Dear Farm Journal,
This Tuesday was our last spring CSA packout, and in my opinion, it was the best box of the season. The dynamic colors and fragrant aromas attest to the living energy inside each item. The rainbow starburst carrots, rainbow swiss chard, and dark opal purple basil pop with every color of the spectrum. The green garlic and cilantro make the mouth water with just one whiff. It’s hard to believe we started this charming cornucopia from seeds while there was still snow on the ground. When I reflect on my own personal journey with each item, the daily planting, transplanting, heating, cooling, watering, weeding, thinning, trellessing, harvesting, culling, cleaning, bunching, packing, and all the steps in between… I wonder. I wonder if people will ever truly discern or recognize the worth of food done well. I know I certainly didn’t grasp the reality of what it takes until I worked on the farm. I ate vegetarian, shopped at co-ops, and tried to buy organic when I could afford it, but I didn’t really think about the life of my food. I wasn’t aware of all the harmful chemicals on conventional produce or all the environmental damage done in agriculture. I didn’t think about the life or income of the farmer. I couldn’t describe the economic intricacies of why junk food is cheap and healthy food is expensive. However, when I fell in love with Keewaydin, I also became enamored with learning more about the story behind our food system. I started studying food justice in the courses of my master’s program at Johns Hopkins and did my graduate research project on socially responsible food and ethical food consumerism. This journey of understanding took me all over the board of history; slavery, politics, the green revolution, biotech, capitalism, power, control, and a whole lot of other ugliness behind the curtain of our country’s beloved yet erroneous slogan of “feeding the world”. On my lifelong journey of learning, I often find that outrage and thwarting disappointment unfold with new revelations. It is like peeling back rotten flooring to find moldy carpet. The dark underbelly is always more corrupt than you imagined. The injustices of our food system are colossal and I encourage people to dig deeper if they dare. We do our portion of activism on this 200 acres, but there is so much more to be done.