IN THIS ISSUE: Fragility–and resilience–in food systems
Keywords:Editorial, Food Systems, Fragility, Resilience
This summer issue (volume 11, issue 4) includes papers on a wide range of food systems topics, many of which relate to both the fragility and the resilience of food systems. Gracing our cover is Julia Slocum, who was the owner and operator of Lacewing Acres, a small certified-organic vegetable farm in Ames, Iowa, from 2012 to 2019. (She is now a first-year doctoral student in counseling psychology at Iowa State University.) In this issue, you will read about her decision to close her farming operation in Ending Lacewing Acres: Toward amplifying microperspectives on farm closure (co-authored by Abby Dubisar at Iowa State University).
Julia’s experience highlights the challenge of being a beginning farmer in the U.S. Small-scale, community-based farming is certainly one of the most difficult occupations to take up. For at least two-thirds of each year, it is an all-consuming endeavor. In daylight hours, small local growers manage dozens of crops (each of which has its own requirements to flourish); they may have to manage co-workers, customers, perhaps CSA members, a retail operation, wholesale accounts, and so on. In their evenings, they track production and sales, fill out surveys and tax forms, and nurse aches and injuries received during the day. Imagine going to bed exhausted and then having nightmares about crop failures or injuries or even lawsuits. Somehow, they must find time to recover and carve out personal and family time. . . .
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