TGSG Note: Today’s guest post comes from Nathan Winters, nature lover and agro-enthusiast. (Um, did I just make up a word?!) Thanks for stopping by, Nathan.
See ya outside! ~ The Grass Stain Guru
When you think of playing in the outdoors you often times head to the nearest trailhead for a beautiful hike in the woods or perhaps a long bike ride on a back country road to soak up the scenery. These types of activities are a tremendous way for us all to experience nature in its natural setting and will most likely lift your spirits for the rest of your day.
However, I would like to encourage us all to remember an essential component to our ecosystem and the direct connection to our well being, local economies and bio diversity. That component is agriculture.
While much of our agriculture infrastructure and scale has been designed to turn what was once known as the “family farm” into a “farming operation” and has little to offer in terms of a “tourist attraction” there is a strong wave of communities across our country that are looking to preserve the romantic notion of a diversified, community driven farm with terrific outdoor activities. We have seen this ring true with an active interest in agri-tourism and Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) within rural communities with an accessible proximity to urban and suburban areas.
Getting involved with a CSA and or finding local farms that provide tours is a great way to get ourselves and our future generations connected with the land and the animals that nurture us as humans. It is time that we erase the notion that cow manure smells bad and that pigs are a filthy animal. Now is the opportunity to understand and share the reality of where our food comes from and who is making that possible. If not now… when?
When people (especially children) begin to understand and respect the process of how we fuel our bodies and minds to remain healthy and active we will then begin to see a systemic change and demand for the quality of nutrition and the stewardship involved in the farm to plate process.
To make my long story short, I ask that you put down the books, stop renting documentaries and find time to get familiar with various types of farms and agriculture related activities. A hands experience and conversation on a farm is the most valuable resources one can use when making the choices that feel right for you, your family, community and our environment.
So have fun and get on the farm. Take it from me; there is a good chance you will get hooked on one of our oldest and most essential elements of American culture.
Guest Blogger Bio: Nathan has recently completed his 5 month and 4,300 mile journey across America on a bicycle where he conducted an extensive research project taking a close look at agriculture, food chains and environmental issues. He currently lives in rural Vermont where he enjoys quality time with his beautiful dog Chaya. He works diligently on writing and marketing his novel which he hopes to be completed in the next few months. He remains passionate and is a strong advocate for protecting our land and the people on it.