Tuesday, June 20, 2017

You Can't Be Green Enough These Days

Helpful as their contributions are, the efforts of most established agricultural literacy organizations do not extend to encouraging young people to take up farming. Aside from the Future Farmers of America (which I've always seen as geared to keeping the kids down on the farm) and 4-H, organizations like National Agriculture in the Classroom and the American Farm Bureau Foundation seem to be geared toward PR for agribusiness. The mission of FoodCorps is somewhat better because it involves children in gardening and appreciating healthy, fresh food that they help to grow.

Though all those organizations raise agricultural literacy, none of their programs will prepare the next generation of adults for what they are about to face. For that, permaculture education must be emphasized. Big Ag will go away with deindustrialization. Folks are going to have to know how to provide for themselves without relying on lengthy, automated supply chains.

Since the public school system does not appear to recognize the need to prepare the young for a hardscrabble future, permaculture schools are doing what they can to make up for it. One program that is heavily youth oriented is John Liu's ecosystem restoration camps. Their proposition seems to be, 'come and help heal the land, and we will teach you some vitally useful things.' Those things include formal permaculture training.
By Eatswords

There are also children's programs teaching permaculture. If only the lower income schools adopt this curricula, wealth inequities will shift in favor of today's poor once the economy collapses into agrarianism. The good news is that there is a curriculum offered online that parents can take along with their children. Agricultural literacy must set a higher bar than just getting kids to realize that chocolate milk doesn't come straight from the cow's udder.

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