White nationalists rally on the University of Virginia campus in Charlottesville, Va. (left) | The Skokans, Black Cat Farm & Black Cat Farm Table Bistro (right)

Roots of Violence, Seeds of Peace

An Invitation to Fellow Earthworm Lovers and Peaceably Inclined Folks:

It’s tempting to think that our upcoming event, October 16-17 in Boulder, is just about food, money and soil. It’s not. It’s about violence. Systemic violence.

Too often, violence is in our face. Charlottesville. Las Vegas. North Korea nuclear saber rattling. And too often, it’s as quiet as an algorithm. As innocuous as a drive to the supermarket. As shelf-stable as a Twinkie.

We all tear our hair out: How did it come to this? How could our public discourse be so coarse? How could civility have declined to such an all-time low? How could we be feeding ourselves and our children such a steady diet of the fast and the fake? Is the sky really falling this time?

Now, forgive me, but one answer has been 10,000 years in the making. We settled down, starting growing wheat, and began a process of urbanization and industrialization that has, during our lifetimes, done way more than “pick up steam” or “take off.” This has been an explosion of population, technology and globalization of an unprecedented kind—so unprecedented, so once-in-the-history-of-the-planet that it is hard to grasp. In many ways, the economic growth of recent years has too much to do with making a killing—and with actual killing—than with making a living and doing right by our fellow man and fellow species.

Happily, another answer is way more immediate. Way simpler. Tangible and full of innate value. And containing the seeds of peace. It’s about CSAs, small and mid-size organic farms, local economies, local food systems. It’s about reconnection, about authentic public conversation, about wanting to know where our food comes and where our money goes, about foodsheds, moneysheds, and shedding the fake in favor of the real.

So I pose the following question: What’s the most peaceable job on planet earth? There are many wonderful contenders. Teachers. Nurses. Social workers. First responders. Small, organic farmers.

In a few weeks, we have an opportunity to celebrate the latter. Small, organic farmers. And the local food entrepreneurs who bring what they grow to market. These are heroes. Ecological heroes. Economic heroes. Cultural heroes. Taking on the economic imponderables of all those externalities that the industrial economy is so good at masking. Taking on the risks of valuing quality over quantity. Thinking long term. About future generations.

Small, organic farmers and the local food entrepreneurs who bring what they grow to market are working at the real Ground Zero—the place where economy meets ecology, where market meets place, where entrepreneurship meets soil.

There is no deeper, more structural place to splice nurture capital into the genes of the modern economy.

Once in a while, many of us get the opportunity to share learning, conviviality and public conversation that gets to the roots of all of this. Such an opportunity is coming up October 16-17 in Boulder. If you haven’t already made plans to join us for these festivities, please give it some thought.

Looking forward to seeing many of you soon, and helping one another plant a few seeds of peace,

—Woody Tasch

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *