“We live in a culture that is so consumer oriented and the consumer is really divorced from the producer, and that means that the product and the reward is just half there really in its essence because it’s production and consumption that go together. And I think food is the place where this becomes so dramatic. Whether it’s (DIY) deodorant or fixing your own plumbing or working on your house, all that stuff is a counter to alienation, where you are separated from your surroundings. You get a sense of happiness from that. Sometimes its very arduous, it’s very tough, a lot of frustration and risk is involved in making those connections, which is certainly true with any kind of farming. When we get to the point where we have choices of what we do with the time in our life, that becomes really essential.”
Driving along Madonna Rd. you might notice nothing but urban development. But if you look a little closer, tucked way back behind the strip mall, you will see 28 acres of agricultural land. This is SLO City Farm, land that the City of San Luis Obispo has protected from urban development in an effort to maintain agricultural production and educational programs. Central Coast Grown is the local non-profit that manages this land and promotes this mission.
I’m excited to bring your this interview with Central Coast board member Steven Marx as a belated bonus episode to our food month in July. We talked to many local food artisans in July who were all very adamant that we support our local farmers and food systems. Central Coast Grown’s main mission is to just that. Steven and I discuss in depth how modern day society is separated and alienated from their connection to food, from cooking and eating to buying and growing due to the agricultural industrial system. There is a need to reinvigorate small farming and connect the general public to these processes.
This need exists for many reasons but I want to leave you with a quote from Steven that highlights the importance these processes have for our happiness.
I highly suggest you check out Central Coast Grown’s website to see all the great things going on and follow them at the links below:
Books & Movies:
Cajas de Cartón (Spanish version of The Circuit)
Gaining Ground – a documentary
Urban Tilth in Richmond, CA
Alba in Salinas, CA