As I expressed in a previous post titled “Farmer by Choice”, the past and current images of farmers have much to be desired. Whether created by the media, school text books, or the association of slavery as an institution of oppression, poverty, and pain, few young people hold high aspirations of a business or career in Agriculture/Farming. In some cases, farmers themselves contribute to the lack of interest in that field due to their own negative depiction of the industry. But how often do we hear lawyers lamenting over the challenges of law school, passing the bar, chasing ambulance, or repaying monumental student loans. So why do those in farming highlight the challenges of farming? Although the endless failures of individuals who enter the entertainment or sports industries are on public display, our society seem more encouraging and accepting of children who express interests in entering those spiritually and emotionally demoralizing fields. I suspect this is due in part to the perceived financial and social status associated with those industries.
Every career has its challenges but few posses the intrinsic rewards inherent in interacting with nature through agriculture. Farming/Agriculture also serves as an introduction into many STEM Careers (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math). I submit that if we provide children with the knowledge and access to the origins of their food, it will foster in them a healthy respect and value for those who provide for their sustenance as well as the environment in which their food is produced.
Farming is not unlike any other career or business options that comes with its unique set of challenges and perks; the financial and material rewards of which are only outweighed by the physical, emotional, and spiritual benefits of the profession. When designing our life journey or guiding our children into their own, money should be only one of, not the main standard by which to guide their career/business decision, Don’t you think?
Talk is Cheap
Those of you who know me, know that I back my words up with action. So after all is said and done what am I doing to expose children to Farming? Well, I’m doing several things. One of the projects I led for the 2014/2015 school year involved partnering with Lowes to provide training and materials for 10 schools/daycare centers in Marion County to build vegetable gardens. Check out the highlights https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CkvFz-Av3i8
In addition, I provided professional development training for teachers and daycare centers owners on how to align Ag in the Classroom, Project Learning Tree, and Globe.gov in their instructional content. But I didn’t stop there, using activities from these curriculum, I now facilitate Ed-Venture activities for youth and children at Green Zone Farms two Saturdays each month and on Friday’s by appointment for Home School Groups.
As our network of CSA businesses/individuals continue to grow, the combined knowledge of the individuals in this MeetUp will greatly add to the information that I can make available to children and youth. By the Fall of this year, I will expand Ed-Venture Activities to include fishing, camping, outdoor cooking classes, jarring/preserving, animal husbandry and the like. If this sounds intriguing stay tuned; http://www.meetup.com/Community-Supported-Agriculture-Meetup/
So, how do we FUNd these activities? You know what they say about ‘All Work and No Play’…I thoroughly believe FUNdraising should be FUN. So we raise FUNds for the “Farm to School”/”Farm to Family” Project through monthly Farm Festivals. These FUNctions are posted on our Irie Vibrationz MeetUp www.meetup.com/Irie-Vibez-Meetup
So there you have it…my contribution to the Healing of the Nations.