A recent New York Times article notes that farming, the second oldest profession in the world, is making a comeback. Many liberal arts college graduates seem to be avoiding the extreme and intense competition for entry level office jobs with its accompanying drudgery and taking up organic farming. The consideration of farming as an occupation after college for today’s graduates is logical because this generation generally is more eco-conscious. During their college years, many of these students were active in campaigns concerned with climate change, as well as the quality of food served on campuses. As a result, sustainable farming is in vogue.
An interesting article by activist, Ellen Freudenheim (Sustainable Farming, Organic Food: 8 Lessons for America from Anatolia, Turkey) is a great starting place to get involved in sustainable farming. This article presents eight valuable tips that the author learned about organic farming while visiting Turkey “where such ideas as ‘small farm,’ ‘organic,’ and ‘locally grown’ are so old hat that they predate the fez.” These lessons are as follows:
- Plan ahead.
- Keep it simple.
- A college education isn’t enough.
- If you want to eat what you sow, think systems.
- Sustainable gardening takes multiple hands.
- Plan a winter vacation in Florida to recover from making hay while the sun shines.
- Don’t underestimate how much skill and knowledge are needed.
- God’s gifts—faith and optimism are important ingredients in a lifestyle in which food for sustenance depends on the sun, rain and natural elements beyond one’s control.
In conclusion, Ms Freudenheim offers a recipe for change that combines traditional farming techniques with modern technology, guided by savvy college students committed to address the current problems of quality of food supply and the obesity epidemic. Hopefully, this sustainable farm movement will grow and appeal to the public at large so that we all can live green, be green.