I am a farmer, but I am not your parent’s farmer or your grandparent’s farmer. I am part of a new breed of farmers quietly popping up all over the world. Some discount us as just hipsters playing around, but for those that are serious it’s farming and it’s a lifestyle.
We find any small plot of land, backyard, or abandoned lot and turn it into an edible forest.
We quietly are waging a war against the suburban ideal.
We are revolutionaries.
We are activists.
We protest the food system we grew up in.
We want off of the industrial food complex.
We want our internet.
We like our loud music.
We farm to feed ourselves and our friends.
We are the urban farmer.
Quietly we are popping up, we could be your neighbor, we could be your son or daughter. We search out the land time forgot and turn it into something beautiful. Most of us do this while at the same time sitting at a desk all day, we might be your co-worker secretly toiling away in our after hours. Either way we are here and we are growing in numbers.
As I visit the various parts of the country I see tiny glimpses of the future of farming in each suburban neighborhood. Garden and gardening is not a new idea, people have had backyard plots for years. Only recently have we seen the boost of more and more people moving out of the shadows of backyard and into the front yard with their gardens. People are embracing the ethos of Food Not Lawns, and using the scarce resources of water we have for food and not landscaping.
Being an urban farmer is being a revolutionist. But instead of fighting with guns, words or marching the streets we pick up a pitch fork, start a compost pile, and go searching for the best soil in town. Our hands get dirty with the soil of the earth, instead of taking from the people we want to give back. It is a different type of revolutionist, we are not our parents but carry some of the zeal they brought out in the 70’s.
We the dot com generation know that if we want change we need to make it at the hyper local level. We are the ones that need to opt out and find new ways off the hamster wheel. So we garden, we try to gain back the knowledge our grandparents inherently knew. We are learning to forage and feed our plants with something other than chemicals. You might see us picking some plant off the side of the road, we aren’t homeless but instead of weeds see food all around us.
The most subversive act today is hyperlocal farming and we are at the heart of it.
The revolution is here and it’s already intrenched in society.
Are you part of the revolution?