I realize I need community support to be successful in farming. I have already received the help of Hawthorne Valley Farm’s farmers whose prep work on the fields has given me space to plant my first food crop of garlic. And when it is grown and needs to be harvested, I will need a place to dry it out, to process it and to store it before I sell it. The list goes on…What would be ideal for me and other beginning farmers would be if the community could start a food incubator program to help small food businesses like mine. At present there is no such vehicle to do so. Perhaps I will get involved with starting it. I ask myself, “What can we accomplish in our small town if we work together?”
Already there are signs of change. The residents of Philmont decided they weren’t going to give up on the town. They created a non-profit organization to help organize revitalization programs, starting a farmers market, helping small businesses with funding and grants, and partnering to create the forthcoming co-op. Main Street is the scene of a renaissance—storefronts have been fixed up and a new grocery store opened in the last few months. A food truck is now serving breakfast sandwiches and crepes, piquing the curiosity of people driving by to stop, eat and see what will soon be the site for the co-op.
I will for sure still be a cityiot for quite a while yet, but I am energized and inspired by what I see happening here, with strong elements of Steiner’s anthroposophy at work, and am determined to play an active role in helping create a 21st century version of a thriving small town.