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Reflections on the coming hurricane

Posted 9/7/2017 8:57pm by Sally Voris .

I received this message from a food cooperative near Washington DC where I have sold some of my produce in the past.

“ This morning we received a telephone call from our farmer friend, John Krohn in FL. This man had to cut down his own orange grove by hand several years ago when a blight devastated FL citrus growers. Ever the optimist and realist―a special combination―this 85 year old man rebounded by planting mango and avocado trees. Today, he called to say that the “biggest ever hurricane” is expected this weekend to rip through Florida. He's very worried, as winds will not only strip trees of the fruit but avocados could fly through the house like cannonballs. Therefore, he needs to take them all off the trees this week.

So that this precious fruit does not go to waste, meaning not only a financial loss but a heart loss for this good man, we are writing to see if any of you would like to support by purchasing. 10 lb boxes, still $40 including shipping. You can send a message of love by giving them away to family and neighbors starting a positive chain of love transmission.”

I immediately offered to buy a box of avocados. I also sent the message on to my e-mail list and got several positive responses. Over dinner, I described the situation to a new neighbor. She wondered why this man did not wait to see how badly the hurricane would impact him. My other neighbor, a seasoned farm wife, and I immediately scoped out this man's challenge: here is an 85 yer-old man, in love with his trees and his farm. He is not likely to have help from others as the storm approaches. If the trees are mature, figure 100 trees to the acre and 165 pounds of avocados per tree. Figure three avocados per pound. That's 30 avocados per box, packed for shipping. Can you imagine an 85-year old man even attempting this? His situation is heart-breaking, but farmers are resilient and learn to do what they can.

That is, those of us left in the field. Research shows that roughly 323 million people now live in America. Only two percent are involved in agricultural endeavors. Less than one percent of all agricultural production is organic. Much of that production is on large farms with industrial techniques. So this 85-year-old man is probably one of some 50,000 people in America using his hands to care for the land―less than one in twenty thousand people. Yet, his work and our work as farmers are critical to maintaining a healthy relationship with the land. We are caring for the land. That care is critical!

Are you familiar with relationships based on taking and not caring? If you are, you know that those relationships will not last. At a certain point, the one that is being abused either dies, leaves or becomes unavailable to the other. The relationship effectively ends.

Another friend, who had grown up in Houston, wrote. “ Your piece on the interdependency and intertwining of Nature is critically on target. Part of the reason Houston and a few other cities were so devastated was because there has not been recognition of the impact of Nature on civilization. Houston was built primarily on land used to grow rice. Imagine what that soil is like. Imagine the fragile structure. And the city is now cement city, much more so than when I grew up there. The Bayous of my childhood seemed to contain the waters. We had open fields within sight of my house. There were still farms on the outskirts of the city limits. As a child I could walk to pet horses.

I am more and more convinced that those in power are ignoring Nature's way. I am sure there will be more devastation. Each of us can make a difference in some way, surely.” Yes, surely we can. Let's engage not just our heads, but also our hearts and hands in caring for the land, the natural world and each other. We have plenty of work to do! Let's get to work! 

Sally 

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White Rose Farm Circle, Inc. fosters community to empower people to work together to restore health to the land, the natural world and each other. Learn more about membership and/or donate to support our 501-c-3 non-profit organization. 

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