This Christmas eve, NBC once again showed Frank Capra’s 1946 movie It’s a Wonderful Life. It blew away the competition with the largest audience in years. For the few who haven’t seen it, the movie setting is the 1920’s through the 1940’s and it is about a fictional character George Bailey who endures tough times, a corrupt banker, and many personal hardships. Always putting his family and community first, George eventually works himself into a situation that requires the help of an angel.

Of course, I was one of those in the audience. Yesterday morning, reporters from National Public Radio attributed the large audience to similarities in the story line with today’s issues. However, I find that the story line of personal integrity, self-sacrifice, and life-tempered hope is a message that I enjoy hearing every year. And those character attributes lead me into my shameless segue into the wonderful life of farming.

In these times of food insecurity and high-unemployment, particularly for young adults, more young people  are turning to farming. According to an Associated Press story, the young entrepreneurs typically cite two reasons for going into farming: “Many find the corporate world stifling and see no point in sticking it out when there’s little job security; and demand for locally grown and organic foods has been strong enough that even in the downturn they feel confident they can sell their products.” New farmers who were interviewed in the article talk about their passion for farming and the happiness that they find in doing real, physical work.

Farming comes with many challenges, disappointments and endless work, but it has meaning and you can see the fruits of your labor. George Washington once said “I had rather be on my farm than be emperor of the world.” Despite the challenges and dissappointments, it is a wonderful life!

Now where is my seed catalog?