I am committed to moving forward, to breaking down walls and barriers; to standing for what I think is right as a vegetable and cannabis farmer. There are many facets and aspects to the conversation which must be considered in concert. How do we answer the reality of corporate paradigms that have driven out small farmers in all walks of American Agriculture? How do we craft regulations that honor and support the contributions of the cottage industry? How do we reinvigorate a rural landscape that was founded on the small farm but has seen its virtual disappearance in the last 75 years?
We need a return to values based on locality, and to take deliberate steps away from a one-size fits all homogenization. America has chosen macro-scale specialization when what is needed is specialization on a micro-scale. The popular theory goes that by achieving economies of scale and producing specific goods in the area best suited for them, we achieve efficiencies that generate greater economic productivity than would have been otherwise possible. This argument has fatal flaws.
First, the argument is based on the use of fossil fuels to transport goods in ways that have been a partial cause in global warming and the loss of the abilities of the working class to earn meaningful wages for meaningful employment. Specialization has forced people into numbing positions of denigration, denying the opportunity for enjoyable employment.
Second, the industrialization of modern economies has resulted in a race to the bottom, creating a qualitative deficit. Instead of building things to last, we build them to be cheap and replaceable, clogging the landfills and dumping plastic into the ocean. Diversification on a craft-scale of productivity in relation to food is the answer to the ills of the industrialized society. Connecting people with the sources of their foods, returning the joys of food preparation and the simple tricks that our great grandparents knew about the culinary arts and crafting an understanding of qualitative consumption defines our potential for long-term survival. The system we have now does not work.
Diversified farmsteads and productivity based on regenerative, craft scale agriculture are the answer. Including cannabis and hemp in the portfolios of farmers working small acreages is part of the answer. We need to store more water in small-scale manners. We need to put more people back on the land, farming more food and growing more green biomass. We must sequester carbon from the atmosphere, and we must use less petroleum to do so. There is a great deal of work to do.