What's Growin' On at the Farm
Farming is full of risks as a career venture, yet so very attractive to so many of us and absolutely imperative to a specific group of people. They just know that this is what they want to do with their time and life. So there must be some happiness, joy or contentment in farming for some people to take to it with such convicted passion. I asked some of the farmers in our Big River Farms Training Program: What makes you happy when you are farming? Why do you do this?
May Lee of Mhonpaj’s Garden (www.mhonpajgarden.biz ) told me simply, “when I am doing it I am happy and when I am not, I am not. I am happy to be farming organic. I like to give good food to people. I know the food is good for them, so I am feeding someone the right food. Watching the plants grow is my therapy.”
There is a lot of thought in those few words.
Minnesota Food Association
October 12, 2011
What I was thinking about was Connection. To be part of or with. It is what makes us human. Rodrigo Cala farms because of the connection to the land and the good feeling of knowing good food from his farm is going here, into our community. See Nay says that the happiness comes from seeing the plants grow, from the seed to producing this beautiful fruitful food. I do this because I love being connected to and working with people who are exploring and learning in a completely different setting than from their countries of origin, and they’re farming!
We in Minnesota value our farmers and we value the future of our farming tradition. We value good food and knowing where our food comes from. Minnesota Food Association works to carry on our tradition of pioneering farmers who provide the good food of our region. We value the history and traditions of our region and our farmers, as well as the innovation and entrepreneurship of the new farmers. MFA aims to carry on the traditions of family farming with new, innovative farmers coming from Laos, Burma, Bhutan, East Africa and Central America who are settling in our region.
They bring a wealth of experience and tradition. They are not only a significant driving direction of the future food system in our country. The past 200 years have shaped the USA of today, and today’s immigrants continue to shape it further.
In this large and growing food and farming movement, this is our role. We train and support new immigrant farmers. We learn and grow each day and you can grow with us! After 25 years, MFA is garnering its roots and launching our new Membership Program. (Up and running by Oct 14, 2011 at www.mnfoodassociation.org )
As an MFA member, you will receive regular communications about what is happening in the sustainable, organic immigrant and minority farmer community. You will receive special invitations to events and meetings on the issues you care about. You will be given opportunities to participate fully in our sustainable and diverse community.
Some of you remember our roots in the early 80s through the mid-90s, under the direction of Ken Taylor, where MFA relied significantly on its members’ efforts and financial support. Nurturing that spirit of our beginnings and building on the innovations and advancements of today’s organic farming, your investment in MFA and new organic farmers moves us forward in building a more sustainable food system for the next 25 years.
If you have been a member of Big River Farms CSA, a program of Minnesota Food Association, we want you to take advantage of fully supporting the organization that brings you great organic vegetables by also becoming a member of MFA.
Please join us and sign up to be a member of MFA today! ( www.mnfoodassociation.org )You will be contributing to growing farmers and growing food. You will be helping the future of small family farm enterprises who produce good, fresh, organic food for our region. Thank you!