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FOOD SOVEREIGNTY


(Farming as Rebellion + Ways To Vote with Your Local Dollars)



After living abroad for 8+ years I decided to move back to the U.S. in 2020. Had I known the pandemic would begin just a couple months after my arrival, I might have reconsidered my move to New York City, where my sister was living. Already dealing with the culture shock of America, the new reality of pandemic life only added to the layers of strange. The politicization of a sickness, the mile long lines at every store, the curfews, the empty grocery store shelves, and overall Orwellian nightmare which was morphing all around, forced me to realize, we the people had lost the power which we once possessed. We gave our power away to the corporate democracy in exchange for a perceived sense of comfort and convenience. 


One evening I tried to buy groceries at the local market, but since the shelves were empty, I walked out empty handed. It was at this moment the realization that I needed to grow my own food took/grew roots. It dawned on me that as long as I was dependent on another for my food I could not be a free/sovereign individual. I was living in a system which un-intentionally, or not, rewarded the people for specialization in mundane/niche jobs in exchange for comfort/convenience. As long as I based my decisions around comfort/convenience, I would be a slave to comfort/convenience. Only through self reliance and taking part in the everyday processes which I depend on to survive, could I be free.

Therefore, farming is an act of rebellion and the way I choose to become sovereign.

I decided to move to a farm in Colorado and started learning by getting my hands in the dirt and planting seeds. I couldn’t imagine a more perfect setting to learn how to grow food. Working days in the high mountains and selling vegetables at the weekly farmers market felt liberating. The local community appreciated the farms efforts to bring them organically raised produce, and came out every week to support. Every dollar spent with this small farm, supported the farmers living and working on the land. Since the farmers practice Regenerative Agriculture, the longer they lived on the land the more the land produced. Buying from this small farm meant less purchasing from big corporate grocery stores. The farm was contributing to future food security in their community, which meant regardless of current events, food would be available in that community. This experience in Colorado, and subsequent experiences on other small farms around the country showed me the value of buying local from small farms.


Buying local is the single most powerful way to strengthen our community. In 21st century America our lives are affected by the ‘game’ of capitalism. The rules of the ‘game’ are organized in a way which rewards the seller/producer through the community's consumption. Essentially the community votes on winners of the game through their dollars spent. The last 100+ years has consisted of the community consuming goods/services which are designed with comfort and ease at the forefront. Our craving for comfort and ease has resulted in big companies seizing industries and producing cheaply made goods with ingredients/parts that cut corners and break down quickly. We complain about the lack of customer service, the quality of cheaply made products, and the price of food grown without chemicals, while at the same time ‘voting’ for these companies to continue their practices. Albert Einstein said, “the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.” By this definition, perhaps we are insane…


The way to reverse this insanity is to vote with your dollars through your everyday purchases. The deciding factors for one's vote must consist of the long term health and wellness of oneself and the community. In this day and age, everyone is busy, and the temptation to do the easy thing is huge. It can be difficult to breakaway from past buying patterns/habits, but eventually we pay more in the future for the comfort/convenience of today. One of the best ways we can make positive change is by starting with something which we take part in everyday. Eating… How we eat affects how agriculture is done.

Agriculture is the single largest industry which has the biggest affect on planet earth.  Nothing else compares when talking about the physical effect we as humans have when interacting with Earth. Through voting with our dollars on the food we consume, we not only have the opportunity to improve our own health but the health of our community and Earth. We pay a cheaper price now, by purchasing our groceries from a corporation, but eventually we pay with our health (health is wealth) and the communities resiliency down the line by supporting corporations.


You may say, “but I purchase free range and organic from the grocery store…” Please consider doing a bit more research on what these actually mean. You might be surprised on what you find out… Not to mention, most likely you are purchasing something which was produced in a different state/country. Nothing compares to meeting your local food producer and seeing their operation in action. Purchasing organiK* (K = Know your farmer) is the only way to know for certain you are receiving the best possible food. Perhaps, you will pay more ca$h now by buying local, but this allows your producer to make food without cutting corners. Paying more now allows your producer to pay themselves, and workers who live in your community (not temporary workers passing through) a living wage, which enables them to support their family and more effectively contribute to the community. Paying more now for your locally grown food ensures that your community thrives.


To aid you in your search for local food producers/suppliers around Wimberley, Hill Country, and Central Texas here are some we know about:


MARKETS

• Naturally Nourished: A new natural food store in Wimberley. Through their own research they have found local food producers in the area and have visited their operations ensuring integrity and quality.  “Our shop is intentionally curated to connect consumers directly to quality producers of Texas.” https://www.naturallynourishedmarket.com

• The Central Texas Farmers Co-op: The Co-op “is jointly owned and democratically controlled by small and beginning farmers in Hays, Caldwell, Blanco, and Travis county. The CTFC currently operates a multi-farm Community Supported Agriculture program in the Spring and Fall in San Marcos, TX…” They offer food subscriptions, and connect local farmers to local consumers. https://www.centraltexasfarmers.com

• Wimberely Farmers & Artisans Market: This new market is located in front of The First Baptist Church on the corner of RR12 and Winters Mill Pkwy. Taking place on Thursdays from 2-6 PM, they host local food and crafts producers. https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100085458198564

• Dripping Springs Farmers Market: Another farmers market close to Wimberley. This market hosted by the city of Dripping Springs offers a platform for local producers to showcase their weekly offerings. https://www.cityofdrippingsprings.com/farmersmarket


FARMS

• Songland Farm: A Wimberley based organic/no till farm. Currently the farm is approximately 1/4 of an acre with plans to expand and eventually add chickens (for eggs). They grow with high intensity/yielding methods, and produce some of the finest veggies around. https://www.songlandfarms.com

• Montesino Ranch: Based in Wimberely, Montesino Ranch is a multifaceted event space/farm. They supply delicious seasonal vegetables and fruit baskets made to order. https://www.montesinoranch.com

• Hill Country Hot Peppers: A Wimberley based farm which focuses on peppers. They have Hill Country-grown fresh peppers, hot pepper jellies, and fermented Habanero, Ghost, and Reaper hot sauces. https://www.instagram.com/hillcountryhotpeppers/?hl=en

• EIEIO Farm: Based in Wimberely, and providing farm fresh food and lodging, EIEIO produces sauces and vegetables which they sell at farmers markets and online. https://www.eieiotx.com

• Arnosky Family Farms: A Wimberley/Blanco staple, Arnosky Farm is known for their flowers, but also offers vegetables and eggs at their self serve barn market. https://texascolor.com

• Dirt Candy Farm: We are located off of Ledgerock Rd. in Wimberley, and practice Regenerative Agriculture. We grow year round using no till/organic methods. Currently we hold a weekly market day at our farm, and sell at local markets. Please consider following us on social media and website to receive up to date info! Also you can join our newsletter HERE to receive more up to date news!

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