An organic food group emailed Farmer D with a few questions. Thought I’d share Farmer D’s answers with you since they are some great reflections on food security and the green movement.
1. Where do you think the immediate opportunities lie for making progress in localizing the US food system?
For over 20 years, I’ve been gardening in the city; but, for the past eight, I’ve been growing food for real in my own backyard. The most immediate opportunities for making progress always lie right in one’s immediate sphere of personal action—as close as outside one’s door. It’s a return to a lifestyle that existed in the past where things were small and slow and sensible. Progress starts with envisioning a new (yet old) lifestyle with the home as central to all aspects of life—work and leisure, food and energy. So, real progress means bringing the economy, beginning with the food economy, home again.
2. What do you see as the biggest challenges today?
One of the biggest challenges in this or any age is to stick with the necessary changes we need to make and hold fast to the end. As important as beginnings are, the real test is in reaching the finish line, which requires perseverance for the long haul. Because we tend to turn things over to others—experts—we lose the opportunity to develop true self-sufficiency. Through growing our food, along with other homesteading practices, we gain invaluable experience and the true rewards of doing-it-yourself. Going forward, we have to be willing to get past the idea stage and individually sweat the details, adjusting to unforeseen difficulties, and, above all, never quitting.
3. What’s the most rewarding part of the work that you do?
Attending Nature’s classroom almost every day and passing the prerequisite lessons, I am rewarded directly by the food brought to my family’s table. Because of where and how the produce is grown (in the backyard, organically), I have the satisfaction of knowing that it is good for us and for the planet, as well. Another reward comes from sharing this path to food security with others by spreading the harvest news via my family’s websites.
4. Anything else that you’d like to add?
Although green is popular today, it is easy, in our euphoria, to believe that things are getting better. But, with popularity comes superficiality. Therefore, it is necessary to get past the first flush of trendiness and search out deeper green steps. This will require the discernment of seeing beyond easy, quick, hip actions and the courage to work toward serious, long-term solutions. The real change the world needs can only come about through personal sacrifice.
Too bad Farmer D doesn’t have time to turn some of this into an article. Some really good thoughts here and think it would make for a some thoughtful reading.
Anyhow…. got a busy day ahead of us. Some friends and newbie urban homesteaders need our help moving. So we’ll be going on over to their place after the animal and garden chores are done this morning.
Wishing you and yours a bountiful, blessed and productive new year. And remember “the path to change the world begins right outside your door.”