Monday, September 15, 2014

Dear friends,

Thank you for the opportunity to suggest an idea, to simultaneously address these fundamentally important objectives. In properly nourishing the young, empowering women in all phases of their lives, and teaching the next generation how to farm & garden, everyone's future is decided.
I have been privileged to help build a wheel-chair accessible demonstration project working with Farms and Gardens for the Disabled in northern California. Raising the soil three feet (one meter) up off of ground level initiates a dynamic that performs many functions, beyond increasing food supply and enhancing nutrition.
Making gardening possible for people who are physically limited (i.e. by pregnancy, advanced age, disability) or otherwise unable to reach ground-level soils, also facilitates the exchange of a critical legacy of spiritual connection to the Earth, passion for the miracles to be found in a garden, and the exchange of knowledge that is possible between the generations -- all, simply by providing accesss to the soil.
On a purely practical level, the community workforce can be expanded, production increased, resource diversity and efficiency maximized.
Please feel invited to visit the project on-line, and make contact, for any ideas that may be inspired by the innovation and determination of Mr. and Mrs. Loskot's organic, accessible farm.

Farms and Gardens for the Disabled

Blessings to all,
Weed, California

The Future of Family Farming: Providing Resources for Women and Young Farmers

"Food Tank is excited to be collaborating with the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization for the International Year of Family Farming (IYFF). Through this discussion we hope to promote greater dialogue around family farming issues. We are interested in opening up a broader debate on impactful policies for rural communities and the need for investing in technologies and innovations that help agriculture become economically profitable, intellectually stimulating, and environmentally sustainable for young and female farmers.

"The future of agriculture is in the hands of young people and women. But around the globe the average age of farmers is swelling as young people leave rural areas in search of a better life. Meanwhile, most often deep-rooted inequalities prevent female farmers from gaining equal rights to access land,  inputs,  and economic resources that will allow them to reach economic autonomy and farm more productively.
"To address the root causes of these asymmetries, governments and learning institutions need to design and implement targeted affirmative policies for women and youth, that may secure their access and use of natural resources,  as well as provide practical training, and teach marketing and entrepreneurial skills. Not only, but at the same time they too need to learn from family farmers traditional knowledge and practices. Reform and decentralize knowledge and learning institutes, including research and extension programmes, aiming to create spaces for farmer led innovation, co-creation of knowledge between farmers and scientists also is essential."