As we usher in this new Era, I invite you to take a step back with us …and reflect on the times we had in 2020.
Much like the turbulent times of the 1960’s, the year 2020 was a moment.
Instead of Vietnam, our war was Covid-19. An economy devastated…millions unemployed. Food banks and food lines wrapping around buildings. Grocery store shelves empty. Coronavirus ravishing communities across the Nation that started to prove particularly brutal for many BIPOC communities…many of whom are essential workers. Face masks became a familiar sight and social distancing became a way of life.
Yes…2020 was a moment.
However, despite the chaos and calamity surrounding all of us in 2020, whenever we spoke with many of our fellow farmers, there was generally a sense of calm and peace amongst the collective…while we sat in our homes. The reason for the calm was because they, or shall I say WE planned for the unexpected.
While we were stuck at home, through the invention of social media, we were able to find comfort and kinship with one another…share tips and stories on how to “get by” during these tough times. We grew our food, we uploaded how-to farming videos, shared photos of our latest garden/farm project, and took deeper dives into many of our traditional heritage skills and indigenous lifeways. Canning, quilting, baking, seed-saving, soap-making, medicine-making and so much more.
These were the traditions of our ancestors. As farmers and farmer organizers we were ahead of the curve and when disaster struck, we looked to our ancestors for guidance.
Yes…2020 was in fact, a moment.
One female farmer remarked, “Our work as farmers is to build the infrastructure and when the time comes, so will our people.”
This is that time…that moment when the world is looking for direction and guidance. It’s a return back to the basics, and we realize that food sovereignty is the solution.
Food Sovereignty is the right of peoples to healthy and culturally appropriate food produced through ecologically sound and sustainable methods, and their right to define their own food and agriculture systems. – as defined by La Via Campesina.
Agroecology, sustainable agriculture, regenerative agriculture, organic ag…those terms can be defined in many ways, but one thing is certain…it is traditional farming. Farming, wild harvesting, foraging, the way our ancestors farmed. Continuing the traditions of our fisherfolk. New terminology for old systems.
Working with Mother Nature as opposed to exploiting her.
Today, we invite others to join us as we continue to “make the path as we walk” as one of my colleagues so eloquently said.
So, yes…while 2020 was only a moment…2021 continues a MOVEMENT.