(Pasture raised, grass fed lamb and our steer, Chester, on Withywindle Valley Farm waiting to be let into their next paddock)
"Small farmers are on the leading edge of global sustainability if we consider the future of our world and food production."
Rising costs of fuel, war, supply chain disruptions, and grain shortagers are starting to cause ripples in the global food supply. Although we arn't quite feeling the effects yet, we are likely to experince increased prices and food shortages over the next coming years. According to The World Bank, "Record high food prices have triggered a global crisis that will drive millions more into extreme poverty, magnifying hunger and malnutrition, while threatening to erase hard-won gains in development."
These grim facts can make a body feel powerless. Alas! There is hope! The rain falls and the sun shines on farmers in your community! When you're buying livestock that was grass-fed and finished, and pork that was pasture-raised on up-cycled food, there is no need for imported grain. If your nieghbors have fresh produce, eggs, and meat, semi-trucks need not consume expensive fuel while farting toxic waste into the atmosphere. Small farms are key to community resiliece.
The matter of the fact is, small farms are really struggling right now. Most small farms I know are oppurating at a loss (us included), or are struggling to keep their head above water. According to The Times, "Chapter 12 farm bankruptcies were up 12 percent in the Midwest from July of 2018 to June of 2019; they’re up 50 percent in the Northwest. Tens of thousands have simply stopped farming, knowing that reorganization through bankruptcy won’t save them. The nation lost more than 100,000 farms between 2011 and 2018; 12,000 of those between 2017 and 2018 alone."
So why do we do it? Why would anyone in their right mind start a small farm? NO FARMS = NO FOOD.
The good news is, small farms are SMALL and your support makes a HUGE differnce! It may feel like you are in a small fellowship, and orcs are a-massing beyond the wall, but in the words of J.R.R Tolkien:
"With respect to great people the likes of kings and wizards, anyone as small and simple as a hobbit, can be significant in changing the course of the future. The only difference each person has is the amount of courage in facing challenges in life."
(Carissa with a truck-load of up-cycled produce to feed to the pigs! )