I read Mark Bittman's post on the Opinionator blog at The New York Times today and enjoyed his positive take on the changes in our "food landscape," as he called it. Among them: "farming is becoming hip," with more and younger farmers trying their hand at making a living growing food for people. Although he acknowledges that the average age of the US farmer is 57, there's a trend toward young people who didn't grow up farming taking to the land and blending entrepreneurship with plain old dirty hard work.
And he mentions that "real food is spreading," with urban agriculture increasing, and the number of farmers markets topping 6,000 - a 250 percent increase from 2004. Pretty cool stat! Combine these with the increased awareness of greenwashing, the growing of a food movement on a political level, changes in school lunch and an acknowledgement of the issue of what our kids eat at school, and I daresay things are starting to look a bit rosy. All great news for small-scale farmers. More people who care about the quality of the food they eat and where it comes from means more viability for farms.