Writing, farming and politics. For me these are the big three. So often we are told, “ follow your passions” and “write what you know”….. so here goes. Welcome to the inaugural post of THE POPULIST FARMER.
The plan is to have daily posts about how politics, farming, food and culture meet, mingle and interact. I begin this venture on what seems an auspicious day, the first day of spring. I chose these subjects because I know them. I live on a small, diversified farm in Maine and work at two local cooperative businesses both involved in the production of organic food. I am a former legislative candidate; state party chair and long time political geek. When I write my political memoir it will be titled “I Was a Teenaged Republican”. I have been called one of the best political minds in Maine (okay it was by a friend but I think she was sincere). I really enjoy thinking, talking and writing about politics and agriculture.
There are things to say that are not being said by anyone or at least not loudly enough. This small platform is just a starting point. a place to open the discussion. It is time to stop the failed farm policies of “get big or get out”, commodities are king, and factory–farm-agribusiness. The constant refrain of “blame the farmers” must stop. Time to return to a smaller more human sized agricultural model with which we all can feel more in tune.
I don’t claim to have all the answers but I do have a lot of opinions and am willing to share them. Sometimes I will even have the facts and figures to back them up. I hope this can be a conversation not a monologue. I do not suffer fools gladly but am happy to learn from anyone. Trolls will not be tolerated. Be civil or be deleted. Lets really try to find common ground here not just sling mud.
We’ll discuss the possibilities of sustainability, localness, organics and just good plain common sense. I will introduce you to my heroes from Jean to Gene, Emma to Wangari, Arundhati to Wendell and beyond. We’ll explore the many ways of thinking about these subjects and addressing these problems/opportunities. This journey will, I hope, be entertaining as well as enlightening. It may not always be upbeat but in general I think it will be hopeful. Together we can plow a new path and figure out how to feed the world without destroying it.
And occasionally I may burst into song or poetry. Who knows?
Welcome and Cheers, Betsy