MFAI Director’s Blog – April 2011
March 31, 2011
Educating the Farmers of Tomorrow
Grain prices soar to record highs, a devastating earthquake in Japan, and unrest throughout the Middle East sparking concern over oil supplies. The makings for a “perfect storm” resulting in higher prices at the grocery store down on the corner and food shortages in the lesser developed parts of the world. Diversifying food production to include local fruits and vegetables can help communities boost their self-sufficiency and protect vulnerable populations from price shocks. What can you do to protect yourself against spiraling food and transportation prices? Plant a garden and go back to the future. The future may really be how your grandparents grew food in their garden, processed it for freezer storage, or put it in the fruit cellar for safe keeping. Many of these skills need to be “relearned” or, more importantly, taught to your children. At the Institute in East Troy, the staff continues to work with adult learners and more recently, with local schools, to hone gardening skills without the use of chemicals and inorganic fertilizer. Michael Fields isn’t the only organization to promote these ideas, but Michael Fields has been in the business of education for over twenty-five years. We offer workshops throughout the year or can put you in touch with someone who can help take you back to wholesome, healthy, and environmentally sustainable food production. Some call it a holistic approach. Others refer to it as a total system or an answer to high input, capital intensive, industrial agriculture. The staff at the Institute invites you to take a walk with us and embrace a movement which will result in getting you’re hands down in the soil, learning how to grow your own vegetables, and developing a sustainable food system you can call your own.