pedal & plow
You'll want to follow the journey of these folks: Pedal & Plow. Read on for their perspective!
It seems everyone has an opinion on “How to Feed the World.” From The most recent National Geographic article, to the works of Michael Pollan, there is increasing awareness of the challenges our food system faces. However in this chorus of voices, the opinions of small farmers and peasants seems to be drowned out. With one billion farmers worldwide isn’t it time to start looking for solutions from the very people that will be trusted to feed this growing population?
Pedal and Plow is at its heart committed to small scale farmers and understanding the challenges and realities of a changing food system. Lydia Caudill, creator and host of Pedal and Plow, will be riding her bike from Paraguay, across the America’s back to her home in Washington State. Along this epic journey she will interview small farmers, cooperatives, and anyone with a new perspective on farming and food systems.
We think the best way to understand this changing landscape is to talk to farmers themselves. While the team at Pedal and Plow is US born we want to bring a global perspective to this conversation. In the US most farming has been industrialized, and many farmers are now searching for ways to bring more ecologically sustainable techniques back into their businesses, while still make a profit to live by. In much of the world and especially Latin America, the transition to industrial agriculture is still underway.
GM farming isn’t yet the norm in many countries. Communities are in the process of deciding whether the promise of industrialization is worth the collateral damage inflicted along the way. In light of these changes, small farmers and peasants are working towards finding alternatives that allow them to maintain their distinct cultures and lifestyles. Latin American farmers sit in a unique position: they have the options of the American industrial agriculture knocking at their door, accompanied by our history of successes and failures to learn from. Their governments, educational organizations and farmers themselves have the chance to create a new path and experiment to create an agricultural world that fits their own realities in the global market they are being pushed into. We want to share their stories because we are not only connected to these farmers, but can learn from the solutions they’ve found. This will strengthen the network of new minds and new ideas creating mutual support for all small and mid-scale farmers. We who are the next generation of farmers must not underestimate the power of the internet and see its potential to empower our opinions, even while our hands are dirty and our nails are caked with soil.
The stories of these small farmers across the world are part of the same systems that affect people in the United States and other industrialized economies. If you buy from a CSA, are a small farmer, want a food system that is more just, and can actually feed nine billion people, then it is important to listen to those who are redefining what successful farming can look like. So we invite you to follow us on our journey across the continents to find solutions, make friends, and connect with farmers of all types.
We’re currently in pre-production and will be fundraising starting in August, until then we are blogging about our issues and plans. Please check us out online, and follow us on Twitter and Facebook as we prepare to begin this journey in January 2015!