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Apr. 11, 2011

Small Farm Summit

by Carl Flatow

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I am thrilled to be part of the first Long Island Small Farm Summit which will take place this coming Friday, April 15.

My parents moved from NY City when I was 4 weeks old to a new housing development in adjacent Nassau County. Our brand new home was across the street from the remainder of Wenck’s Farm which had been subdivided with parcels sold off to build housing for the rapidly growing post WWII baby boomers. As I grew up I watched as more and more farmland was buried under asphalt and concrete. Although Long Island is geographically and geologically a great place for farming, being a short commute from Manhattan makes it also a great place to build suburban bedroom communities. Suburbia won that tug of war, big time.

Fast forward more than half a century. The aging population have heard the call to retain what it can of the green space that remains, and the message that locally grown food has manifold benefits, has been received.

But I have to admit I was not expecting to see a Long Island Small Farm initiative in my lifetime. When I met Joel Salatin on a visit to his farm several years ago, I could not have possibly imagined that he would ever be welcomed to Long Island to share the wisdom of his Polyface Farm in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley.

It’s good to celebrate where you can.

About Carl Flatow

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Science Friday.

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