Steve’s Weekly Update for 3/19

Hello Members,

Here is my update for you this week as I sit in the lull between the two sustainable agriculture workshops in DC. 

I had my first ever visit to Capitol Hill yesterday. I visited the staffs of 2 of our NM Reps and 1 Senator, and spoke about the importance of supporting several programs that increase the opportunities for small and medium scale agriculture, and to enhance rural economies and economic opportunities.

I was also part of a delegation that visited Connecticut Representative Rosa Delaura who is emerging as a champion of a unified Food Safety system in the US, which would respect and validate the different levels of risk associated with farms and food operations as they increase in scale and reach of distribution.

Democracy is a fascinating process and the way ours operates is quite remarkable.

At this time of year, the streets of Washington and the Halls of Congress are packed with people like me who are carrying their concerns and issues to the people who make policy.

I am fortunate to have been given the opportunity to represent the NM Food and Ag. Policy Council at the newly formed National Sustainable Ag Coalition, as this role enabled me to receive training and direction on how to approach policymakers.  I thoroughly enjoyed the work, and the feedback I got from colleagues on my effectiveness was validating as well.

Now its off to the Mainstream Food System discussion of sustainability, hosted by such well respected bastions of Sustainability, Walmart, Kraft, Coca Cola, Unilever, Monsanto and Syngenta (tongue firmly planted in cheek).  One wonders what they mean by the word!!!  One thing that the mainstream world offers is skill at counting and measuring, so I am hoping that this dialogue will include more sophisticated metrics for quantifying different aspects of sustainability.  We shall see…

For this week we are stuck in a bit of a rut on food variety.  Nothing new has come along, though we do expect first cutting of salad greens from Garden Hers any week now.  The flush of heirloom tomatoes and cucumbers continues, so I hope all can enjoy them. 

I do have a question for you about an out of region fruit opportunity.  One of my distribution contacts has abundant California Organic Strawberries for an amazing price from a medium sized farm called Sand Piper.  Would people appreciate a limited run of these for a few weeks, as our local/regional fruit will be dropping off:  we will be out of apples soon.  This question will come as a survey.  Thank you for participating, we need your feedback to make a decision about this opportunity.

That’s all for now.  Thank you for your support, and remember to let us know of your special order needs,

Steve W

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