Global Views of Local Food Systems: Family Farmers Are Struggling Everywhere
Family farming is not doing very well around the world. In the U.S., the oldest continuously operating farm, Tuttle farm, founded in 1632 in Dover, New Hampshire, is currently up for sale. The Boston Globe ran a story about it,1 and many in New England and beyond are lamenting this sad event. Farm owner Will Tuttle expressed his feelings very clearly: “Looking forward, I don’t see much opportunity for small farms to thrive. It’s a tough grind.” His words echo those of Morse Pitts,2 who has been farming in New York’s Hudson Valley for 30 years. Pitts is recognized as a pioneer of local, sustainable food and has beencelebrated by the leaders of the Local Food movement such as Slow Food founding member Alice Waters. But Pitts is quitting farming, even though he has been doing everything by the “local” book, and successfully too: he sells at high prices directly to consumers; his clientele is large and faithful; and his produce is sold in New York’s Union Square Market. Yet according to his calculations, his earnings are just USD7 an hour.Considering the amount of time and effort he deploys to produce sustainable food, this is — to say the least — unsustainable....
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