Here’s the official press release for the Greenhorns newest project, Serve Your Country Food. Young farmers, join the map and share your vision, practices and obstacles, friends of farmers, nominate your favorite farmer to the map! We’re excited to use this project to make visual the impact of a swelling new force on the American landscape. Read on to learn more about the project, then explore, enjoy, and let us know what you think!
RED HOOK, New York (November 6, 2008) – The Greenhorns, a nonprofit, grassroots organization with a mission to recruit, support and promote America’s young farmers has launched a new website, Serve Your Country Food (www.serveyourcountryfood.net), which exposes farmers, the media, and hopefully a few politicians to the valor, vision and protagonism this movement.
The new website serves as an online, interactive map, portal and database connecting the young farmers of America with each other, and with the country. Severine von Tscharner Fleming, founder of The Greenhorns, notes “Land. Liberty. Sunshine. And Stamina – that’s what it takes to farm, this site is a tool for the craigslist generation”.
Successful young farmers utilize many new marketing and distribution strategies to make their food available and to meet the growing demand for freshness and accountability. These greenhorns are educated, hip, principled, and their food has a smaller carbon footprint than many of their predecessors. Young farmers are pushing forward the agenda of sustainability, pioneering new practices, and bringing local, organic agriculture into new cities, suburbs and small towns across the country. Although the USDA does conduct a census of farmers, many new, small, female and minority farmers are excluded from that count. Few attempts have been made to collect and make accessible information about the farmers’ backgrounds, obstacles and practices. The Serve Your Country Food website will fill that void, creating an outlet and focal point for information, communication, and advocacy for America’s young farmers where none existed before.
The website allows young farmers to fill out relevant details about their farming operation, their history in farming, and their future farming vision. Each farmer is represented by a dot on a hand-drawn map of the United States, and visitors to the site can scroll over the dots to see the faces of young farmers across the country. For farmers, the map makes visible their fellow agents in a substantial movement, it informs a new “land literacy” for both producers and consumers- as we come to know the territory, and its human, commercial and ecological landscape. The site will eventually hold a repository of food and farming films, online articles, historic agricultural archive links, GMO/community maps, farmer-to-farmers sales and communications, events organizing, political mobilizations, news sources and more.
The Greenhorns organization is already producing a documentary film by the same name, a golden-hued introduction to the valor of America’s young farmers. The website Serve Your Country Food is a natural extension of the film project, a venue for ongoing visioning and collaborative messaging. Moving forward, the most potent communication will happen conversationally, over the farmers-market table, via CSA newsletters, and through the lived transmissions of ‘good farming neighbors.’ The Serve Your Country Food website plugs those local efforts into a national matrix of solidarity and support for the Greenhorns generation and the country they serve.