I Want to Be in Your Shoes

Wednesday, 12 August 2009 18:27 Alice Leung
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 Akshay and I went to the NOFA (Northeast Organic Farming Association) conference this past weekend.  This is the 35th year that the association organized the conference.  They had the highest attendance yet, topping over 6,000 people this year.  It was a weekend filled with fun, food and farming.  It’s my first time spending a weekend with individuals and groups who are dedicating their lives to farming and promoting local agriculture.  The commitment to back-breaking work that does not always yield promising financial returns is definitely not conventional according to our business books.  From what I can see this weekend, what it does bring is a fundamental sense of pride and joy from using our hands to feed the community and tending the earth in return for our withdrawal.

Farming is not easy, especially if you want to do it the right way amidst growing pressures from powerful competitors, disconnected customers and financial constraints.  Yet, there is great strength and drive in the local agriculture community.  Individuals like keynotes Paul Stamets and Will Allen invest everything into their work to create systemic change.   

As a young urbanite and entrepreneur who feels avid about smart growth and sustainable development, I strive to bring positive environmental impact through building a green company and making greener consumption choices.  Yet, I still feel a bit removed from the experience.  I want to get my hands on it-to plant, tend, harvest and distribute.  Why not? Perhaps that will be the next steps of my venture.  To be continued…