When the Michigan DNR all but shut down farmer Mark Baker’s successful, pasture-raised, pork operation in Marion Michigan, he became the embodiment of that old adage: When life hands you lemons, make lemonade. Mark, his wife Jill, and their eight children re-grouped and decided to go in a new direction. If they wouldn’t be allowed to raise healthy, naturally-produced food for people, they would do the next best thing: Teach people to raise it themselves.
And thus, the “Anyone Can Farm: America’s Farm to Fork Academy” project was launched.
Modern farming relies heavily on fossil fuels, genetically modified seeds (GMO’s), soil-depleting farming techniques, and crowded animal-husbandry practices in order to produce cheap, plentiful food. This cheap, factory-farm food is the bland, nutrient-vacant fare filling our grocery store shelves. To listen to this show… It is also what many claim is making us sick and obese. Is this what and how we really want to feed ourselves and our families? Is it prudent to be so dependent on others for our food with virtually no control over its production? Quite simply, no.
It’s time we as consumers, put down our forks and take personal responsibility for our food. It’s not enough to “buy local” anymore, because the small, local producers are being systematically shut down and pressured out of existence by larger, better-funded entities with political agendas fueled by greed and / or control. If things keep progressing as they have been, it is not unrealistic to foresee a time when the American public will have few choices as to what they can buy to eat. To stop this from happening, we literally have to take matters into our own hands and backyards: The only way to ensure quality, healthy, abundant, safe food for our families is to learn to produce it ourselves, FOR ourselves.
To this end, the Anyone Can Farm Academy will offer people a place to roll up their sleeves and experience what it takes to raise and grow one’s own food, without using the modern agricultural norms of steroids, hormones, antibiotics, chemicals, pesticides, fungicides, artificial fertilizers, and genetically modified seeds. Anyone Can Farm will train people to grow a healthy, nutrient-rich garden, set up a rotational grazing operation, preserve food, slaughter a chicken, or process a hog — just to name a few of the planned courses. Mr. Baker and staff will be teaching what our grandparents and great-grandparents already knew as a way of life and what must not be lost to future generations: How to feed ourselves, and how to do so in a responsible, healthy, sustainable manner.
So, whether your goal is to learn how to grow tomatoes on an apartment balcony and can them into delicious pasta sauce, or develop a diversified, producing homestead, Mark and his family can help you get there with the Anyone Can Farm project. Please join me, Renee, as I enthusiastically host Mr. Baker this Thursday, March 28, 2013 on the Homestead Honey Hour to talk about this exciting new venture whose time has most certainly come!
Listen to this show in player below!