Friend of a farmer: Why small-scale ag needs community
by Steph Larsen
Tucked into the end of a recent New York Times article about young farmers were two frank paragraphs about a quiet reality many of us face:
Ms. Oakley said young farmers rarely discussed that lack of community, adding that she had seen the isolation break up marriages. At their Three Springs Farm, she and her husband, both 34, grossed $60,000 by their third season -- a reason to celebrate by most standards -- but they wished they had more company."It was just the two of us, every job we did together," Ms. Oakley said. "It's intense. We would gladly trade a little competition for more community and collaboration."
Amen! As a young, very extroverted part-time farmer who didn't grow up in a small town, I'd do just about anything for more of a sense of community.
Not only do farmers rarely discuss the isolation they face, but consumers and advocates who want to see more small, sustainable farmers on the land rarely talk about what it will take to build the kinds of communities where farmers want to live.
Read the rest of the article here.