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to counter this kind of Agri(mono)culture

On 09/21/99 08:51:38 you wrote:

My two beans of input on this are:

1) MODEL simple living to our children, and "our" children means the children of our society, of which we are all parents.
We cannot lead glutonous consumer lifestyles and ask our children to "study sustainability". Consider the ramifications of all our 
actions. Are processed, packaged foods sustainable, even if organic?

2) As a farm apprentice (5 acres of very intensive and diverse organic veggies), I have learned to appreciate food, work and life like 
never before. I'm 32. What once seemed hard work or drudgery is now a joy. I nourish and live with the living vegetables that nourish 
and sustain me. I now value every bite of food that enters my body, knowing what human effort and Nature magic it takes to create 
our meals. Lack of appreciation for and connection to our sustenance (dit, our very lives) is part of the root of our social ills.

What a different society we'd have if every teen had to intern at least one summer on a farm to graduate high school. What a 
different society we'd have if teens seeking an education in agriculture we required to spend one full season on a farm BEFORE 
applying. What a different society we'd have if every school had a garden, in which we'd learn relationship skills, languages, social 
studies, math, science, economics.

LIVING, MEANINGFUL EXPERIENCE is what our youth need most, not the latest jeans or CD, TV in the bedroom, whatever. IMHO, 
violent youth tragedies are occuring in part because of a cultural disconnect with Earth. How can one really feel alive when wholly 
disconnected with the source of our life and sustenance? Look at cultures who have no such tragedies. What are they doing that we 
don't. I'd venture to say that most have their people more closely connected to their agriculture than we.

If nothing else, words of gratitude for each meal is a good place to start. But the real change will occur when we start having more 
direct and deilberate relationships with food, growers and Earth.

In solidarity and faith,
John E. Verin

>In response to your message:
>>One way to counter this kind of Agri(mono)culture is to send kids to
>>these schools who are fully behind the concept of sustainable
>>agriculture. They need to challenge the professors and departments head
>>on and create a revolution within academia that will shut these programs
>>down and redirect the focus to sustainability. The only reason
>>corporations continue fund these programs is because they know there
>>will be students to do the research. If the students refuse to
>>participate in this kind of research, the money will stop flowing and
>>the corporados will have to do their tinkering elsewhere.
>I agree in part that seding students forward is a good concept. The
>challenge, of course is: how do you educate and raise up these kinds of
>young people? I work at a university in the College of Agriculture &
>Natural Resources. While there are students who come in with a strong
>interest in ecology, sustainable agriculture, and related issues, my
>experience has been that many young people come to MSU without any
>knowledge or background in these areas. In fact, those students who come
>from farming backgrounds often come in with very UNsustainable backgrounds.
>Many of the urban and suburban students are alsi unaware of some of the
>I think the key is to discover students who are open minded and concerned
>about issues of sustainability (even if they are not aware of it) and get
>them fired up early in their college careers.  There are students "out
>there" who are concerned about the world, the environment, hunger, etc.  We
>need to identify them and encourage their interest and empower them (an
>overused word) to have impacts both within and outisde of the classroom.
>Just a thought.
>Another approach to a multi-pronged approach is to educate colleagues. I am
>a very green (no pun intended) novice in at least trying to learn about and
>think about some of these things. I joined this listserve this past spring
>because I'd never been exposed to issues of food security until we had a
>guest speaker in our class. She had an immediate impact on me. I am still
>working on how to take action (besides changing some of my habits at
>Anyway, just thought I'd share some thoughts.
>"Free will is the ability to do gladly that which I must."  ~~C.G. Jung
>M. C. Jones
>121 Agriculture Hall
>Michigan State University
>East Lansing, MI 48824
>(517) 353-1835

Happy Gardening!

John Edward Verin
Senior Apprentice
Ecosystem Farm
Accokeek, MD

"I don't want to break your heart in two
 There's just one thing I'd like you to try
 Don't let science take your wings away
 You can live tomorrow from today"
 - Francis Dunnery


Food is power... are you in control of yours?

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