Words from the Agrarian Road Trip.

Here are some words from fellow trekkers on the Heaven on Earth Agrarian Road Trip.  Expected some updates from yours truly – about amazing farms and food related projects in the next few days.
– Bethel

Farm Gardens at Berea College in Berea, KY

We are five days into the Agrarian Road Trip. We slept all over the Wytheville Presbyterian Church and are just waking up. We are just northeast of Abingdon, Virginia and we’re about to drive a few hours into West Virginia to Mullens, where we’ll see their garden/farm operation and the rural development work they are doing at RAIL – the Rural Appalachian Improvement League. Time was just too tight, and we missed Rural Resources over in Greenville, Tenn., but we’ve seen so many varied and incredible models of rebuilding our food system from the ground up already. You can see and read about those at the Home base for the Heaven on Earth Agrarian Road Trip – http://presbyterian.typepad.com/foodandfaith/

We splurged last night! Stopped in Meadowview, VA at Barbara Kingsolver’s husband’s Harvest Table Restaurant. Stephen Hopp for dinner and it was amazingly good.

Below is the beginning of a blog post that Talitha Phillips and Laura Valencia wrote while driving from Asheville to Meadowview, as well as the ways you can follow the Road Trippers.

Peace!
We heard a presentation by Emily Drakage from the Association of Farmworker Opportunities Programs (AFOP) about the 400,000 recorded children working in conventional agriculture across the country. She showed us slides of children as young as six years old, mainly Latino/a, working with their parents in the fields. They are exposed to heat, poor sanitation, toxic pesticides, dangerous equipment, and long days which keep them out of school. Their career destination reaches no farther than to put cheap food on our tables.

It was a heartbreaking presentation that, for some of us, clarified our motivation for advocating nationwide agricultural reform. Up until this point, our team had approached agriculture from a mainly environmental standpoint, matching the problems of human impact on the earth with solutions in lifestyle changes and local agriculture. Over the course of meeting non-profit organization staff members, local farmers, representatives of education institutions and church communities, we have encountered varied attitudes to these problems, ranging from apocalyptically urgent to peacefully bucolic. But now looking at social issues as well has widened our view to see that not only the earth is suffering. Our sickened agricultural systems gravely affect both humus and humans.


How to follow the HEART?

Home base for the Heaven on Earth Agrarian Road Trip – http://presbyterian.typepad.com/foodandfaith/
The Food and Faith Blog will be where you can find HEART photos, posts, videos and interviews from the Road Trippers. June 13 – 26.

Follow HEART and find events along the way! http://www.eatwellguide.com/heart
The Eat Well Guide has donated their database of local food farms, farmers markets, restaurants and much more to create a Heaven on Earth map, event descriptions, and even a printable local foods and farms resource for each of the towns we’ll visit.

And “fan” the HEART facebook page – http://www.facebook.com/pages/Heaven-on-Earth-Agrarian-Road-Trip-to-the-US-Social-Forum/319457469910?ref=ts

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