Shaking the foundations!
Hope that for our Wellington members your Sunday afternoon earth quake experience (from 2 weeks ago) is fading fast. Our daughter Sanne was at the 9th floor of her student hall and ended up under the desk while glasses and books fell around her! The scariest moment in her life! She was not sure what the best place to be was, the 9th floor or the 1st? My guess is that the best place to be is here on the farm, so if the next big one hits, fellow CSA members, please feel free to camp out here between the olives for a bit!
It brings back the topic of the importance of community resilience and resilient agriculture. My little research into resilience points to Locally Grown Food and Community Supported Agriculture as one of the ways to bring about better community resilience and it’s not strange! We need to reconnect!
Over the past 50 years we have become more and more disconnected from each other and from our food. We now live in a global food system. Where and how our food is grown, how much money growers receive, what happens to it along the supply chain and the environmental impact of food has become largely invisible.
Coco-cola’s new introduction of the small bottles recently is one perfect example of how we are all so far removed from what’s really going on. Marketing, advertising. Their Ad on tv makes it sounds that they are doing so well, thinking about our health and our environment, but in the end its nothing better than it was: empty slogans and status quo. And who would expect any different from Coca Cola or any other big multinational.
John Ikerd, Professor Emeritus of Agricultural Economics at the University of Missouri explained it very well in his paper back in 2001 about why we need to reconnect and the challenge to farmers, and writes that we have moved from a capitalist into a corporatist society whereby societal good is no longer the winner but instead the self interest of the companies and their stakeholders. He writes:
“People are losing confidence in the industrial, free-market economy. They can see that Adam Smith’s invisible hand has been mangled by industrial corporatism, and is no longer capable of transforming self-interest into societal good. We no longer have competitive markets, at least not in the economic sense to eliminate excessive profits. It’s no longer easy to get into or out of businesses to accommodate changing consumer tastes and preferences. We don’t have accurate information concerning the actual qualities of the things that we buy, but get disinformation by design in the form of persuasive advertising. Consumer sovereignty is a thing of the past – it began disappearing when the advertising agency started hiring Ph.D. psychologists to “shape” consumer demand. None of the necessary conditions for competitive capitalism exists in today’s economy. In addition, the global economy is moving away from market coordination toward a corporate version of” central planning,” as if the only problem with the Soviet economy was a lack of sophisticated management.”
To read the whole paper: http://web.missouri.edu/ikerdj/papers/NAF4-Reconnecting.htm
As a feel good factor corporate society pledges and donates, but at what cost to society? Further environmental degradation and social problems (obesity, cancer)? Ernst, a good friend of ours and economist, pointed out to me after one of my recent newsletters that I should not write “that as long as economics rules the world” but instead that” long as there is some scarcity and competition for a resource (which is 7 billion humans is a given) there will be economics. What you are really saying is as long there are species that compete...” and in that he is right of course. We are competing, however, in a more and more uneven world. We will have to wait a long time (when its too late) befor big corporates change their attitudes, it’s up to all of us to get smarter and choose with our wallets.
The good thing these days is that finding information, researching, learning about the things that really matter and reconnecting is getting easier and easier. There are so many people all over the globe who want to make a real difference. Facebook, U Tube, the internet is all full with great information and very glued on people. Check out some of our heroes on the internet:
- Jerry Brunetti, a vet from the USA, who was diagnosed with cancer a while ago and went on a trip that changed his life! Talks about Food as Medicine and medicine as Food. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tVT_56TVe-4
- Prof Emiritus John Ickerd on Ecological Capitalism in http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U7-83FlrMV8
- Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride, a medical doctor with two postgraduate degrees: Master of Medical Sciences in Neurology and Master of Medical Sciences in Human Nutrition. She is well known for developing a concept of GAPS (Gut And Psychology Syndrome) http://www.doctor-natasha.com/dr-natasha.php
- Dr Stuart Hill, social ecologist on Sustainable Futures: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mzY1eZLwOdk
- Joel Salatin, progressive farmer http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cph1Vv8Zzbg
- Vandania Shiva, ecologist from India http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yYwOTLopWIw
These are some of people who inspire and helping us in our belief that we are doing is worthwhile and will help us move towards a new beginning: post neo-classical economics.
A big part of the new beginning or great transition John Ickerd talks about involves our children. Over the last few weeks I have been in contact with Raphael House Steiner School in Belmont who are keen to connect as a school with the farm and vice versa. A great opportunity to inspire young individuals and their families to reconnect with the land: farm days, workshops, and of course healthy food! We look forward to work mor
Let’s change the world together!
This week’s CSA shares:
Fruit Share: 1.5 kg Braeburn and 1 kg Pacific Rose Apples
Large Veggie Share: 1 kg of Moonlight Potatoes (or a bag of Cavalo Nero Kale), 1 large Celeriac or a Savoy Cabbage, 250 grams of Brussel Sprouts, 1 Market Squash, either a bag of Cavalo Nero kale or Carrots, a bag of Mizuna Salad Greens, a bag of Salad Mix and 1 large or 2 smaller Leeks.
Have a great week. When its raining tomorrow check out one of the above videos or papers. Great inspriation for a new week!
Josje and the farm tean