Eugene Friends Meeting

Eugene Friends Meeting

of the Religious Society of Friends ("Quakers")

Organic Quakerism

In the 2019 Friends Journal Article The Ministry of Quaker Farmers,  Rachel Van Boven interviewed Quaker farmers to find out how their Quakerism informed their farming practice. Among other things she talks about their choice to farm in an organic and regenerative way – a way that emphasizes building up the soil, not using it up as a commodity. 

For many of us, buying organic is a hard economic choice: As Rachel says, “We are all trapped in this economic system. It’s hard to justify spending so much more for food, and for some of us, it’s simply impossible.”

But Rachel also says, buying food from organic farmers like these allows us to live our testimonies:

“The way we eat is a choice we make at least three times a day. Local small-scale organic and regenerative farmers bring us food that allows us to choose to eat with integrity, to eat in a way that honors that of God in everything. John Woolman spoke of simplicity as the way we order our lives around our leadings. Simplicity sounds easy, but it requires some great sacrifices, as the life of Woolman demonstrates.

Organic and regenerative farming is also a way to support the community of all the life living on the land. While all farmers certainly work to combat pests, these farmers do it with a view of the interconnection of all beings. …

Finally, local organic and regenerative farmers enable us to be in right order with our peace testimony. When we buy local produce, we are using less fossil fuel to transport our food. The less we use fossil fuels, the more we are taking away the occasion of all war. Supporting these farmers works for peace and justice.”


What are the testimonies that inform your food purchases?

What barriers have you encountered (such as access to local, fair-trade, and organically grown foods; time pressures; cost)?

How can we, as a community of Quakers, share food with each other that honors our shared testimonies? Can we make a commitment to lean towards using local and organic foods for potlucks and hospitality? Can we lean towards vegan options?

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