day talking to the artisan, sharing dreams and visions over cups of tea. The loyalty I felt to him was partly due to our friendship, but a large portion of it was my obligation to the land. It cries to me.
Maybe it is time for me to find my own little plot, and toil in the manner I know how.

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