Monday, September 10, 2007

Sow the Seeds, baby!

I love organic food. I try to buy as much locally produced organics as possible both because they're delicious and because I believe it's important to support local, sustainable agriculture. There are many, many people who believe the same thing, both in and around Wisconsin. We dutifully haul our canvass bags to our favorite co-ops and load up. Some folks use CSAs and have a closer relationship with the farms that provide the food. Regardless, those farms are important to everyone, whether they know it or not.

Unfortunately, many of the organic farms in our area were devastated by the flooding that occurred last month. Quite a few of them didn't have crop insurance, either, and are now facing extremely dire circumstances where tens of thousands of dollars worth of crop have been wiped out. Even more unfortunate, one of the major purchasers of organic produce in the area, Whole Foods, has dropped orders to all farms, even those unaffected by the floods. I understand their need to screen out damaged goods, but they've done nothing to help out these local producers (who they claim to support).

Thankfully, many co-ops and other natural food stores are banding together to raise money for Sow the Seeds, a fund to help local organic farmers recover their losses. You can donate at your local co-op or through the website, and I strongly encourage everyone to do so. These are the people that work hard to provide us with our yummy, healthy local food. Without them, we'd all be in a serious bind.

You can also view a short documentary about the flooding.

Please consider helping out in any way you can. We're lucky that floods like this only come around every hundred years or so, but that shouldn't stop us from pitching in when they do (especially since weather patterns seem to be changing for the worse, but that's a topic for another post).

On a related note, you can check out some of our local farms, eat great food and go on a lovely bike ride by registering for the first ever Bike the Barns tour, as hosted by the Madison Area Community Supported Agriculture Coalition.

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