I’ve said it before and I will say it again… if you aren’t a member of Community Farm Alliance, you really should be. There is no other grassroots organization doing more important work for small Kentucky farms than CFA. I was recently interviewed for their newsletter, and here is what I had to say about why being a member is so important to me:
I have long felt that small farmers are one of the hardest working and least appreciated demographics of society, especially when you consider that their work is such an important part of our physical and cultural livelihoods. Outside of spending money with local farms, concrete ways to help are not always immediately obvious. Community Farm Alliance is the answer for those of us who aren’t farmers but want to support them. Historically, CFA has made real and quantifiable progress for Kentucky farmers.
To give you an idea, House Bill 391 would never have been passed without the support of CFA. This important bill is what enables small farms to sell home-processed goods from their farm and local farmers markets, giving them a vital source of additional income. So every time you go to market and pick up a loaf of bread or jar of jelly, you are enjoying the efforts of CFA and the farmers and community members who make up this important organization.
Another reason I’m a member—all the cool kids are! I’ve made some genuine and lasting friendships with likeminded folks as a result of my participation with CFA.
Many of our young farmers interviewees are members of CFA, including Jacob and Carolyn at Sweetgrass Granola and Hannah and Jesse at Rough Draft Farmstead. Folks like Mike Lewis of Growing Warriors (you might recognize him because of his epic beard and all the press he has received as a driving force on the KY Proud Homegrown by Heroes program!) and Todd Howard of Floyd County Farmers Market are proud members of CFA who are working hard to radically change the state of food production in the Bluegrass.
I am more than proud to be a part of this amazing group. Right now, CFA is holding their annual spring membership drive. For $30/year, you can make your voice heard and be counted among these amazing Kentuckians who are revolutionizing local food.
Sign up online or, even better, join Community Farm Alliance on Saturday afternoon for a field day at Jennings Hollow Farm in Monticello and become a member then! I have featured Jennings Hollow in a past interview and am a huge fan of their diverse farm and proud customer, too. (Roasted pasture-raised chicken on the dinner table tonight, ya’ll!) They will be hosting a farm tour, draft horse demo, and a talk by the local NRCS agent about beginning farmer grant opportunities. Then, at 7 pm, we will be sharing a potluck and the ever-brilliant Meadowlarks will be playing us some tunes. Bring your gear and campout on the farm, too!
I will be hanging out at the farm and would love to chat with you about farms, local food, and why you should be a member of Community Farm Alliance! Please come up and introduce yourself—I’m super shy but love to chat once I get going. See you on Saturday—RSVP on Facebook or email the lovely Carolyn to let us know you are coming!