Since last July there have been 15 Rallies to Protect Organic. Some of these Rallies were big, and some were small. They happened from California to Maine. The central theme of the Rallies has been to honor healthy soil as the essential foundation of organic farming.
There is one more Rally still to come; the final Rally at the Jacksonville Florida NOSB meeting on October 31. Please join us at the Jacksonville Rally.
Over 54 people have gotten up and spoken at these Rallies. These people represent a broad coalition of organic advocates, from eaters to policy advocates to farmers. These Rallies demonstrate the growing and widespread discontent with the failures of the National Organic Program.
It is becoming clear that the organic movement will not just silently march along wherever the NOP leads. The NOP was created to serve, not to reinvent. But the NOP mission seems to be changing from serving the organic community to serving corporate agriculture. The organic movement is based on developing a saner agriculture than radical capitalism will lead us to. The NOP has lost track of this fact. They have lost sight of organic farming.
This November the NOSB will vote on the most important recommendation in organic standards in the last twenty years. The recommendation addresses the basic question of what the National Organic Program stands for. Will they continue to permit hydroponic to be certified organic? Or will they insist that organic farming is based on healthy soil?
Why is soil important to all of us? As global citizens, this is a very important question. This film was made to reach out and inform the NOSB. Please check it out. In this time of social media, anything over 3 minutes long seems daunting, so just watch the first 3 minutes! If you are still interested, watch the next 3 minutes, and so on.
We don’t often see mainstream media outlets report on the often invisible farm workers that hold up so much of American agriculture– let alone do in depth and humanizing interviews with them. So, in case you missed it, we wanted to bring your attention to a series created by Dan Charles for NPR’s The Salt in which Charles interviews the largely-Hispanic migrant immigrant workers on sweet potato, apple, orange, strawberry, and blueberry farms. Even for those of us who have worked on smaller-scale farms, a look into the lives of workers on these gigantic combines is both fascinating and critical. We can’t recommend a listen more highly.
You can read Charles’s summary of his findings here and follow his links to listen to each piece individually.
The Fair Food movement began nearly thirteen years ago, in February of 2000, when farmworkers from Immokalee — who until then had been largely locked in anonymous battle with Florida tomato growers within the boundaries of Immokalee — joined forces with students, people of faith, and everyday consumers to take their call for “Dignity, Dialogue, and a Fair Wage” on the road. With little more than a map to guide them, a field truck to carry their supplies, and a 12-ft tall replica of the Statue of Liberty made of fabric, plaster and duct tape to lead the way, they took off on a two-week long trek from Ft. Myers to the offices of the Florida Fruit and Vegetable Association in Orlando.
Among the marchers’ number were several workers whose testimony led to convictions in two seminal slavery prosecutions (US vs. Flores, US vs. Cuello); an 18-yr old Romeo Ramirez, 23-yr old Lucas Benitez, and 22-yr old Julia Gabriel who three years later would receive the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Award for their leadership in the struggle for farmworker rights; and the core of young student activists who came together in the wake of those two unforgettable weeks to form the Student/Farmworker Alliance, now a key ally in the Fair Food movement. The march marked the first major excursion of Immokalee farmworkers outside the confines of southwest Florida and onto the cognitive map of the nation as a creative, and courageous, new force for social change.
The Fair Food movement is returning to its roots. March 3-17 we are taking to the streets again in a two-week march, from Ft. Myers to Publix headquarters in Lakeland, the “March for Rights, Respect and Fair Food.”
Orchard Pond Organics CSA Manager Position Available-Tallahassee, Florida
We are a USDA Certified Organic farm with a 130 member CSA in Tallahassee, Florida currently looking for someone with previous farm and farmers market experience to fill our CSA Manager position. Duties include CSA member correspondence and organization, farmers markets (2/week), CSA share planning/crop predictions, working with the farmers to plan harvests, leading harvests (3 days per week), restaurant sales and deliveries. View our website at www.orchardpondorganics.com.
Please send resumes to firstname.lastname@example.org or call (850)591-5766 with any questions.