Sunday, June 13, 2010


Farmer+workers of Harland's Creek Farm CSA, NC

"The “locavore” movement encourages consumers to buy from farmers’ markets or even to grow or pick their own food, arguing that fresh, local products are more nutritious and taste better. Locavores also shun supermarket offerings as an environmentally friendly measure, since shipping food over long distances often requires more fuel for transportation."
Oxford University Press

“Locavore” received word of the year accolades in 2007, thus officially converting farmers into the dirt-painted nerd : sexy, awkward, you might claim to be one in search of a counter-cultural identity amongst a socially claustrophobic bar scene.

Last week while delivering to Whole Foods our farmer’s wife was greeted with wild applause from staff whom adoringly blanketed the delivery lady and twisty garlic scapes with oozy gazes and kind words. Don’t need to wait for references to this ego: but I was the one marked with garlic smell wafting from downward facing dog, releasing pain, tension, exhaustion accumulated in 12-hour days of hoeing. Can't we all be the celebrity if only for free, exotic olives from the bar?

Please keep all limbs inside the trend, we’ve arrived at (only one of many) of my summer preoccupations: labor.

Geographically based in an agricultural community dependent on seasonal workers and organized by Federal Labor laws excluding documented persons from overtime, the right to organize, minimum wage not to mention the dense hole of human right issues concerning undocumented workers, the self-absorbed reflection on farmworkers is contextually relevant and available in multiple arrangements.

What you can expect to hear on this issue in coming water cycles:

*Handed –
Stories of farmworkers handling your food and food systems handling workers. Specifically referring to personal experiences and relationships on farms in the Arkansas Valley River Basin. Note that where I weed, weed, and weed some more on non-chemical, medium to small-scale agriculture farms/ranches differs tremendously from the work of others in conventional crops and farming systems.

*Laudable Ladies Laboring (on Lunes) -
Profiles of women growing food and changing perceptions/roles/cultural artifacts around agriculture// soil // marketplaces from their work on the land. Seriously fantastic female farmers. And a note: the word locavore is attributed to four women from the Bay area.

*Farm Log -
(Hopefully) Weekly accounts of the work we put in and the monetary values assigned to our time and tasks. The love and dirt on what it really takes to get organic veggies to the tables of a community.

Moments when lady bugs take flight from super-charged internet cell phones.

For all the words, it is simply this:

“The fight is never about grapes or lettuce. It is always about people.”
Cesar Chavez

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