North River Farms

Labor Issues

Project House

Food Relevance

North River Farms

 

As a long-time advocate for the sustainability of an evolving agricultural economy, I realize that success often starts right here in my own back yard. San Diego County is home to the largest number of small farms with 65% being less then 10 acres. Challenges in terms of globalization, resources, labor and invasive species have made it challenging to sustain operations both large and small.

North River Farms - an inspirational food-centric mixed use development - models to engage, inspire and share the importance of agriculture, where our food comes from and an understanding of its importance in society and our daily lives.

Creating an urban - rural gateway connection, this agricultural food-hub brings residents and visitors together, connecting the farm to table concept.

As a catalyst it has the ability to provide access to agriculture in a way that is accessible, usable, tangible and educational; serving to promote this dynamic region, the people and the economy.

Commentary by Luawanna Hallstrom

Behind Farm to Table - The Labor of Farming

Video (1:16:18) - November 15, 2017 - Specific topic times:

  • 3:10  Trends and the collapse of agriculture
  • 35:10  Challenges of farming and regulation
  • 1:01:30  What is local?
  • 1:10:40  North River Farms:
    Re-Imagining agriculture -
    making connections visible

Labor Issues

 

Huffington Post Article - August 25, 2016

 

U.S. Farmers Risk Losing Everything Because of Absurd Immigration Procedures

Crops are rotting in the field while farmers wait and wait — and wait — for help to arrive.

. . . But the lack of progress doesn’t mean the industry has to start from scratch to arrive at a solution, said Luawanna Hallstrom, an agriculture consultant who previously served as president of the National Council of Agricultural Employers and has worked with a number of national and state organizations.

She’s hopeful that a fix is on the horizon — and it may not be as complex as it might initially seem.

“People are working with this old horse because it’s all they’ve got,” Hallstrom said. “It can be a good program if we could reformulate it and figure out how to make it work.”

Link to full article at Huffington Post click HERE.

 

 

 

 

Photo by Mike Blake (Reuters)

Farmworkers pick strawberries
in the early morning fog on a farm
in Rancho Santa Fe, California.

Project House

 

Housing is a fundamental need we all have, whether it is temporary or permanent. Having a safe, clean and secure place to rest our heads, nourish and care for ourselves is vital to both physical and mental health.

 

Project House was inspired by many years of witnessing issues surrounding Farm Worker Housing. My personal experience with the task of identifying available housing concepts and developing a successful housing project brought me face to face with the challenges.

 

The history, creative forms, capacity for community acceptance and benefits of housing are important to understand if you are considering a housing project. Identifying the array of possibilities as well as challenges faced by those committed to finding a way may be helpful in your quest.

 

It is my hope that this information will help bring more awareness to all stakeholders and provide collaboration for future successes. The creative efforts developed by many across the Country may find there way to those who are searching for ideas.

 

There are many ways to slice the cake. This material will share concepts previously considered and applied to develop farm worker housing in a safe and economically viable way.

 

Agriculture’s housing needs vary on size of operation, location and type of work force needed and duration of that workforce both seasonal and year round.

 

In the end this is not intended to be the only resource you will need but should get you started in the right direction and asking the right questions.

Commentary by Luawanna Hallstrom

Food Relevance

 

It would seem that our foods relevance has no limits. Since the beginning of time our ability to feed ourselves has been responsible for the rise and fall of civilizations far and wide. At the most basic level it drives at the vary core of our existence.

 

Man has strived to provide and has done such a remarkable job that most no longer wake each day to ponder how they will feed themselves or who will provide the food that presents itself through the course of the day.

 

In fact most have become so disconnected with their food source that if asked where their food actually came from, most would likely not be able to answer. Well at least they may not be able to tell you the origin of that food product and chances are you might get an answer like the local grocery, restaurant, club outlet and perhaps a farmers market.

 

If one was asked about what products might be available seasonally you might find a rather confused answer because in today’s world we have become accustomed to having a cornucopia of variety year round allowing us to keep our culinary repertoire fresh and or buy just what the doctor or family ordered.

 

However disconnected from our food source, many are now finding interest in reconnecting with the relevance food plays in their day-to-day life. This renewed interest has spurred much food for fodder if you will. Not only where is my food coming from but how is it grown, why and by whom. This growing interest has fostered much media, local activity, books, movies and has energized what I like to refer to as Food Relevance, a new coming of age for this provocative aspect of who we are and how we live.

 

Commentary by Luawanna Hallstrom