by Stewart Klein
Generations ago, when everyone directly participated in growing food for the community, there was an important understanding of where food comes from. That connection to the soil lead society to cherish our natural resources, because we all knew that if the healthy soil went away, so did the food we need. Then, somewhere along the way, our economy became more specialized and most people lost touch with the soil itself.
These days, if you ask a child where their corn flakes come from, many will say ‘the supermarket’ but as we all know, that box of food didn’t grow in aisle 7 alongside the rest of the items on store shelves. If you look back at the food chain from farm to table, link-by-link, you’ll eventually get back to the same farmers who have relied on healthy soil to grow our crops for centuries.
The way society grows its food has also changed quite a bit with the invention of ‘commercial farms’ and a nationalization of the food supply, which makes the connection between people and the soil even more distant. Getting in touch with nature isn’t just a hippy-dippy ethos; it’s a crucial part of remembering where your food comes from and sharing that understanding with the next generation that depends on it.
When is the last time you visited an actual farm? We aren’t talking about a petting zoo or a commercialized field used for seasonal pumpkin picking… we mean an actual farm where farmers grow a variety of crops in a way that fosters a sustainable future for all of us. The #LaVidaLocal movement HMI is helping to build supports better training for family farmers and ranchers, creating an important path toward reconnecting consumers with the people who provide food, so that the roots of our entire agricultural system are healthier from the ground up.
Becoming part of this grass roots movement is as easy as looking over the many programs HMI offers and choosing the ones you want to participate in right now. Whether you have been farming for decades, are thinking of starting your own vegetable garden or are simply looking to help grow awareness of where your food actually comes from, HMI has a fertile field of worthwhile programs you can adopt to make a big difference.