Organic Life Film: Becoming a Farmer & Maintaining Your Sanity, Too!


Written by guest blogger, Austin Blair, who is featured in the film The Organic Life.

As an individual farmer, you will face challenges in each farming situation, yet some elements of human nature (and perhaps more aptly, farmer nature) are inescapable. In my limited experience apprenticing on a non-profit teaching farm (Soil Born), running a small farm (now run by another farmer as Lunita Farm Design), and working for another farmer (Paul’s Produce), I have learned that balancing full days on the farm and a personal life is a constant dance.

My outlook was further informed by a supportive, non-farming partner, who certainly has an outside perspective on the issue. She has forced me to confront the conundrum of how to maintain a relationship and still be an effective farmer. (Spoiler alert: we’re married, so it can work!)

This has been my experience farming, and these are the things that have worked for us.

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Fish Meat: Can aquaculture be sustainable?

Lately when I think of fish farming, I think of congested cesspools of disease and ineffective antibiotics that I can’t stomach the thought of eating. Last night, 18 Reasons held a screening of Fish Meat, a film by Ted Caplow. Canapés of Anchovy, Trout and Albacore were served, sourced from TwoXSea and prepared by Chef Michael Mauschbaugh of Sous Beurre Kitchen.

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The documentary provokes new perspective about aquaculture – also known as fish farming. Can fish farming be safe? Can it be sustainable?

“This century is the last century of wild seafood” was one line from the film which sent shivers down spines. While extinction is a fate wild seafood is heading quickly towards, the documentary suggests an alternative fate if aquaculture practices like some ancient practices in Turkey are followed.

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Demystifying “The Bay-Delta Tunnels” – with 18 Reasons

Tonight I went to the 18 Reasons event about the massive Bay-Delta Tunnels water project: “Our Delta: A Conversation with an Artist, Activist and Farmer“.  As with fracking, this is a big-budget project with an enormously big impact on water in California.  And, as with fracking, it is deeply political and riddled with complex variables and a myriad of stakeholders.

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Adam Scow, California Campaigns Director at Food & Water Watch, outlines areas impacted by the Tunnels.

With the help of partners Food & Water Watch and The Nature Conservancy, we’ve already started to compile Bay-Delta Tunnel resources in our recently launched Water & Irrigation Toolkit; however tonight was a most welcomed overview of the issue! Here’s the scoop from tonight’s discussion.

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