This week, I had a board meeting with the Biodynamic Association, the group that promotes and educates on Biodynamic Agriculture. After our regular business we usually have a discussion on a topic of particular importance to the group. This month, we focused on the marketplace for Biodynamic food, and how to create a sustainable, value-based demand for this incredible system of agriculture while also maintaining the integrity of the methodology.
After much discussion of the structure of distribution and the massive size and consolidation of retail supermarkets (Whole Foods may be bought by Kroger in the next month), we were struck by the degree of disconnection of families and individuals from the farmers and food producers who are investing so much in the quality and consciousness of food production.
Then, I got to share what makes Farmers To You so special and talked about the relationships we create between families, farmers and the food. I also (rather proudly, I’m afraid) shared my conversations with so many of you during these last weeks – about how you can barely conceive of not having this food you have become accustomed to (related) and how it makes you feel connected to the farmers, the farms and the land.
The conversation this sparked was nothing short of wonderful. So many dots got connected – Biodynamic farming itself is all about the relationships – the farmer to the land, the soil, the plants, animals and cosmos – as well as to those who eat the food. Then we started to see that something has gotten lost – the relationships that used to make up communities. You would go the local store because you knew them and trusted them, not because something was on sale there, or purely out of convenience. (Does being able to go to the supermarket 24/7 really make our lives better?) You had a relationship with your local trusted store and through them, a relationship with your food. This relationship-based economy is what made life simpler, more trusting, and I think easier for our families and communities. It actually made real community possible. We were interdependent. There was help everywhere!
My takeaway from this conversation was that these relationships are precious and require real care, attention and tending. That makes us all Biodynamic Farmers seeing that we are all in right relationship with each other in our communities – community farmers so to speak.
I was also very proud to share how our Farmers To You Community has really stepped up to tend to these relationships, and that as a result, this spring we are beginning to see it burst forth with healthy growth and fertility.
From one farmer to another,