We should all be so lucky.
“But for my entire life, my own country has apathetically accepted an American model of farming and food retailing, mostly through a belief that it was the way of progress and the natural course of economic development. As a result, America’s future is the default for us all.
It is a future in which farming and food have changed and are changing radically — in my view, for the worse. Thus I look at the future with a skeptical eye. We have all become such suckers for a bargain that we take the low prices of our foodstuffs for granted and are somehow unable to connect these bargain-basement prices to our children’s inability to find meaningful work at a decently paid job.”
– James Rebanks in the New York Times op-eds last week explaining why the stakes are so high, but missing all the reasons to hope… (This is the part where we say, YOU, Greenhorns! From your draft-powered farms to your new resilient corporative models, there are a lot of new energy in rural America. And, thank you!)
Disillusioned by a cultural story of consumption and alienation, a newly married couple are called to action. Carrying with them their unborn child, they embark on a year-long journey around the UK, searching for the seeds of an alternative culture and with it hope for the future.
we the uncivilized: A Life Story resonates deeply with our sick and nagging sensation that our world of strip malls, fossil fuels, and convenience is not nourishing– in any sense of the word– to the people who live in it. The film is a “grassroots documentary project” that speaks to and with activists, artists, permaculturalists, and others seeking alternative ways of living with each other and within nature.
The film has just wrapped up a year-long tour, but that doesn’t mean that you don’t have a chance to see it! Organize a screening in your own community. We’d LOVE to see this come to the US.
Farms Not Factories is a small UK-based nonprofit that advocates for ethical farming practices and meat consumption. With 15 days to go, they hope to raise £10,000 “to create and publicise a series of short films featuring celebrity chefs making a delicious pork dish while explaining why serving high welfare meat is so important.” Farmers who provide the pork explain how they raise their happy and healthy pigs. Donate to their campaign here!
These are pretty cool programs subsidized by the british government. Participation is open to anyone willing to go to the UK.
It leaves us with one pertinent question. What if the USDA provided free jobs training for young farmers?
“A coalition of growers is working with Haringey Council to explore taking on Wolves Lane, a 2 acre former plant nursery in north London. The goal is to turn the site into a centre/hub for community food enterprise and prevent the loss of the extensive rare urban glasshouse infrastructure.
The lead partner is Organiclea, an award winning and internationally renowned workers’ co-operative with over 15 years of experience doing similar work in a neighbouring London borough. They have a 12 acre site nearby and are currently supporting new groups of growers to take on sites under their farmstart program.
The aim is for an initiative that grows and distributes sustainably produced food to local residents and businesses; engages a wide range of people in learning and skills activities, and health and well-being benefits; establishes itself as a centre for promoting healthy eating; and offers space for community groups and social enterprises to run activities that benefit the community.
A presentation is being given to the council on 10th October and the pitch would be greatly enhanced if we could find seed funding of £20k. Given the tight turn around of this bid, we are seeking this from private donors and trusts; this money could be given as a gift or a ten year loan, if preferred.
Please contact Brian Kelly on 07816 930585 or firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to find out more.”
A cool theater group called Feral Theatre produces rad-eco-theater pieces, and maybe they hit pretty close to home…