My vision for Stone Coop Farm is that we make a global impact. Last night we got a chance to see how that could happen. This was our second New Farmer Fundraiser. We are sponsoring two young men through Michigan State’s Organic Farmer Training Program (OFTP).
During dinner I asked both of them to briefly share why they want to be farmers and what they have been learning at the OFTP. Daniel Moffatt mentioned his goal is to start a farm where he and his wife could help the healing process for victims of sex trafficking. Antonio Cosme has an urban farm in his Detroit neighborhood where many immigrants live and where the average household income is about $20,000. He wants to help his community have access to healthy food and get a connection to the land with garden plots between buildings, neighborhood orchards, and places for people to connect with each other. It was inspiring to hear their plans and know that they will be having a positive impact on so many people.
We also surprised Chef Matt Tulpa, the chef who organized the other chefs for our fundraising dinner, and who does all our other farm to table events, with a donation for his trip to Stone Barns at Blue Hill Farm to study farm to table dining with Chef Dan Barber. Matt has been visiting different countries and working with other chefs to learn more about how to partner with the farmers and foragers around the world. We are excited that he shares this knowledge with us and our diners during our Farm to Table Dinners. It is so much fun to work with Matt. I love walking around the farm with him as he is planning a menu. We taste, scheme, dream, and plan unique and delicious things we can share with our customers.
At Stone Coop we have a wonderful group of employees and members that help at the farm. So many of them helped with the fundraiser to make it a success! Many of them also have connections outside the U.S. We have folks working with us from Mexico, Portugal, Ukraine, Russia, and Poland. Our little community of Stone Coop Farm is already having a global impact. It is a great reminder that like a drop of water in a lake, each person impacts so many other folks as they spread their good words and deeds. I was reinvigorated last night. Small farms can change and feed the world. Please support your local farms and farmers!
Recommended Reading and Viewing: Here’s an article and both of Dan Barber’s Ted Talks about two farms that do things radically different and are wildly successful.
Did You Know that I was a one of the U.S Delegates at Slow Food International’s Terra Madre Conference in 2014. I traveled to Turin, Italy with 5000 other small farmers and food producers from over 75 countries. That was when I started thinking globally. I met farmers from all over the world and we shared ideas, harvest tips, tools, marketing, and so many other things with each other. I stopped feeling like Stone Coop was a tiny farm in Southeast Michigan, only serving Livingston County. I realized that all the small farms in the world are impacting not only their communities, but they had a much farther reach than they imagined. We take care of the earth, it’s water, air, soil, plants, animals and people. We provide a basic human need, food. Humanity cannot survive without us.
Here is Slow Food’s Philosophy:
Slow Food envisions a world in which all people can access and enjoy food that is good for them, good for those who grow it and good for the planet.
Our approach is based on a concept of food that is defined by three interconnected principles: good, clean and fair.