If you were to ask most people in America where their food comes from they would not know. This is the 21st century and the idea of locally grown food for most people goes about as far as the local Safeway. As a Country kid, I grew up in the fertile and abundant San Joaquin Valley and took for granted that greeting your neighbors with fresh food that you had grown was a standard. I fear that this quality of the family farm is fading fast and it is up to us to revive it in any way possible.
The sprawling orchards and fields that gave such a perspective on my life as a child have been eaten up by development.. Housing, Industry, and Commerce slowly consuming the farms as the cost of growing FOOD skyrockets and the price of land makes it too appealing not to sell. Commercial agriculture has not helped in this manner. From GMO crops like wheat, corn and soy to conglomerates and packing companies buying out local farmers and ranchers , the incentive to keep the family business going fades from generation to generation.
The family farm is a bedrock of the American Economy in many ways. Peaking in the 1930's and 40's, the family farm provided 90% of the food that was put on the local tables. This fact allowed towns and communities to grow, businesses to flourish and our sense of togetherness dominate. Slowly, the hard work, decrease in earnings and the allure of the city life had people disappearing.
And I am one of those people. Both my brother and I are not farmers. My father, 72, will be the last to farm the ranches we have in California. We left for a number of different reasons but underlying most of it was the dis-appeal (for me at least) of long hours, unexciting future and a host of other opportunities that are just beyond the fences.
Why even bring up the nostalgic and sad situation??
Well I believe that, as in all things, the revival of feeding our community must come from grassroots action. We need to produce what we eat for sustainability and economy. And even you can be the farmer who contributes to the societal health.
Backyard gardens and urban gardens are highlighting the value of even the smallest spaces for agricultural use. One planter box 4'X4' can produce enough food for a family to live on for months if planted correctly. Especially here on Kauai where the ground is so fertile and the entire year is the growing season, there is no excuse to not plant food for your family.
America is a commodity nation. Producing products rather than food. As I mentioned before, there is high demand for GMO crops and industrial meat. We need to flip this idea around and grow FOOD NOT COMMODITIES. Feeding your family and neighbors will yield more riches than stripping the land of its nutrients for monetary gain.
But let me digress..
As a child of a farmer I understand that crops do still bring in the income that support families, feed kids and send kids off to college. But the Family FARM where real food is grown and shared needs to be a reality once more. Most great moments in your life have happened over a feast or meal. The family farm is a way to bring those moments to fruition.
So tomorrow, grab a shovel. Dig a row, plant some seeds and make food grow. It does not need to me monumental in its size, rather just an attempt. And if you have the room, buy a goat or a steer. Let it graze and then provide enough meat for your whole community. This is what we need to rely on going into the future. Family Farms are community builders, life sustainers. Be the change you want to see in this world..
Lat Band Mobility/ Bully Stretch
50 Double Unders
10X Up Back Overs
10X Press Flings
10X Half Moon Stretch
10X Hip Circles
30 Double Unders
10X Berry Pickers
10X Side Lunges
10X Elbow To Instep
15 Squat Jumps
6 Rounds For Quality
6 Deficit Handstand Push Ups *Use Progression
12 Hip Extension
8 Strict Toes TO Bar
12 Minute AMRAP
P1- 12 Slam Ball
P2- 6 Shoulder to Overhead 165/110
*Partners will alternate stations once both have completed the required work. 1 point will be given for each work segment completed. (i.e. P1 completes slam balls and P2 completes STOH, 2 points are awarded)