Editor: Living in a geographically small place, it is easy for us to be culturally dismissive of those who speak out regarding long-held ways of doing things, but it might be helpful to consider that just because we’ve always done something a certain way does not necessarily mean it is the most sustainable way of doing things.
We know that while providing some benefits, the excessive application of agri-chemicals contaminates the air, soil and waterways of our Island home.
In theory, we realize the importance of best agricultural practices which encourage farmers to act as stewards of the land and waters, but we’ve failed to encourage a deeper cultural understanding of the importance of those best practices which would make enforcement unnecessary.
Each time we make a choice towards better informing ourselves and our families about the ways our food is produced, each time we pause mindfully and consider how we prepare and consume the foods in our pantries and our refrigerators, we change the cultural climate that allows perpetuation of conventional, large-scale farming and we improve our connection to each other and the source of our food.
How to healthfully, and economically feed us and our families is a growing concern of many Islanders. The fact that there is a connection between both concerns, as well as common solutions beyond large-scale conventional agriculture, is something worth thinking and talking about.
Fostering a community of understanding, personal commitment, as well as negotiating political will can make viable change in agriculture a reality. The United Nations has named 2014 as the International Year of Family Farming. Perhaps we would do well to consider 2014 as an opportunity to celebrate small scale and organic agriculture in our home province. In doing so we are acknowledging our vital role as consumers. Supporting those whose aim it is to nurture the land they tend, while growing the food we eat is a step in the right direction.