“People in my neighbourhood are so disconnected from the fresh food supply that kids don’t know an eggplant from a sweet potato. We have to show them how to get grounded in the truest sense of the word.”

Ron Finley

 Eggplant

The United Nations has designated the year 2014 as the International Year of Family Farming (IYFF).

My grandparents, on both sides, were farmers.  From a young age, my parents were experts in milking cows, separating milk from cream, and churning butter.    Chores included feeding the chickens and collecting their eggs for breakfast and afternoon baking.  The family vegetable garden, a vital source of food, was tended with meticulous attention to detail.  Times were not easy; it was, after all the 1930’s, the decade of the Great Depression.  Everyone helped to keep food on the table.

Fast forward several decades, family farming is still essential for offering a way out of poverty and hunger.   There are 500 million family farms world-wide. They come in a variety of forms – peasants, indigenous peoples, traditional communities, fisherfolk, and pastoralists.  Bottom line, family farming is the primary structure of agriculture in both developed and developing countries.

My grandparents were farmers, but very few of their offspring became farmers.  We have lost touch with the land and have placed reliance on our efficient food distribution services.   There is a growing awareness that we need to find our way back….

“An estimated 26 percent of the world’s children are stunted, 2 billion people suffer from one or more micronutrient deficiencies and 1.4 billion people are overweight, of whom 500 million are obese.”

2013 The State of Food and Agriculture

FOOD AND AGRICULTURE ORGANIZATION OF THE UNITED NATIONS Rome, 2013

 

 

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The Year of Family Farming

18 thoughts on “The Year of Family Farming

  1. Beautiful post!… I liked that you mentioned your relatives and their struggles… I have italian and spanish roots from my dad and mom respectively and for them The World War was a source of hunger I guess… I liked the way you have highlighted the importance of this day to many people around the world. Thank you. Best wishes. Aquileana :D

    • Thank you for your words about family farming. Statistics Canada confirms that the number of family farms in our country are diminishing, even as cities like Vancouver are encouraging city garden plots. I think we need to look at new and innovative ways to encourage more people to become involved in the production of food. Both of my parents were raised on farms during the great depression. Their vegetable gardens were mainstays.

      I must get back to this blog – there is so much to discuss with regard to food, from nutrition to food wastage. I confess I am not a great cook but there is something about organizing our food, our kitchens, our dinners that connects us to all of humanity. Thank you again for your comments – so very much appreciated. :)

      • I absolutely agree: you should get back to this blog… I noticed yesterday that you had several blogs so my apologies for that… All your blogs are excellent and truly interesting … Thanks for sharing your knowledge and wise approaches regarding many crucial topics in Life!. Love, Aquileana :D

      • Thank you Aquileana. I started blogging as a personal exploration of diverse topics. To be honest, I had no plan or idea about how to blog, but meeting kindred spirits like you, I find that my knowledge has increased dramatically simply because of the conversation. And that has made all of the difference. There are many adventures waiting for us as we move forward together… :) We may be on opposite sides of the world, but we are following the same path.<3

      • We are not that far away, though… At least we share the same continent… And so many other things that bring us even closer. Actually I’ll tell you a secret: I am at the corner of the street right now. :P
        All the best Aquileana :D

    • Oh Cindy, I have had a couple of crazy weeks. About 10 days ago, my computer had a meltdown when I was in the middle of one of my posts. There I was, staring at a blank screen, profoundly aware that I had been cut off from the world. I had my iPhone, but it is not the same as having a screen in front of me to view the photos and have a font size that I can see. I am catching up with everyone and will be returning to posting. It is wonderful to be reconnected again.

    • Isn’t that exciting! They are popping up all over the city – it is a wonderful idea! I’m going to be heading up with my camera to photograph some of these gardens in the next few weeks.

  2. Yes, my parents and grandparents and great grandparents were farmers. I am proud of them. However, farming has changed, at least where I grew up. “Big farmers” who have brought up the small farms and now farm them with “big machinery” have taken over, I know times have changed and we have to “get with” and adjust to change. But, in my heart of hearts, I wonder if this change is for the good of our world.

    • I like the quote by Dwight D. Eisenhower on farming:

      “Farming looks mighty easy when your plow is a pencil and you’re a thousand miles from the corn field.”

      I was surprised to find that most of the food supply comes from family farms! That was a revelation to me. I am going to be doing some more research on the topic! :)

  3. I like farming since I was a child, my parents were farmers and I will never forget how to plow the field with cows, planting rice and harvest it by hands. Family Farming crisis has been happening throughout the world, in my country, young generation have left the farm to ride motorbikes or a cars.

    • Thank you so much for adding depth to my understanding. I agree – family farms are in crisis, which will have significant outcomes for future generations. I am glad that there is a movement to raise the level of awareness on the need for supporting family farming. Most of us work in cities, far away from the food source. It is something to seriously consider.

      • I am so glad to hear this movement from the UN and hopefully can raise the awareness to our idiot Minister of Agriculture! it’s been 15 years our people are unconscious of source of food. Few months ago he banned the fruits import from abroad, he thought that our country had enough source. What happened then? No almost no fruits in the market. It’s been 15 years our Family Farmers left untouched by government. It is so bad. I am sad on this matter. Thousands of students and almost half of them graduated from agriculture universities here, but not known where they go and what they get the jobs for. There is no significant development on our agriculture business has been established!

      • I share your concern. For many, there is very little connection between the farm and grocery store; how does food end up on the shelves? With the recent interest in organic and free range foods, as well as the issue of GMO product,there is more discussion, more thoughtful choices. I believe that the International Year of Family Farming will give respect and relevance to the dedication of farmers worldwide. I will be following this project closely.

        Thank you for adding depth and significance to this post!!! I very much appreciate your visits.

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