Sustainability and your local farmer

The idea of sustainability aims at the roots of modern American fundamentals. It’s the idea that by taking responsibility for the environment and the economy on a communal level rather than a corporate level, we can sustain a long term management of our resources, may it be natural, economic, or social.

There has been a growing movement across the United States and around the world. As more and more people are stepping away from their trust of the corporate culture in which we’ve grown so accustomed to, steps have been made to become more self-sufficient. The reasons for the social migration are as diverse as the people who have taken them.

Never in my life have I wanted to achieve something in which I know in my heart to be so right. Never in my life have I believed in a cause with so much enthusiasm and passion. Never in my life have I been so worried for myself, my community, and the world in which I live.

For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.

According to the USDA, roughly 40% of the United States is covered in farmland, of that less than one percent can be considered organic or naturally grown. That leaves over 99% of all the farmland in the United States to be frown without the utilization of sustainable practices. This means that over 99% of our crops are grown monoculturally with the use of pesticide, herbicides and fungicides.

To a conventional farmer, the idea of monoculture is the idea of money. Once you see the all-mighty dollar waved in front of your face, your ethics and morals are instantly compromised. I understand that we all have to do what we have to do to survive, but how long can we survive once the soil is devoid of all nutrients due to the neglect of crop rotation and chemical breakdown? How long are we going to survive when all the ground water we need to drink is fortified with the same chemicals used to kill everything from insects to weeds? Do we really think that it won’t effect us? How long are we going to survive without bees which are being killed off due to chemical exposure?

Though there are a lot of people who believe in sustainability, there are just as many pushing against it. Sustainability, to them, is the limitation of money in which can be earned. The small independent farmer stands in the way of profit. I have been told that a sustainable community is a Communist community. Sustainability and the entire green movement hinders a companies right to make money and is nothing more than a redistribution of wealth.

Though there is a strong movement to achieve community, there is an even stronger push the other way. It is up to us to continue supporting our communities, as this is the only way we can ensure there is a future not only for corporate shareholders, but for yourself, your family, and your neighbors as well. This week is National Farmers Week. Our Tiny Earth encourages you to visit your local farmers markets and get to know your farmers. They are not there to get rich. They are there to feed your family and also to make sure they can feed theirs.

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