Earth Day was created by environmental activists 51 years ago on April 22, 1970 in response to the 1969 Santa Barbara oil spill when an oil well off the California coast blew out and spewed three million gallons of oil, killing thousands of seabirds, dolphins, seals and sea lions. In the words of David McCauley, Marine Biologist at the University of California, Santa Barbara (on an NPR Morning Edition episode), an ecosystem of amazing richness, amazing biodiversity, amazing biological activity was transformed into an Armageddon of blackness.
No surprise that the first annual Earth Day event in 1970 was focused on the United States after that ecological disaster. But twenty years later in 1990, according to the Earth Day article on Wikipedia, David Hayes, the original National Coordinator of Earth Day back in 1970, took Earth Day international and organized events in 141 nations.
EARTHDAY.ORG continues its mission to mobilize civil society globally to build a movement to meet our climate crisis and seize the enormous opportunities of a zero-carbon future with three days of climate action. And the organization has worked to evolve Earth Day into a year-round effort, Restore Our Earth.
For Earth Day in 2021, Earthday.org has spotlighted Regenerative Agriculture. The non-profit organization, which calls itself the world’s largest recruiter to the environmental movement with more than 75,000 partners in over 192 countries, has described the benefits of regenerative agriculture succinctly:
Regenerative agriculture counters climate change and promotes food security by restoring soil, organic matter, and biodiversity as well as reducing atmospheric carbon. it’s an evolving holistic nature-based approach that boosts topsoil, food production and farmers’ incomes.The robust soils and diverse ecosystems that its organic practices create yield more high-quality, nutrient-rich produce than conventional agriculture, fostering fruitful farms, healthy communities and thriving economies.
On this Earth Day 2021, we encourage our readers to know where your food comes from and to support a local family-scale farm that practices regenerative agriculture. Our mission, especially relevant on this Earth Day, is to spread information that will help and motivate readers to participate in a CSA (community supported agriculture) farm share or to shop regularly at a farmers market where you’re able to know your farmer and learn how your food is grown and produced.
We were encouraged recently by the news from Glynwood Center for Regional Food and Farming that its Food Sovereignty Fund was successful in raising moneys to support 17 farms in the Hudson Valley of upstate New York that are partnering with this non-profit organization based in Cold Spring (Putnam County, NY) in hunger relief projects to grow nutritious food for community-led food access initiatives. Wonderful news to pass along on Earth Day 2021!
Glynwood notes that all 17 farms are led by people who identify as BIPOC, LGBTQ+, and/or women. They are Angel Family Farm, Chaseholm Farm, Farm Fresh Caribbean Growers, Fresh Radish Farm, Good Chi Farm, Hemlock Hill Farm, Huerta Family Farm, Katherine Chiu, Letterbox Farm, Mimomex Farm, Phillies Bridge Farm Project, R&R Produce, Rise & Root Farm, Rock Steady Farm, Sweet Freedom Farm, The Grandpa Farm, and Three Sisters Farm.
Onward to healthy soil and a healthier Earth for all humanity!
(Frank W. Barrie, 4/22/21)