It is always enjoyable to be around a group of farmers and food lovers, not just because of the positive, can do attitude, but because of all the things that we learn and the opportunity for collusion when becoming an advocate.
When I went to hear Jeffrey Smith’s presentation, in Chico, about GMOs, I definitely got more than I bargained for, and with the City of Chico potentially purchasing an armored “tank,” one had to wonder what is going on, especially after Butte County farmer Joy Book, of Book Family Farms, got up and announced that “cow-shares” have been receiving “cease and desist” letters.
Why? A cow-share allows a private group of people to recieve subscriptions from a farmer for raw milk, kind of like what has been done for thousands of years, up until as recently as the 70’s, when the FDA made it illegal to sell “non-pasteurized milk.” Yes, Farmaggedon has come to the Central Valley, and if small producers that help supply the Bay Area with food come under attack from the USDA like Rawesome Foods did, what will become of such great restaurants like Bay Wolf, Incanto, and French Laundry, who rely on organic, sustainable farms or produce their own foods? Will local governments start going after Victory Gardens and personal gardens like Goergia’s DeKalb county did during “Cabbage-gate,” or more recently in the case of Julie Bass, of Oak Park, Michigan?
What will happen to the Guerilla Gardeners of SF, the students of CIA Greystone,or the Gleaners of Chico? It’s bad enough that real “creme fraiche” is illegal because it isn’t pastuerized, but to actually come in and destroy a farmer’s facilities, give them jail time and a criminal record is a bit much.
Which is why Joy wrote up this petition which will be presented to the City of Chico and Butte county, and is adaptible to any county, so that the rights to produce our own food and eat what we want will be assured, and not infringed upon by corporate conglomerates like Monsanto.
Here is the text of the petition to be placed on the Ballot, which is a step to ensure our Constitutional Rights as consumers to “promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our posterity,” because what is more intrinsic to our comfort and health than being able to control what and how we eat?
A Right to Grow Our Own Food
A Resolution of the County of Butte, California
WHEREAS as has been the case throughout the duration of our great country, the people of the County of Butte, for a multitude of reasons, have maintained and enjoyed the right to raise food for themselves and their families;
WHEREAS in our day and age there are many barriers to people raising their own food and livestock, including the land required for such activities, accessibility, time, knowledge, and skills;
WHEREAS as a part of that right, subject to reasonable zoning and land use laws, the people have and maintain the right to raise such food on their own land, and where desired, contract with others to rent sufficient land for the growing of that food, boarding their poultry and livestock and hiring services related to its care, maintenance, raising and harvesting where desired;
WHEREAS as a part of that right, the people have the right to own, and where they deem it convenient share ownership of such agricultural activities, livestock and other food producing animals for their own use, enjoyment and consumption;
WHEREAS no local, state or federal law bars any person raising their own food for the use of themselves and their families;
WHEREAS the California Constitution recognizes that “all political power is inherent in the people” (California Constitution Article II, Section 1); THEREFORE, be it resolved that the County of Butte supports, endorses and encourages the formal recognition of the right and freedom of people to raise their own food, including food derived from agricultural animals, for the enjoyment of themselves and their families, either by their own investment and labor or through the assistance of others through contractual arrangements.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the County of Butte supports the adoption of local, state, and federal laws that support and encourage the American People continuing the activities of raising food for themselves and their families.
APPROVED this ____ day of ______________, 2011
County of Butte, State of California.