At last something positive to write about, to get excited about, to feel passionate about, in this crazy world of disasters and media madness.
All who read this blog probably know or know of people who would love to get out there in the fields and grow food, organically and ethically, but they do not have the land / money / time to be without an income etc. Moreover, we all know how backward is the thinking of many of our so called leaders, when it comes to promoting the reduction of chemicals in agriculture and in our daily lives. It seems that the effort required to do good in a community is being constantly multiplied by red tape, by stupidity and by a lack of foresight in our "leaders".
Every now and then a shining star rises from the depths of the leadership scrum and uses their power for good. Edouard Chaulet is one such man..... a mayor in southern France, who, 2 years ago, introduced organic food into the canteens of local schools, as documented in the film "Our children will accuse us". He firmly believes that it is the rise of chemicals in our lives and especially in our food, that is causing the horrendous rise in childhood cancers as well as destroying the earth we depend on for life on this planet.
His latest effort is very creative and inspiring. I read about it on La Vie Verte, which is a blog in English about green things that are happening and not happening in France.
Using an innovative social financing scheme pioneered with association Terre de Liens, he has made available a 120-hectare plot of land for organic farmers to rent and farm collectively. The aim: to increase land surface area in the Gard region of France farmed organically to help close the gap between demand and supply.
Terre de Liens, created in 2006 in partnership with bank La Nef, collects savings from citizens and companies to buy farms and then rent them out exclusively to organic farmers.
“The Common Agricultural Policy (of the EU) forces our farmers relentlessly towards large monoculture farms. These big intensive farms destroy the countryside, make the soil sterile and the water undrinkable. We need a diverse and local agriculture, not thousands of tons of cereals!” said Sjoerd Wartena, president of Terre de Liens.
You need to read how the finances are raised and what the deal is, on the Terre de Liens site, but I can see the possibility of this becoming the basis for a very successful model that could be used all over the world. All kinds of thoughts are stimulated in my head by reading about good, creative ideas that someone has succeeded in implementing.
I'd like to set the scene of how food production works in this small community at the bottom of the world..... go and get a coffee, I have a lot to say and I'd love you to stay around and read it! Ok, I have decided to post this first, my head is too full of organising my first ever stall, which I am having at tomorrow's Cygnet Herb and Organic Health Expo (oh gosh, is that what its called? I am not sure but you get the gist!).
Come back soon....