Texas freeze does the farmers in again
It’s not the first time. It won’t be the last time. Adverse weather conditions have again wreaked havoc across the Texas farm community, adversely impacting most of the local farmers, including many of the Nearby members, Boggy Creek Farm, F-Stop and Animal Farm to name but a few.
Climate change is real, though amorphous in some ways, a growing problem that continues to threaten our existence on this planet. It’s one of those indirect direct threats, the unknown known — we know it’s happening, but can’t quite see it or feel it in our everyday lives. Therefore many of us prefer to just ignore it. Until we show up at the farmers’ market to see there is a shortage of crops. The tiered desperate looks on the faces of our friends, our farmers, who have spent days and nights past, battling the cold and protecting their crops — our food.
That’s it people. The veggies are not just their crop, and these are not just their farms. They are fighting to protect our food supply, it’s about the lifeline we depend on to stay healthy, vibrant and feeling good.
The intermittent, but all the more frequent freezes in Texas, coupled by the floods in the summer, underpinned by drought year round. That’s our new reality. Weather is freakish, but not without cause. There’s a human element in all of this. We sit at the center of it, our carbon-loaded lives, our insatiable hunger for choice to consume more of what we already have, and accumulate that which we don’t need. It’s a fact, people throw away 90 percent of what they buy in less than 6 months. Each of us will have to answer, for themselves, what our role and responsibility is as our planet burns. As well as, decide on whether or not we chose to change our unsustainable habits.
Which by the way our farmers have done. Their commitment to sustainable, local, non-toxic farming is unyielding, even in the face of extreme weather. That’s honorable. Their integrity is hard to ignore, and our job is to support them. But how — how do you support a farmer that has nothing to sell you this Saturday and Sunday because all their crop is frozen and gone?
Nearby has pondered this problem and we’ve worked out a solution we call FriendsOf, which sits at the cross section of the creator economy, farming, technology and climate change. I am sure you are asking yourself — what’s this freak talking about? This makes no sense.
But it does, and let me explain. Creator economy is a way to donate to those whose creativity and hard work we respect, wish to support, and are keen to see stick around for the long-run. Our local farmers are not just our food growers. They are food innovators. They are out there figuring out how to grow fresh, local, and non-toxic food for us — heirloom tomatoes, old corn, a variety of carrots, colors we’ve never seen in the supermarkets, grains of sorts we’ve never heard of. Their talents go beyond sticking something into the ground and watching it grow. They deserve our support, our donations — we call it FriendsOf membership — even when they have nothing to sell us. Because intellectually we know they are overly exposed to harsh weather, and for us to have them around we also have to support them in ways that go beyond just buying their produce.
Technology is embedded in the Nearby platform that enables me and you (us the community) to easily find our local farmers and restaurants and support them through the FriendsOf membership portal. It’s as easy as clicking the button Become Our Friend.
And climate change, that’s a bigger issue to tackle. But by buying local produce we are doing our part, some of it at least. Local food has a lower carbon footprint, that’s not a secret anymore.
As we ready ourselves to enjoy the few sunny and warm afternoons ahead of us in Austin Texas, let’s remember our farms out there desperately working to save our food from freezing in the cold mornings and give them a hand, Boggy Creek Farm, F-Stop, Animal Farm and others.
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