By Shain Saberon
Some don’t believe that people and the earth are in jeopardy. Many who do believe we are at risk cannot see beyond their chosen cause or focus; be it greenhouse gases, environmental pollution, animal rights, food safety, farmland preservation, religious interpretation, endangered species, hunger, war, pestilence, disease, corporate malfeasance, or moral degradation. In each and every case the fight has often been to treat the symptoms and not the cause. This seriously aggravates the problems. For example, biodeisel will not save us from global warming; it will hasten it as it speeds the poisoning and depletion of our soil resources. A centralized data base maintaining the whereabouts of every small farmer’s poultry and goats (with colored asterisks for locations of feedlots and pig factories) will not protect the food supply from pandemic diseases, bacterial infestation, or terrorist infiltration. It, instead, will increase the likelihood of these problems by providing dangerous exemptions for industrial producers and creating a readily available computerized road map of our food system frailties. Setting farmlands aside in park-like mode does not preserve them as farmlands. Instead it adds to the net loss. And yelling and screaming that the fighting must stop while refusing to see that our economy thrives on war profits is like facing a household fan into a high wind . . . the more farms we have, the greater the opportunity of success for each. The landscape will heal, the countryside will welcome the return of vibrant small farm communities, the economy will strengthen, the capacity to feed people will increase in quantity and health, the immune systems of an ever growing number of people will improve, governments will move offshore, the moral base will once again rise up from the truths of actual working, and the ranks of the hungry will shrink day by day.
Lynn Miller, editor/publisher of The Small Farmers Journal, Winter 2007, Volume 31. Lynn Miller is a horse farmer, writer, publisher, small farmer activist, and painter. His tireless works have breathed life into the current organic small farm movement for more than thirty years.
I cannot articulate better than Lynn Miller the reasons I farm and choose to support as many local food producers as possible. Many of our world’s problems can be solved with the simple acts of farming and supporting those brave enough to advance the cause.
My personal evolution from a recovering suburbanite to a local food producer is neither complex nor peculiar. Two decades ago as part of my undergraduate honors coursework, I studied eastern philosophy under the guidance of Brahman Hindu priestess. As I consumed the writings and philosophy of Gandhi, I determined then to make the world a better place. He eloquently stated, “Be the change you want to see in the world.” After reading that declaration, I decided my calling would be to teach literature to our nation’s youth; in them I saw more hope than in my own generation. Furthermore, I am passionate about flyfishing, so I also supported Trout Unlimited to protect local ecosystems. Then, while buying some local organic produce, I met Ryan Foxley. A friendship germinated and a new journey began for me. The rest is history. EverGreen farm was born, and small scale farming in Star Valley continues. We are excited to play a small but hopefully significant role in our local community.
Thank you for sharing our dream!