Young Farmers Restore Rural America
Publication turns spotlight on young farmers restoring rural America.
The Chubby Bunny Farm in northwestern Connecticut.
Whether we live in Manhattan or Peoria, we depend on a healthy countryside to supply the food we eat. So it’s welcome news that across the nation, a hearty crop is taking root. Smart, young people are changing the world by returning to the roots of American agriculture – roots steeped in a tradition and culture of diversity, quality and respect for the Earth. A new book, Youth Renewing the Countryside, captures their remarkable stories.
Young Farmers Restoring the Countryside:
Dan and Tracy Hayhurst
Roy and Kaylee Benjamin
The Bauman Family
Produced in partnership with young writers and photographers, Youth Renewing the Countryside profiles the next generation of rural caretakers through individual stories from every state. Some of these young leaders are building on their history and culture. Others are creating uniquely 21st-century opportunities like renewable-energy businesses or Internet-based companies. Some are fighting for environmental or social justice. Many have found a foothold in building a stronger, healthier and more healthful food system.
These young people are not just renewing the American countryside, they are changing the world. Here are excerpts from some of their stories.
The noisy little farmer
The name Chubby Bunny Farm conjures up a hearty laugh, but it’s serious business for master farming couple Dan and Tracy Hayhurst.
With their young daughter, Beatrice, the Hayhursts dwell in a sheltered valley in northwestern Connecticut, bordering on verdant wilderness preserves and removed from the hustle and bustle of nearby metropolises. This is where they grew up. Despite their rural location, Tracy and Dan know the big city well: About half of their Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) clients live in New York City. The other half is from their local community and includes former teachers, principals and friends from high school.
Chubby Bunny regularly hosts farm apprentices. The apprentices appreciate Dan’s eagerness not just to work hard, but also to impart his intimate knowledge of farming gleaned from internships, farm jobs and countless hours in the fields.
Chubby Bunny’s customers appreciate Dan and Tracy’s “Farmer’s Pledge.” They promise to follow strict organic standards without becoming certified organic. Dan swears off all artificial chemicals. Growing more than 60 different crops, however, and engaging in an ingenious milieu of cover cropping, crop rotation, grazing, weeding, harvesting and marketing, Dan can’t find time for the paperwork required for organic certification. The Hayhursts know their customers, and their customers trust them. While organic certification can create better prices for farmers who sell crops wholesale, for now, Dan and Tracy create the same healthy organic produce for their share owners without the need for certification.
Page: 1 | 2
| Next >>