Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Nourishing Wednesdays – Building Community From the Ground Up

Old MacDonald had a farm …

Sunday’s New York Times Business section had this headline “Farm Life, Subsidized By a Job Elsewhere”. This is a piece of good news. The Agriculture Department’s just released Census of Agriculture, which comes out every five years, said that the number of farms increased by 4 percent from 2002 to 2007. Most of the new farms were small and part-time farmers. Since the last one, female farmers grew nearly 30 percent. Read the article here.

Last week’s the Jewish Journal, Feb 6-12 issue, included “Farming the Land, Torah in Hand”, about Jewish farmers – young North American Jews who are learning to farm and do it Jewishly. They’re part of a larger and growing group of environmental and food activists who come out of new Jewish farm-education initiatives. Hazon, an advocacy organization that promotes sustainable environmental practices and sponsors an annual Jewish food conference, is one such organization. They’ve got a great blog, The Jew & the Carrot, which I recommend for recipes and discussions of food issues.

Today’s Boston Globe talked about joining a CSA, community supported agriculture, to help support those growing number of small farms. You buy a stake in a farm and share the risk, and the bounty, with the farmer.

This long term suburban girl wants to know where this fascination with farms is coming from. Perhaps I was an eggplant in another life.

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