In the mid-70s, I took a break from publishing, and we tried to make a go of it with small-scale organic farming. But first of all, we didn’t have enough land and secondly, people just wouldn’t pay for organic food in those days. We were getting a dollar a dozen for eggs, a dollar a quart for goat’s milk, and a dollar a pound for honey. We sold stuff at the local farmers market: Lesley’s English muffins for 25 cents, my fresh apple juice for two dollars per half-gallon. Even in those years, we couldn’t make it with those prices.
I loved the work. Learning all the things that had been dropped by my parents’ generation. Balancing soil, water, and sun to produce food with no chemicals and no insecticides. Composting, planting, harvesting, managing chickens, milking goats, restoring depleted soil the biodynamic way. There were four or five other couples in our town that were doing the same thing. It was all fascinating, and gratifying.
The other day, Mike W. sent me a copy of The Maine Organic Farmer & Gardener, and it reminded me of those much simpler days.
It also made me realize how things have changed in California in the last 40 years. Land and home prices are sky-high. Money manipulators are everywhere. Houses in our town are now sold at exorbitant prices to very rich people to be used as second homes. Our dreams of a community of small farms were never realized (although there are a number of organic farms on our town’s perimeter).
The MOFGA reminds me of our ideals and actions in those days. It’s a strong and healthy voice for healthy land and food, and I think readable by anyone of like mind in any part of the country. It’s published four times annually: Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter. Info at their website: www.mofga.org