Welcome to our SECOND farm pod in honor of the upcoming farm bill. Despite its small size, the state of Rhode Island fit the bill for YERT’s farmy explorations, so we have all sorts of new stories to share.
"No amount of money could make me do that."
It seems that in this modern era, we don’t hear that phrase very often. Everything has a price, right? Wrong. YERT has repeatedly heard this phrase during visits to spectacular landscapes, happy people, and thriving communities. We’re not certain what it all means just yet, but we heard it a few times when visiting these beautiful farms:
- Watson Farm – Cattle, sheep, turkeys, and chickens grow here among the pearls of wisdom from Don Minto, philosopher farmer and caretaker of this picture perfect part of Historic New England.
- Dutra Farm – Joe and Jessie Dutra know all of their cows by name, and we could literally taste the care in every glass of Rhody Fresh milk that we drank. They even gave us fresh zucchini bread to "go with the milk." As if we weren’t sold already!
- Paradise Farm – Ever felt alpaca fur? It is impossibly soft. Alpacas would make perfect fuzzy pets if they didn’t come with a bit of attitude. And a tendancy to spit at you. And each other.
Another common thread among these farms is the way they build, maintain, and grow through their communities. Tedious daily chores are somehow transformed into acts of love– for their land, their families, and their neighbors. They challenge economies of scale with economies of really-giving-a-damn-about-doing-things-the-right-way, and no amount of money could make them do it differently.
How many calls does it take to convince a Senator to do things differently? Find out by calling yours over and over to voice your concern about subsidies for corn and other industrial commodities in the upcoming Farm Bill, scheduled for action in the Senate in September. We have too much corn. How about subsidizing small organic farms in every school so that students can grow their own healthy lunches? For more about the Farm Bill and why you should care, read Food Fight, by Daniel Imhoff, with Foreword by Michael Pollan.
Julie, Ben, and Mark (Your YERT Team)