Dirt Farmer

Where other farmers sell grain, I sell soil, attractively packaged in ornamental coffins. Though this is the middle of Iowa, urban hipsters drive hours to buy it — “Heated, not treated, to remove Monsanto’s seed.” They pose for pictures next to my two-story tractor. I dress the part and don’t mention the ground-penetrating radar, how it shows me all the lies of the land as I drive my specially modified harvester. Instead, I talk about the healing properties of a mud mask, especially when it cracks in midsummer to let in the sun. My Lithuanian grandmother swore by it! When the soil is gone, will I sell rocks, they want to know. No, I want to say, I will sell the empty space to you to put all your goddamn garbage in. It’ll be the last landfill you’ll ever need. Instead I laugh and say in my best hick drawl: This here’s Iowa loess, son. Ain’t nothing but soil all the way down.

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