August 2021

Last time I joked about there being 18 months between posts. Ha. Now it’s been almost three years. Which means I have A LOT of “stuff” to share! Where to start and how to organize?

The impetus for needing to organize some thoughts… my friends Kathryn Dickel (see Pollinate Ritual) and Beau Fodor (see Panache)… are teaming up to present a series of the next evolution of Farm-to-Table dinners this fall out here at The Big Oak Barn. I need to distill 15 years of sustainability and (BROAD) agriculture thinking into 3 less than 15 minute segments, while keeping it light and fun. I got this.

Oh, and I need to start updating Prudent Produce‘s menu for next week.

What’s on my mind this week? Land access for new and beginning farmers, for one. We hear much discussion of the challenge of finding (affordable) land. It’s a loaded conversation that needs much perspective brought to it. That’s a whole series of posts in and of itself, and that’s without the criticism I’ve received for criticizing those who talk about it without perspective. All this to remind myself to try really hard not to be hypocritical here — acknowledge all of the unknowns; be certain of things you present as certainties and allow for evolution of thought in areas of uncertainty.

And certainly I am being challenged by uncertainty in this space of late. Since I started working in the local food / ag area in 2013 (though I did my master’s thesis on Community Food Systems in 2007, so was beginning to clue in even before jumping in to full time work)… I have done what is generally good: I’ve become confused at a higher level.

There are so many issues in the food and ag space. Those issues intersect with SO MANY other issues: health, diet, consumerism, capitalism, race, privilege, wealth, environment, justice, equality, equity, gender, innovation, sustainability, monopoly, monopsony… just to name a few.

Chris Newsome of Sylvanaqua Farms (thanks Kathryn!) has some interesting perspectives and experiences that are stretching my thinking… watching the 2020 Chris gave to the NYFC now!