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Please pass along my deepest support for the magazine's international
on-site reporting storylines.
As a past writer and current reader, these are the stories which
I think stand out beyond the other great articles being published.
These stories are so personal and intimate; their words go beyond
the methodology and science of farming practices, beyond even the
arguments for organic or conventional. The storylines capture farming
at its deepest, rawest most pure state—man and woman trying
to create a sacred space for themselves and community members, using
their hands and minds to interact with nature, to become creative
partners with the surrounding landscape and elements. The stories
tell us about the farm and what the land is producing, but, beyond
that, what interests me most are the struggles and hopes and joys
that each farmer goes through as they work with the land to create
a nourishing, sustaining vision and reality. It is a snapshot into
the farmer as humble warrior, and his or her quotes are full of
honesty and emotion. They are full of life and I hear them spoken
directly to me, farmer to farmer, blessing me with advice, knowledge,
secrets, myths and wisdom.
I first came across newfarm.org while researching different organic
farms in Southeast Asia, as I was planning a backpacking trip through
Thailand and Laos. The articles written by Jason Witmer (Jason's
Organic Global Odyssey) granted me access to communities of
peoples that I would have undoubtedly been unable to find without
his direction. I am in deep gratitude for his articles and to newfarm.org
for publishing those articles. I followed his footsteps more than
once and visited the Santi-Asoke Buddhist communities as well as
Jo Jondai at his Pun Pun Sustainable Farming & Seed Saving Center.
At each stop I was awarded invaluable treasures. But beyond the
trip itself, it was the ripples that have been such tremendous gifts.
Later, while traveling through the Middle East, I had the desire
to share the stories that I was living and hearing, stories that
were not being told in the mainstream media, about men and women
that had no other way to voice their tales to an international audience.
Newfarm.org granted me the opportunity to step into and share my
own journey with your audience, and I have the deepest gratitude
for the chance.
Traveling and writing Vine
and Fig Tree: Restoring Agriculture in the Holy Land opened
up untold gates and pathways and dimensions for me, helping me craft
my future, which now will be forever rooted in Israel. I was able
to make deep connections with the farmers I worked and lived by,
as well as with the land that hosted me. The farmers were deeply
grateful for the chance to express their thoughts and share their
experiences. The readers, as well, at least the handful that emailed
me, were full of surprise and excitement.
There are so many young adults getting involved with agriculture,
deeply connected with the organic movement, filled with curiosity
and wonder. To return to the land becomes a passion to them, a lifestyle
more than an economic pursuit. Newfar.org's international on-site
reporting speaks directly to these people, attracts them as readers
and supports them as farmers. They will become your next writers.
They will visit the farms being written about. They will find inspiration
in the stories and go out on their own with new confidence. Amidst
all the valuable stories in the magazine, these are the most powerful
and these are the ones speaking to the next generation of farmers.
I look forward to reading many more articles written by eager,
charismatic writers, bringing forth an old scene and making it refreshing,
reminding us of the real heroic stories behind the farming lifestyle.