by Slow Food USA blog editor, Jerusha Klemperer
Last week, New York magazine–the augurer of trends in these five boroughs–declared the era of the “starmer,” farmers worshipped by their city-dwelling consumers (that’s co-producer to you), subject to fawning and drooling and whatever else people do when they spot a member of the cast of “Gossip Girl” walking down the sidewalk.
Is this a good thing or a bad thing? The sustainable food movement has been called a fad or trend by some, and does the farmer as celebrity just reinforce that fickle cultural shape-shifting? Although I may question the psychological health of worshiping any person or group of people, I say, BRING IT ON. I relish the idea of people treating farmers well, taking an interest in their work, and waiting outside their food co-op for deliveries like Jonas Brothers fans outside the stage door. Besides, many believe that the sustainable food movement has staying power. Click here for Daivd Bollier’s piece saying just that.
Most interesting to me about this article, however, was farmer Amy Hepworth’s discussion of why she enjoys her city-dwelling consumer base:
Hepworth’s current crusade, energy savings, has kindled an appreciation for the environmental benefits of city life. She’s proud to grow for a neighborhood whose residents live stacked in elevator buildings and dominoed in brownstones. “I’m dedicated to feeding you people because you don’t have land yourself, but you’re an efficient organism,” she told us that night at the Coop.
The way that cities and farms interact is and will continue be an important part of the equation as we move forward. Consider the NY Times’ recent coverage of MyFarm and urban farming. I think the words of Amy Hepworth and the work of businesses like MyFarm (and let’s not forget the fact that Slow Food NYC is one of the biggest chapters of Slow Food USA) highlight the passion that city folk have for farms and for farming.