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Farmer-Led Food System Solutions Examples

“We all need to think of ways we can work together to change the food system.” – Read Linley's letter about organic farmer-led solutions for a broken food system below.

Dear Friend,

One of our Real Organic certified farmers wrote to me last weekend with a story of hope.

There are so many similarities between his story of local action and The Real Organic Project:

  • We are both farmer-led solutions to a broken system.
  • We are taking matters into our own hands because no one is coming to save us.

First, I want to share the exchange that led to the telling of his inspiring story. While these emails were personal in nature, I wanted to share them with our audience in their original form because these conversations are important…how do we best create change?

The Farmers' Stand Co-Founders:

A man and a woman stand in front of a shoulder-height crop. Their golden retriever sits at their feet. Behind them are two hoop houses.
Todd and Rebecca Ulizio of Two Bear Farm – Co-founders of The Farmers' Stand

 

A man and a woman sit in a row of lettuces on their farm. Behind them are grey and blue skies and clouds and a row of trees.
Brooke Bohannon and Sean Hard of Wicked Good Produce – Co-founders of The Farmers' Stand

A storefront of a tan stucco building with a sign that reads "The Farmers' Stand" above the doors and windows.
The Farmers' Stand in Whitefish, Montana A farmer-owned grocery store

 

Our Farmer-Led Solutions Email Exchange:

First Letter From Todd:

Paragraphs of black text on a green background. Full text can be viewed in pdf form by at https://www.realorganicproject.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/Farmers-Stand-Email-Exchange-1-May-2022.pdf
(Click the image to download this email as a PDF for accessibility)

My Real Organic Project Reply:

Black text on a light blue background. Click this image to download a pdf of the full text.
(Click this image to download a PDF of this email for accessibility)

An image of a grocery store produce section. A sign above bagged greens reads: "Produce for the People". At left of the text is the Real Organic Project logo.

Second Letter From Organic Farmer Todd:

Paragraphs of black text on a green background. Full text can be viewed in pdf form by at https://www.realorganicproject.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/Farmers-Stand-Email-Exchange-3-May-2022.pdf

Paragraphs of black text on a green background. Full text can be viewed in pdf form by at https://www.realorganicproject.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/Farmers-Stand-Email-Exchange-1-May-2022.pdf
(Click either image to download a PDF of this email for accessibility)
A small grocery store with wooden floors is in the background. A woman with long brown hair and a straw hat smiles at the camera and stands in the store.
Opening day at the Farmers' Stand!
A grocery store cooler of radishes, turnips, carrots, beets and many varieties of greens.
Produce cooler at The Farmers Stand

White signage on a glass door that reads: "The Farmers' Stand - Market and Takeaway"

Sometimes the easiest way to solve a problem is to stop participating in the problem!

But when it comes to a global food system, that is easier said than done. While most farmers don't have the bandwidth to open a grocery store (nor should they have to), every community needs grocery stores that will say “yes” to local organic farmers. As the farmers from Two Bear Farm and Wicked Good Produce found, that's usually not the case. So they did something about it!

We all need to think of ways we can work together to change the food system. Like Todd said, “there are many ways (and scales) to engage on this issue.” Please let us know about all the good work you are doing (and send me pictures)! Together, we can inspire others to spring into action too.

To me, this is what the Real Organic Project is all about.

Yours in the dirt,
Linley

An image of farmers on the right holding the Real Organic Project logo. At left reads "1000 Real Friends". A yellow box in the bottom right reads "Join Now"

If you would like to join this engaging community of eaters and activists, farmers and authors, chefs and students, scientists and adventurers, please click here. please click here.