Even though we know better, it's hard for many of us city and suburban people to remember the daily labor and enormous risk that a small farmer takes to grow our food. This latest episode from The Perennial Plate is a powerful reminder of how quickly a farmer can be brought to ruin and what we can do to help.
Daniel and Mirra, the couple behind The Perennial Plate, are on a year-long road trip to discover and explore the people and places and stories about food in the USA. This week, although it is out of sequence, they've posted their weekly video on the devastating effects that Hurricane Irene and the subsequent tropical storms had on two small farms in upstate New York.
It's notable that the farmer who ran a CSA had some hope and optimism and perhaps even a chance that his farm will survive, due to the support of his members. This is an excellent example of how we as consumers, by being a little more involved and a little closer to our food source, can have a real and profound effect.
On any given day we walk into our supermarkets and wander amongst its seemingly steady stream of fresh, safe, abundant food, with endless variety and choice. It is both foolish and dangerous to take this for granted. Get involved, join a CSA, be an active part of your food chain! If you don't have a lot of time to spare, try to shop at your local farmers' market, co-op, or smaller grocery store where you can have a closer relationship to the story of your food. At the very least, consider a donation to the Greenmarket Relief Fund, where 100% of your donation will go directly to farmers who were impacted by Hurricane Irene.
• Donate to the Greenmarket Relief Fund, here
• Follow The Perennial Plate's 2011 road trip, here.
(Image: The Perennial Plate)