While the farmer's away, the chickens
will play. Chris Hill, Executive Editor and newsletter
composer is away on another agricultural adventure (this time it's
Senegal). So, the chickens are filling in. As usual, our latest
update is chock full of profiles, reflections, news and research
from across the country and around the globe.
We've got a brand new column
for all you new farmers (or old farmers who feel like new farmers)
to sink your hoes into. After putting the call out to our readers,
we received over 70 letters of interest from beginning farmers eager
to write about the trials and tribulations of their first few years
in the field. Part sounding board, part diary, part complaint line,
the New Farmer Journal lets six new
farmers share their humble beginnings, humbling mistakes and not-so-humble
determination as they unfold each month. Three
farmers launch the New Farmer Journal this week:
McPhillips of Fresh Harvest Farm, Mokena IL
Duesing of Sol-e-Terre, Suffield CT
Elliot of Stoney Lonesome Farm, Gainesville VA
Whoever said creating a truly local food system means shunning the
technological advances of our time has not only got his head in
the sand, he obviously hasn't heard about Winter Harvest or Locally
Grown. New Farm's senior editor, Dan Sullivan, takes a look at two
internet buying clubs linking local eaters to local farmers
and making grassroots high-tech.
Keep your politics off my food?
American farmers might have the luxury of choosing whether or not
to mix their farming with their politics, but in northern Israel's
Sachnin, some farmers have suffered loss of their olive trees, ancient
fields and homes thanks to Israeli military activity carried out
in the name of security. Others have lost water rights, crippling
production in many areas. From the mouth of one farmer: "Everything
is politics in this land. When you eat, you eat politics. When you
drink, you drink politics. You can't even breathe the air without
suffocating on politics." Yigal Deutscher profiles the area's
Israeli Arab farmers in this
installment of Vine and Fig Tree.
Our fearless leader will back for our next newsletter and, I'm
sure, will fill you in on all his adventures then.
In the meantime, enjoy!
That big one is the new farmer; the
others, we'll see! See left
and below for more information on our new column featuring
Daniel (above) and more.
Virtual peaches: The
world-wide-web makes ultra-local possible.
See left and below for more.
Laithi and his NGO, Arrasid, are bringing back microfarming in order
to bring the community back to the land. See
left and below for more.