Small Farm Landscape
Weather is often talked about in our newsletters as it dictates everything we do on the farm. But weather is getting more attention the past couple weeks for the disastrous results of some powerful storms doing serious damage, even taking lives. In watching the news reports on television, we can only imagine what these folks are experiencing and feeling fortunate to live where we do and only have to worry about floods and tornadoes, and not hurricanes and earthquakes as well.
In the wake of the damage, a reporter was speaking with a restaurant owner in Florida who had ridden out the storm. A portion of her business was badly damaged, but the restaurant was largely in tact and she was feeding the rescue workers as it was the only food establishment left in the area. The trouble was no deliveries could get into the area leaving only local producers to provide food for these people. Though I would assume some folks were planning ahead and had local stores put away for just this situation. But surely not enough for the entire community.
The entire situation brings to mind the flooding in northern Wisconsin last year when our farming friends near Marengo made their CSA delivery when all other traffic was prevented from entering the area due to washed out roads. They were able to get their produce into Ashland to local grocery stores when trucks from out of the area could not.
This is cause for us to think about the value of having small farms spread out across the landscape to meet the needs of their own community no matter what else is happening far away. By shifting our consumerism to corporate farms, we have eliminated much of our local food sources that were commonplace before the invention of refrigeration. But at what cost have we created this “convenient” and “inexpensive” food system? With catastrophic drought then heavy rain cycles in the western states, corporate agriculture has made a major shift to the Midwest the past ten years. A place where weather hasn’t made farming boom or bust. But how long will we be able to keep up until “natural” disaster strikes here too?
Feeling like fortunate midwesterners,