Project Survival Media is alive and working globally to bring the survival tactics and sustainable practices of real people to the UN conference in Copenhagen. Right now all over the world, teams are filming different groups of people for their own documentaries.
Luke Estrella at the UN Plaza Farmers Market
Here in the Bay Area, California, after wwoofing for two months in Willits, I have been given the opportunity to lead the Northwestern project.
Today I went to the U.N. Plaza Farmers Market on my way around the city to see the prevalence of organic farm choices for the mainstream San Franciscan public. This market is not known for its sustainability, but for it’s prices and accessability.
There were a few organic farm choices, but I did have the opportunity to talk to one young organic farmer, Luke Estrella from Bounty of the Valley, Salinas Valley. Bounty of the Valley is a 50 acre human powered farm, full of young farmers who are learning how to grow their own food.
I asked him what he thought about the next generation of farmers, since in this area there seems to be a growing trend of young farmers. Farmers used to be an average of 60 years old, but people in their 20’s have, for the first time in years, started to pick up the old pitchfork.
“[young farmers] have a lot of new ideas to bring to the table, young farmers will bring about the change we need for sustainable action.”
He also warned against green washing on the organic front, and how current policy may encourage this.
“There are 500 acre certified organic plots that have organic soil and seeds, but they have a machine that does everything. These are also the farms that have the money to pay for being certified [organic]. These farms are unsustainable by design.”
He elaborated on a machine that many large scale farmers contract out to plant, till, and harvest. Many of these farmers do not touch soil and are not acquainted with their own land, although their products are touted as sustainable.
But, what may be organic isn’t necessarily sustainable. It is important that we not only push for policies that help organic farmers, but that we pay close attention to new policies, and make sure that they are also helping local and sustainable farmers, which organic is only one factor in.
We also need to make this clear to the UN delegation. We are young, ready for change, and unwilling to adapt to old standards.