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Ag High

October 27, 2008

Listening to public radio, I heard a great report about Chicago High School for Agricultural Sciences that is a working farm as well as being a high school. Here’s the link to hear the report.

What I loved about this place is that it seems like such a great way to teach young people about the connection between the land and our lives. Many people think food just comes from the grocery store. At this high school, kids are learning where food comes from and how they can have a real connection to what they grow. I loved how they sell much of what they grow at the farmers market and two of the students are planning to go into business for themselves, selling products made from what they grow.

My favorite quote from the report: Some students confide that friends in their urban neighborhoods mock them as “farmers.” Those friends don’t understand farming as a modern, scientific and cosmopolitan enterprise that teaches improvisation and persistence.

Reports like this one give me hope. I think our food system, and our system of consumption, is broken. It seems to me that more and more people are rediscovering the joy of eating what they grow. I think more people are narrowing their focus. Instead of looking for the exotic and rare that comes from ‘away’ they are learning the joy of local. Our local food, our local products, our local culture, and our local everything does have value. There is wonderful variety right here at home, you just have to look.

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