Thursday, August 28, 2008

No Farms, No Food


I just received my snazzy "No Farms, No Food" bumper sticker in the mail today. You can get yours at http://www.farmland.org/.

Every year there are 1.2 million acres of farmland lost in America, mostly those that are closest to population centers. Farmland is one of America's greatest national treasures. The American Farmland Trust works to preserve these lands...the land that sustains us all. Please check out their site, and maybe get yourself a bumper sticker or environmentally friendly tote bag for your next trip to the farmer's market.

Please see the blog contest, as well.

6 comments:

Nimic said...

Where is all the farmland going? There's no shortage of food in my grocery store. Are we importing larger amounts of food than before?

Genuinely curious.

Chief said...

The snarky answer...it is being covered by stripmalls and McMansions. Unfortunately, as the suburbs and exurbs continue to creep, farm owners are continually under pressure (financial and cultural) to sell out to developers.

Luckily the American farmer's productivity continues to increase to offset these losses. One wonders how long this can continue. If (heaven forbid) we must return to a style of agriculture that is less productive per acre, we may find ourselves wishing we could dig those parking lots back up.

I suppose if TSHTF, there will be less people around to feed anyways...

Chief said...

One other point, since the farms that are disappearing are mostly those near the periphery of the cities...food now must be shipped even farther to those in the urban areas.

So think twice about buying a brand new house that once was on prime farm land. And support your local farmer's market.

Winston Smith said...

...not to mention the added stress those huge houses (and all the crap - ie Walmarts) put on various ecological and geological traits of a community. For instance, aquifers are continually stressed. Look at the Great Lakes and legislation motivated to maintain and replenish water levels, and the inherent impact on those communities who once relied on those water supplies. Now they must tap into their own aquifers, which are either economically unreachable or instantly strained by over-population.


My father, who is a wise man, suggested otherwise when selling farmland. "They aren't making any new farmland, boy, remember that." While the previous quotation is slightly paraphrased and embellished for dramatic effect, the point is well-served.

Chief said...

The unfortunate reality is that many farmers sell whether they want to or not. Many of those who wish to purchase the land and continue it in agriculture are simply out priced in the market. If a developer will pay 10k per acre, but one can realistically make a living on the land at only 5k per acre, what is the owner to do? When the owner retires or dies, that land normally will go to the highest bidder, for better or worse.

Andrew MacRae said...

Thanks for spreading the word. By the way, you may be interested in joining the American Farmland Trust's blogging contest http://www.farmland.org/actioncenter/no-farms-no-food/friends-of-farmland.asp