Saturday, March 15, 2008

Farming makes a comeback

"Steeped in years of talk around college campuses and in stylish urban enclaves about the evils of factory farms (see the E. coli spinach outbreaks), the perils of relying on petroleum to deliver food over long distances (see global warming) and the beauty of greenmarkets (see the four-times-weekly locavore cornucopia in Union Square), some young urbanites are starting to put their muscles where their pro-environment, antiglobalization mouths are. They are creating small-scale farms near urban areas hungry for quality produce and willing to pay a premium.
“Young farmers are an emerging social movement,” said Severine von Tscharner Fleming, 26, who is making a documentary called “The Greenhorns” about the trend." (Thanks Leila)

I'm waiting for this movement to start in Lebanon. I have studied agriculture and taught it for 20 years, and the number of young people who have graduated and have become farmers is no more than 10 (in 20 years).

1 comment:

Leila said...

The key is "urban areas hungry for quality produce and willing to pay a premium." The article said that even five years ago this was not economically feasible, and now it seems to be because of demand for organic, local produce.

Is there that much demand for organic local produce in Lebanon? You have started the Souk at-tayeb, which is good - but the Green Market movement in New York has been thriving for almost thirty years. It takes time to develop these markets. I was interested in organic and local food and urban gardening 25 years ago in New York City - and longer - but there was almost no one leaving the city to farm as you see now.

Another way to develop demand for local farming: an oil crash so that local and organic becomes a life-saver, not just an elite luxury.