It was one of a number of memorable quotes from this weekend's "Changing the Way We Eat" TEDx event. Actually, it was a line from a talk given by ECO City Farm's founder, Margaret Morgan-Hubbard. I must say that some of the brief talks given by folks from my own community at the satellite TEDx viewing party at the Letelier Theater were as good as the ones at the official event in Manhattan. And Margaret is right: by fixing our food system we can begin to address so many other social injustices, health problems, and, well, even unemployment rates. We need more healthy food. And we need more farmers to grow it. And more people choosing (and able) to eat it. And a government and communities to support it. Well, perhaps I'm putting some words in her mouth, but I think she'd agree.
Though there were a number of impressive ideas (and people) at the official New York City event, my favorite talk was actually given by a local farmer here in the DC area. Kristen, of Radix Farm (who I really hope will be a part of the supply chain for the mobile market I am developing), spoke eloquently about the need for each of us to pursue that which we most love and can thus help fix our food system, and our world more generally. Whether it's as a farmer, like the path she herself has chosen, or a school food reform advocate, or policy maker, or simply a loving parent or a more conscientious eater, the best thing each of us can do is to figure out what role best suits us and pursue it wholeheartedly. (Incidentally, Kristen also mentioned that she's looking for interns for the upcoming growing season, and I do know that our own Farmer Mo here at Arcadia continues to learn a great deal from her.) Her message rang true, and I've thought about it a great deal in the days since. We can all be a part of this change for the better.
At the end of my own little spiel on Arcadia at the DC screening event -- which, incidentally, was my first official opportunity to speak on behalf of Arcadia (aside from my excited yammering on about the educational farm during the Vices that made Virginia event last fall) -- a number of folks asked me about how they could get involved with the work we are doing. Well, there are lots of ways. Come help out on the farm: Farmer Mo will be welcoming volunteers on Saturdays and Mondays beginning in April. Come get your hands in the ground. Or donate stuff (money, tools, etc.) if that is more what you're looking to do: if so, drop a line to our director, Erin. And to plug my own project, the Mobile Market manager (yours truly) is on the lookout for both funds to get up and running and contacts with local schools and communities around the District to set up one-time as well as weekly stops beginning this June. (Stay tuned for information on the happy hour fundraising kickoff event for the mobile market coming up in a few weeks....)