By Farmer Erin
Today’s sunny warmth is a reminder that spring is about to erupt. Can you feel the tremors? Nothing quite compares to how spring explodes into being here in Central Texas. As I monitor the soil temperature, I feel a bit queasy, like I’m on a beach where the tide has retreated too far. Though the newly revealed starfish and seaglass are intriguing, a tsunami is heading our way. No time to linger. Soon, very soon, the soil will hit 60 degrees, weeds will emerge and the race will be on.
But, until then, there is one more week of January to savor. Most years, Skip and I spend some part of this month attending and presenting at farming conferences like Southern SAWG, Texas Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association, and Farm and Ranch Freedom Alliance. These conferences are so much more than continuing education. We see friends, recharge, and are buoyed by presenters who remind us of the importance of our work. And not just the work of long days in the fields, but dealing with people/systems that actively work against what we do.
Though we can’t gather at a conference this year, ZOOM means all is recorded and everyone can attend. You can, too! So, if you’d like to know more about why sustainable organic farming matters, I encourage you to tune in to this Sunday’s “Real Organic Project.” https://www.realorganicproject.org/
This symposium features farmer luminaries as well as leading activists and scientists like Bill McKibben, Vandana Shiva and Al Gore. I’ve particularly enjoyed hearing from Blue Hill chef and activist Dan Barber, who has started https://www.row7seeds.com, a new ethical seed company.
The conference has also reminded me that food, and especially fermented food, is our medicine. I learned that more than 90 percent of the people who have died from Covid have had underlying conditions of hypertension, obesity, and diabetes — all food-based illnesses. Never has it been more important that everyone have access to real organic food grown in healthy soils.