America is Great. In many ways, I’m grateful to have been born here.
But one of the many areas where we could always use some improvement is…our lack of intergeneration community. In Boulder, everyone seems to be between the age of 20 and 50, say.
But tonight, I just biked home from a big gathering of a few hundred farmers and local food advocates and friends. Children, elderly, wise, young, rambunctious, joyful, tired…the gamut. I got to sit with an elderly couple who makes the best pottery in Boulder, and has an organic garden that’s 45 years old and running stronger than ever. They live in a natural-built house–no fiberglass or formaldehyde or particle board—all plaster and good wood and good simple food and joy—a real, wholesome life with its ups and downs.
The gathering was focused on the creation of an Agricultural Center here in Boulder, and it was held at a 150-year-old Altona Grange, a rural community building set in the middle of farmland and praerie with history in every wall. We began with a potluck, networking, conversation, games (and holding that baby goat, gently). We moved on in the second hour to table discussions about our vision for the Ag Center—holding a talking carrot (like a talking stick, only local and edible after washing), with everyone else listening, Quaker-style.
On the other hand, in Boulder, I’m a longtime fan and member of Naturally Boulder. That community is powerful, and comparatively rich. It’s all about helping startups and entrepreneurs to build big successful food companies that, all too often, have to get investment and sell to a bigger company for millions of dollars. Too often, those pressures mean things are rushed, food quality goes from organic to not-so-much, packaging is plastic, shipping is extensive, preservatives are a must…you know. It’s a beautiful community—good people, powerful leaders who have helped the organic movement nationally. But, perhaps, it’s lost its way in a cloud of money and speed.
The world, our world, our earth—is hurtling toward a climate change wall of mass starvation (no fish), mass thirst (glaciers melting atop the Himalayas are the water source for 100s of millions in India and China alone), mass migrations (away from coasts), mass fires and other storms causing damages in the hundreds of billions.
This is an economic threat. It’s a threat bigger than any war, except perhaps nuclear war. We need to come together and address that.
The good news is we can address that now, three times a day, on our plate. Support your local farmer, this summer. Good food will save your health costs in the long run—children should not be suffering from diabetes, and obesity. Real food will strengthen our local economies, and create more middle class jobs. Good soil can sequester carbon—that means we can actually save the world through farming the right way (no till, no poison).
We can do it. And it can be delicious.