Thursday, March 25, 2010

Young Farmer Ninjas

This is Severine von Tscharner Fleming, the person leading the organization that put on the weekend hoggett event.

And here's an article about it. (picture from the article)

And here's the quote from that article that brought tears to my eyes:

Q. Are the new young farmers you know thinking about the macro or micro? Do they want to feed the country, feed themselves, or is it both?

A. Think globally, farm locally. Dominated as our food system has become by the mega-consolidation of poultry, beef, dairy, and hogs, the government has got to crack the monopoly. Our role is to replace that monopoly with a mosaic of small and medium-sized farms and food businesses. That means more new processing plants, cheese makers, butchers, bakers, candlestick makers, more locally owned grocery stores, more entrepreneurship at all levels, and more protagonism within those businesses.

It took Monsanto 20 years to consolidate their hold on our seed supply, and it'll probably take us 20 years to shake that monkey, but that is only half a professional lifetime for my generation.

Here's another one:

Q. What's the connection between farming and empowerment?

A. Jefferson knew. Washington knew. The new agrarian movement knows.

Farmers make sugar from sunshine. Farmers work at the interface of the wildness in our landscape. Farmers are the foundation of our economy. Farmers are fiercely independent, self-reliant, and accountable to their relationship with place. Farmers are good at identifying bullshit.

As with so many things, I don't quite fit in this movement.  I put myself on their map, but had difficulty because I'm not planning on growing a product, and the questionnaire is very "what do you grow" oriented.  Oh well - not quite fitting in is nothing new for me!


  1. Liar, liar, pants on fire! You do, TOO, plan to grow a product! Do you plan to grow any food for your table? THAT'S a product! If you were buying that same lettuce in the store, wouldn't it be a product?

    And, if you still go the goat service route, is a SERVICE not a product?

    You - "not growing a product"! Please.

    P.S. Thanks for the 3rd party cookie advice - that was it!

  2. Creating a sustainable community means ALL aspects of our world are more earth-friendly...even the way we trim the hedges!! Besides, we farmers who grow the lettuce need customers or folks who can barter SERVICES...which is what you will be doing. Welcome to the club, neighbor.

  3. What? Are you going for the Dunderfutz of the Year Award?

    "That means more new processing plants, CHEESE MAKERS, butchers, bakers, candlestick makers, more locally owned grocery stores, MORE ENTREPRENEURSHIP AT ALL LEVELS, and MORE PROTAGONISM WITHIN THOSE BUSINESSES."

    You're currently doing about a trillion times more to make yourself a contributor to a saner, more sensible world than the average bear.

    Seems to me that you already qualify and fit in on several levels . . . and you're just getting started!

  4. I think some of us are just looking for our niche..maybe haven't found it yet, but we know we'll make a difference, even if only in our own homes, just for us. I have 72 tomato seeds in little peat pots, trying to make a difference for me...and maybe a friend or 2.

  5. Oh man! All I gotta say is .... where's the love??? Smooches, all.