Frik van der Merwe, an elderly Boer farmer, received a letter from the Labour Department stating that they suspected he was not paying his employees the statutory minimum wage and they would send an inspector to interview them.
A few days after the appointed day, the inspector turned up in a Black BMW X5.
“Tell me about your staff,” he asked Frik.
“Well,” said Frik, “there’s the farm hand, I pay him R345 a week, and he has a free cottage.
Then there’s the housekeeper. She gets R355 a week, along with free board and lodging.
There’s also the half-wit. He works a 16 hour day, does 90% of the work, earns about R100 a week along with a bottle of whisky and, as a special treat, occasionally gets to sleep with my wife.”
“That’s disgraceful” said the inspector, “I need to interview the half-wit.”
“That’ll be me then,” said Frik.
This is not actually true, but dam funny and reminds me of a good farmer friend from down the road. Actually farming is a bottomless pit of money.
10 easy ways that you can live a more sustainable lifestyle!
- Buy local products when possible, otherwise, buy organic and fair-trade products. Ask your grocer or favorite restaurant what local food they carry and try to influence their purchasing decisions. You will support your local economy and small farmers, reduce your exposure to harmful pesticides, improve the taste and quality of your food, and protect the environment from fertilizer and pesticide run-offs.
- Shop at your local farmers market, join a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) and get weekly deliveries of the season’s harvest, and by buy from local grocers and co-ops committed to stocking local foods.
- Support restaurants and food vendors that buy locally produced food. When at a restaurant, ask (nicely!) your waiter where the meat and fish comes from. Eventually, as more and more customers ask the same question, they’ll get the message!
- Avoid GMOs (Genetically Modified Organisms)! When buying processed food (anything packaged) buy organic to avoid GMO. (Since almost all the soy, corn, and canola in the US is genetically modified, over 70% of all processed food contain GMOs from by-products of these grains.)
- COOK, CAN, DRY & FREEZE! Our culture has forgotten some of the most basic joys of cooking. Not only is cooking at home better for you and more economical, but it’s an invaluable skill to pass on to your children.
- Drink plenty of water, but avoid bottled water when you can. Water bottles pollute the environment and bottled water is often mere tap water. Plastic is harmful to your health and to the environment. Buy a reusable water bottle and invest in a good water filter.
- Grow a garden, visit a farm, volunteer in your community garden, teach a child how to garden. GET DIRTY! Have fun!
- Volunteer and/or financially support an organization dedicated to promoting a sustainable food system. Stay informed by joining the mailing list of the advocacy groups you trust.
- Get involved in your community! Influence what your child eats by engaging the school board, effect city policies by learning about zoning and attending city council meetings, learn about the federal policies that affect your food choice and let your congress person know what you think.
- SHARE your passion! Talk to your friends and family about why our food choice matters.