a good future.

January 11th, 2010 by brooke

My friend Amy Franceschini is making a compilation of video interviews. She asked many folks, including myself, to share a vision of the state of farming and food in 2050. I do not often feel optimistic that collectively we are headed briskly enough down a restorative path. But in this case, I chose to respond idealistically.


I see an economic system that favors and respects farmers. I see a population that values food over plastic. I am 70 in a cultural climate that teaches young people that food cultivation and stewardship of land is a well compensated pursuit, and encourages them to enter the field.

In the marketplaces, food is abundant and equally accessible to everyone, but not necessarily cheap. Not cheap, because the food is understood to be embedded with the valuable labor of back, hands and mind.

Farming is acknowledged widely as a creative art form. An art form that is guided by the efficiency of recycling resources, rather than the efficiency dictated by the market economy. Farmers are understood as designers who learn to observe ecosystems and to craft complementary agricultural techniques.

We have resisted. We have raised our strong collective voice. Governments no longer dole out subsidies to industrial-scale commodity farmers; mono-cropped, petroleum-fueled, pesticide-managed operations. The force of our tax dollars is no longer leveraged to skew the relevance and potential of small-scale, locally-based food production and distribution networks.

Farmers who build soil, avoid fossil-fuels, create habitat for native species, harvest rain water and teach young people, receive those subsidies instead.

NAFTA, CAFTA and other devastating trade policies have been boldly rejected. Any legal agreement which inherently dismantles the livelihood of family farmers, undermines local food production, and culturally relevant job opportunities has been nullified.

Every region of the world is encouraged, supported and well on its’ ¬†way to re-building sovereign and healthy local food economies. Land has been radically re-distributed and de-consolidated. Every person has the right to work the land in their place of origin. People do not have to migrate, at risk of death, in order to provide for their families. Soil, sustenance and the power to cultivate are every person’s right and priveledge.

One response to “a good future.”

  1. Andrew Griffin says:

    Hi Little City: As a farmer, I appreciate what you’re up to. Your project looks very thoughtfully conceived and you articulate your values well. I’d beware of even wanting government subsidies though. I think you’ll stand a better chance of realizing your financial and social ambitions if you don’t come to count on the government for money. Customers make the best partners because they invest in your success. Have a great 2010 season. Andy

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