Why Patchwork Urban Farms?
"The industrial eater is, in fact, one who does not know that eating is an agricultural act, who no longer knows or imagines the connections between eating and the land, and who is therefore necessarily passive and uncritical — in short, a victim." --Wendell Berry
There is a severe disconnect between the land and our communities. We believe this is the root problem of our broken food and land management systems.
Although there are many examples of successful farm businesses, most small farms find it very difficult to achieve even moderate financial sustainability. One of the main factors involved with this phenomenon, is maldistribution of farm subsidies, and market prices that do not reflect Ecological and Social costs of production. Even Organic farmers are relegated to follow market demands at the expense of listening to the landscape.
Our broken politico-economic system has caused severe imbalances, where large percentages of people in Asheville are unable to access fresh food.
We believe that farming along with health care and education belong in a place where people are empowered to create these systems in the context of holistic values...not solely in the context of an economic system who's only values are profit and unlimited growth.
Out of this valueless economic system, we have an agriculture that does not listen to the landscape and instead employs extraction rather than partnership and regeneration.
Can we actually create a truly responsible food system, that creates sufficient yields to feed our city?
We believe that this will require a profound shift in the way we see our relationship with the land we live on and the food we eat. Without understanding that the landscape is in fact what flows through our bodies, we have come to a place where we allow land to be poisoned, washed away, degraded.... We've left land to remain unproductive, unimproved, and diminished in ecological diversity.... We've diverted fertility cycles to pollute our ground water and the ocean.
"In the loss of skill, we lose stewardship; in losing stewardship we lose fellowship; we become outcasts from the great neighborhood of Creation."
--Sir Albert Howard
By creating separation from the land--from ecological cycles--we've made systems that are imposed rather than embedded. Our food is not vibrant, it's lifeless. We've created a new form of malnourishment....metabolic syndrome - diabetes, obesity, heart disease.
We believe that TRUE ABUNDANCE is POSSIBLE. The question of whether we can feed ourselves, and take care of the land at the same time is clearly achievable from our perspective.
BUT we have a lot to do! And it all starts with looking to the land, and taking GOOD CARE.
We are working to create alternative structures that will support the growth of a village scale food and farming economy.