Evolution of Farming: Young Farmers and Community
Young farmers are an evolution of the ones I grew up with, although they share that bone deep love of the earth. My father farmed; my grandfather farmed; my great grandfather, too. My brother said that once farming gets into your soul, it is there for good. Is it inherited? I have to wonder. My son Jesse was not raised on a farm, but in a redwood forest and then an oak savannah, but he “returned”, swimming upstream, like a salmon seeking the family spawning ground.
I remember the back story to the one he tells in this short video done as a promotion for Kitchen Table Advisors. This organization has consulted with him and several other young farmers like him through a grant helping with the business end of farming. Jesse was in his senior year at Humboldt State University and quit school—I was horrified! He is a good student and I wanted him to graduate. And his senior year, no less! But he was adamant that he needed this shift, and found a farming internship on a Biodynamic organic farm. I never will forget the day my husband and I dropped him off at the farm, and he moved into a tiny, broken down trailer on the property.
Thank goodness he followed his soul’s path! Steven and Gloria Decater (Live Power Farm) have mentored hundreds of young farmers into Biodynamic organic practices. The new breed of farmer is passionate about raising good food and tending the earth. These young people know that a big part of this process is community, so part of the raising of food is community building around the food. They call it a movement. My own childhood was very much about community, but its importance was much more in the unconscious, and as a result, industrial agriculture was able to decimate the small farm culture of our country and of our world.
So something new is forming, and these young farmers’ love of the earth and each other is at the core of it. They need all the support they can get from us through our patronage and, in the cases of Kitchen Table Advisors and Live Power Farm, consulting help in dreaming farming on. (Jesse did return to school and finish his degree, running the community CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) while he finished his course work. Can we mothers ever stop worrying??)