Reckoning with the calendar becoming 2019, this Class of 1972 college graduate thought it was clever to e-mail some greetings for the new year with “Best wishes for 2019, Ouch!” A good and intelligent friend set me straight on that superficial wit. He wrote: NOT Ouch, but Onward!
And Onward! it is for www.knowwhereyourfoodcomesfrom.com in 2019 and our mission of getting more people to really know where there food is coming from by becoming a farm share member of a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) family-scale organic farm near home. If you cannot grow your own organic food, nothing comes closer to ensuring good food for your household than participating in a farm share in a CSA farm that is committed to organic agricultural practices.
This moment of staying positive and helping the good food movement to advance forward is strongly rooted in the work of farm preservation organizations, notably American Farmland Trust, which recently spotlighted the alarming news that America’s farmland is disappearing at the rate of three acres every single minute. Its report, Farms Under Threat, notes that 31 million acres of farmland were lost between 1992 and 2012, nearly twice as much as previous datasets have shown.
But on this first day of 2019, there is good news to share about an innovative program to preserve family scale farming in New York State, which can become a model across the U.S. and Canada.
Coordinated by American Farmland Trust, in partnership with the State of New York, agricultural organizations, land trusts, and others, Farmland for a New Generation New York includes easy to use listings of land available for farming in New York. The Find A Farm page currently includes information on 120 available farms and farmland across the state organized geographically, which also may be filtered by applying various factors such as total acres, infrastructure & equipment, crops permitted, livestock permitted, and tenure arrangement.
Farmland for a New Generation New York also has a Find a Farmer page which currently lists over 200 new generation farmers searching for farmland. This list of farmers can be filtered by factors such as desired acreage, primary crops, livestock, tenure options desired and infrastructure and equipment.
And there are also clear directions on how to Create A Profile for landowners to create Farm Profiles and land seekers to create Farmer Profiles.
Onward! And hats off to American Farmland Trust for sparking this innovative program to connect farmland and the next generation of farmers.
(Frank W. Barrie, 1/1/19)