ARCHIVE

The Foodshed Nomad: A Journey, and A New Column, Begins

This is the first in series of posts about food systems issues in and around Brazil. Sara will contribute to a new column called The Foodshed Nomad. Look for her updates regularly.

I’m on the floor of my father’s Manhattan apartment, surrounded by luggage, paperwork, books and a sprawl of clothes and toiletries. It is a mere two days from my departure for Brazil, and it feels like there are mountains of tasks to complete before I get on the plane. Sitting here, pounding away at my keyboard, catching up on emails and typing up loose ends, I finally forced myself to find a moment to write.

Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Sara Franklin. I have worked in food systems for several years now in a variety of capacities— I have studied nutrition and agriculture; I have farmed; I have worked for anti-hunger organizations dealing with a lack of healthy, accessible food in urban areas; I have worked to build capacity among community-based groups across the U.S. using agriculture as a tool of empowerment to work towards eliminating hunger and poverty; I have been a restaurant critic, a freelance writer, and consultant for various organizations; and I have built gardens in cities and the countryside. But what has, perhaps, taught me most about food systems issues and their pervasiveness is travel. In visiting farmers and activist groups working in food and agriculture in the U.S. and abroad, I have learned that the issues related to food systems are a universal language. Read more

Cows, Colleges, and Contentment

Northfield has a rich agricultural history. The town’s motto, “Cows, Colleges, and Contentment” evokes agriculture’s influence on Northfield’s fields, factories, and culture. Founded in 1855, the Minnesotan town was central to the wheat industry. A sawmill for processing lumber and a gristmill for processing flour were both powered by the Cannon River flowing through town. As the wheat frontier moved westward during the 1950s, diversified farms and dairy operations become the town’s principal source of income. Read more