Hello Farm Friends!

I want to kick off the new year by sharing some inspiration through a series of blog posts. And I’d like to start by sharing two amazing short videos (about 20 minutes each) with you today from my friends at the Real Organic Project. This group of farmers and food advocates is the most genuine and intentional group of people I have the privilege of engaging with. They are respectful, passionate, and highly knowledgeable people who are working in a very challenging food and agricultural industry to fight for real organic food. I think you will find their respect, demeanor, and perspective to be inspiring. Given there is a cold snap about to hit Montana, I hope you will take some time to sit down and watch these videos on YouTube at some point in the coming weeks, because really they are about you and your ability to affect change. And feel free to share them with friends and family.

One of the most profound lessons I was reminded of while on retreat this winter was the power of our choices. Where we choose to put our attention, what thoughts we tend to feed and give energy to, what values we tend to support in our behavior and our consumption. And realizing that these choices present themselves to us in every waking moment of our lives….it is truly a daily practice. As a society, we need remember that we, as individuals, own our attention, and we need to take back that power and responsibility so that we can be more discriminating in who or what we give it to. It takes a lot of care and discipline to make good, informed choices, but there is no more important place for us to direct our effort and energy.

As I mentioned in my previous post, you are all at the center of the food system, whether you realize it or not. I used to think it was the small farmers who were the agents of change, but I think we are all realizing that it is really the consumer and the choices we make that drive the system. As eaters, or “consumers”, our choices shape the food system. I want to start with this video from the Real Organic Podcast #147 Kristin Kimball is a farmer and an author of two books, The Dirty Life and Good Husbandry, on the challenges and rewards of being a small farmer, and this presentation on the importance of supporting local farms is heart-felt and I think will really resonate with all you as CSA members or supporters of our farm.

Another huge realization regarding our choices is that we only get to pick from what we see and are offered. And in an age of industrial food, we are losing many of our choices for good food. While we get to pick from what is available from the grocery store shelves, who decides what sort of food is on those shelves? Watching this video from Alan Lewis of Natural Grocers in the Real Organic Podcast #152 was very eye-opening. As a founder of The Farmers’ Stand market in Whitefish, I couldn’t help but feel a moment of……dare I say “pride”?, or perhaps “fulfillment”, at the realization of just how unusual and unique it is to have a store that deals directly with farmers and fosters connection and relationships between consumers and producers. To offer our community choices that they can’t find anywhere else, and the realization of just how increasingly rare that is in our current food system. And to have a community who has been so willing to show up and support it!

I hope you find these videos to be as informative and inspiring as I did. Stay warm out there!