Sunday Photo – Forever Farmland

Fields at Hand Melon Farm in Easton, N.Y.

Fields at Hand Melon Farm in Easton, N.Y.

This blog is mostly about food. I love good food. It is one of life’s greatest pleasures, a source of health and something that tends to bind people together. To have good food, though, we require good product and good product requires the people and resources to come up with it. For most of our food, the product comes from farms. The problem is, however, that farmland, especially farmland using sustainable methods of production that are designed to maximize the flavor and healthful aspects of that food, is shrinking. It is very difficult to have good food without good farms and farmers. Fortunately, there are people who are doing something about that. One such organization in my neck of the woods, so to speak, is the Agricultural Stewardship Association of Washington and Rensselaer counties in upstate New York. At the ASA, the job is to help conserve present farmland to keep it that way for the foreseeable future. They help farmers who want to keep their land as farmland and help potential farmers to secure good, arable land at reasonable cost by creating easements designating those lands as farmland in perpetuity.

I am fortunate to live in an area with a multitude of wonderful, small, family farms. They provide me and my family with plenty of choice of quality product. Through the work of people like Teri Ptacek and the staff of the Agricultural Stewardship as well as other groups, I hope to be able to say that for a long, long time.

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