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If we didn’t do farming……what would we have done…

I had a moment to consider what I would be doing if I had chosen something else after reading Omnivore’s Dilemma. One of our members brought up the subject of people that cannot afford to buy organic healthy food. What about those people?
Got me thinking…scary… Healthy food options for those that cannot afford healthy food. That is an interesting one.

Many of our customers make hard choices to afford our food and many of our customers can afford our food. These customers drive
economies of scale, driving down costs over time. They model the
way for others who are either ignorant of the food quality concern and/or those who may struggle but can make the hard choices for healthy food.

The part of our society that are financially not able to afford “organic” foods today are not only concerned about food, but shelter, education, health care, jobs and most likely don’t see or have hope.

I grew up in a single parent household, mom was a teacher and at $6,000/year we were what would be considered poor. The public school was fine, small college paid for by waitressing, nothing of note. We didn’t have the big marketing barrage telling us” who we should be” or
things we “had to have”.

I was poor but I had hope. I think that hope is the
difference for those that figure out a way and those that don’t. It is a
beginning, a starting point to kick off from. That is a different topic
and Victor Frankl said most of anything worth saying on that topic.

This newsletter is about the effect I might have had if I
chose something different. Here is what I came up with:

A farm that focused on hiring low income community members
to participate in growing their own food. Work and get paid to do the work. Including selling and distributing the food to those who can afford it and to those who can’t. Particularly in their own neighborhoods, building community and allowing for not only a sustainable model (meaning that the food sales to those that could afford the food would offset the food sales for those that could only pay a portion) but also the pride of meaningful work that brings hope, ownership and community. It could work either with many employees or run mainly by volunteers working for food vs pay. Lots of options.

We built this farm not to make a lot of money but to pay the
bills, provide a decent living for its workers and the little bit of profit to
share among the employees. Now we are building the nonprofit to support education. Perhaps the next step is focusing on low income families having access to our food.
Would you pay more if you knew you were subsidizing low
income families that had low or no access to healthy food? In the
long run it would pay you back in less monies toward welfare (health care, EBT).

For those of you who can afford our food what about buying a
bag of meat/vegetables for a low income family once a month? I am sure we could figure out a simple way to identify who to help. Thoughts?

I would love to help and I am doing all that I can.

Any takers?

Your Farmer, Tara Smith