At the end of a season unlike any other, in a year of upheaval and after many weeks of planting, weeding, harvesting and delivering veggies, what’s to say?!
Well, onwards I suppose! Not with the upheaval and insecurity or the struggles that many are facing. I hope that passes. But with the commitment to what we are doing here at this farm and to rebuilding the world better. Which hopefully is what this farm is part of doing and what you are doing as an integral part of this farm.
When the pandemic hit, many rushed to local farms in search of locally-produced food. Sure, many rushed to buy toilet paper and bombard Amazon with orders and buy other things. But amidst that, many rushed to local farms to find food there. Which to me shows that in a time of crisis, people are aware of the tenuous nature of the systems that we have built and rely on. When borders closed and planes stopped flying and things that were invisible became visible, people felt the type of insecurity that many have been warning about for some time now. I believe that one way to relieve that insecurity is to rebuild local systems that put environmental and community health first. Which is what we are trying to do here. I imagine what it would be like if much more of the land in this province was dedicated to that goal. If more land was growing food for humans (and insects and animals) and supporting more people locally and growing less food for animal feed, industrial food products, crop by-products and and whatever else. That land could support more people, provide equitable and reliable employment, contribute to healthy water and soil and reduce the impacts of climate change.
I think about how we can work towards that goal. What policies make it harder? What would make it easier? As we experience the enduring effects of this pandemic, perhaps more people will want the security in having a local food source. So it is important to recognize how difficult it is to access land on which to grow food, how the farm population is aging without a replacement-level number of younger growers, how many people are denied food sovereignty and security. We need strategies for increasing access and empowering local food systems – government policies, community-based initiatives, community support. (Check out the National Farmers Union and consider becoming an associate member! This is the kind of good work and thinking this organization does – https://www.nfu.ca/).
As many people have been discussing, this pandemic hopefully represents an opportunity to assess how we change and move toward a better future. There are huge changes to be made but our choices as individuals also matter. So, thank you for choosing to get your food from us here at the farm, it means a lot to us and we hope you have enjoyed it and it is a choice we believe has broader and important impacts.
An enormous thank you to our incredible co-farmers this year – Jess, Connor and Amanda. What great people! They worked hard to grow your food, harvest it and bring it to you. They are the reason there was food to harvest and their good humour, intelligence and kindness made the farm a happy and warm place this season. Thank you!
We’ll be working hard over the coming weeks getting the remaining crops in for the winter and reviewing and planning for next season. We experienced an unprecedented level of interest in our shares this year and have to review how to proceed and what we are capable of for next season. We hope to have info about next year’s shares and registration info available as soon as possible so ifyou are interested in signing up for next year’s shares, stay tuned – we will have registration open by January at the latest for share renewal and hopefully before.0