Between harvest plans, county fairs, starting school, attending
football games and soccer matches, marketing crops and stockpiling
forage, think about the human connections that are important in
order for sustainable and organic farming to prosper, expand and
benefit more people, watersheds and local economies.
Old school agriculture thinking: The enemy of my enemy is my friend.
New school food system thinking: All who eat can be our friends.
Never in North American history since the Industrial Revolution
have so many non-farmers thought as seriously as they do now about
farmers, where their food comes from or how it is grown. There are
more allies, in higher places, thinking in more profound ways than
ever before about how to liberate farming from the limitations of
the failing industrial model. Consider:
Three planning groups (news)
recently recommended that sustainable food systems be included
in long-term planning at state, regional and municipal levels,
structurally connecting farms to their communities in new and
New York’s governor and New York City’s council president
both spoke knowingly at Farm Aid
2007 about on-going efforts and future practical
policies to connect upstate farmers and downstate eaters by way
of strengthening farms, fighting obesity and decreasing urban
In Heirloom tasting
(slideshow), see how five organizations dedicated to connecting
farmers to eaters recently rallied at a central Pennsylvania farmers’
market. They highlighted the role of online farmer directories
in building direct access to high-quality local and organic food
by tasting local pies and heirloom tomatoes in a celebration of
color, flavor and story.
In our feature story Recipe for
success, learn how local chapters of the international
Slow Food movement in North America are finding that great food
with flavor worth savoring depends on farmers who know how to
fine-tune their farm’s natural resources to create the highest
quality crops and livestock. Respectful attention to farmer needs
by these cultural leaders has significant impact in raising popular
expectations for a whole range of food issues that provide opportunity
for enterprising farmers.
Video shows flood damage
(news) illustrates how even in disaster situations, non-farmers
are leading efforts to bring relief to the organic agricultural
community that was hit hard by the floods in the upper Midwest
Yes, there are huge market-access and farm-policy hurdles remaining,
and lots of folks who are contentedly clueless. For people looking
for new allies in sustainable connections, however, autumn 2007
is a wonderfully promising time to take action.
next month...your next chance to support NewFarm.org’s
role in growing more sustainable farmers during our “”Harvest
Celebration” fund drive.