My father would probably refer to organic as a “hippie thing.”
You must understand, I grew up a byproduct of two different points of view. My father volunteered for the Navy and served during the Vietnam War. He was conservative and a born again Christian. My mother was a “recovering” Catholic and progressive. You can thank her when you breastfeed publicly. She was part of the first “nurse-ins” in California. I actually identify with both sides. Which is precisely why no one can put me in a box. I just don’t fit.
I don’t know how my parents dealt with these type of differences, but love conquers all. It kinda worked.
If my father was alive today he would laugh at all the hippies in the food movement I find myself around. But I kinda like them.
I met Will Allen the other day. This man’s story must be told. He’s a grandfather as you can see from the photo bomb above at the bottom of the piture. This is a picture of us in his daughters kitchen. He’s an amazing cook. And yes, that is a Millions Against Monsanto shirt he’s wearing.
He served as a Marine and became an atomic, biological and chemical warfare paramedic. After tours in Vietnam, Cuba, & Lebanon, he went to school and got a PhD and became a professor of Anthropology at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He was also a war activist having more information than most because of the time he served in the Marines during the Korean and Vietnam wars. One semester he protested the Vietnam War by giving all his students “A”s. Doesn’t sound like much until you connect that an “A” would make it far less likely to be drafted in the Vietnam War. He was fired by the University shortly thereafter and the students held a rally concert in his support. After the concert was over a black civil rights protestor and friend was being beaten by police in front of the location. The students started a riot, which led to the destruction of a Bank of America.
The Outcome: Will Allen was prosecuted for inciting a riot and spent a year in jail.
When he got out of jail, he couldn’t really teach anymore, so he went back to what he knew…farming. His parents were farmers and in his youth everyone he knew was a farmer. So Will Allen and some friends started farming and focusing on producing local food without use of synthetic chemicals. The organic movement was born when these same farmers started the first organic certification years later as CCOF.
Today you can find Will Allen at Cedar Circle Farms, an organic farmstand and education center in Vermont. This farm is also a training farm where they train farmers on how to make the transition to organic farming. He’s also a policy advisory board member of the Organic Consumers Association and serves on the board of Rural Vermont. And he’s the author of The War On Bugs, which is about use of pesticides over the years.
I think it’s safe to refer to Will Allen as the Godfather of the Organic Movement. And I defiantly think this poem pays him homage.
Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The trouble-makers. The round pegs in the square holes.
The ones who see it differently. They’re not fond of rules, and have no respect for the status-quo.
You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify, or vilify them.
About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius.
Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.
–Apple Computer Ad
The organic market is growing by leaps and bounds. If you don’t know an organic farmer, I’m sure you will someday. Demand for organic and GMO verified foods is one of the fastest growing markets we have in the US. I think organic farmers are modern day heroes because not only do they grow our food, but they do it with the utmost care to our health and the environment.
Sidenote: When you think of organic farmers, what do you picture in your head? Will Allen wasn’t what I had pictured. He far more complex in a good way. I hadn’t expected the first organic farmer I met to have a PhD.