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Vermont and Massachusetts Organic Farmers 'Feed the Occupy Movement'

For related articles and more information, please visit OCA's Vermont News page, Massachussettes page, and our Organic Transitions page.
Feed the Movement is a group of farmers and food advocates from Vermont and Massachusetts who are working together to support the Occupy Movements in New York and Boston by sending them weekly shipments of as much as 500 pounds of farm produce. Many Vermont farms, including Cedar Circle Farm in East Thetford, have donated produce to feed the Occupiers.

Cat Buxton, education coordinator at Cedar Circle Farm, is beginning to organize farms in Orange and Windsor counties to participate in Feed the Movement. She expressed a desire both to support the Occupy Movement and to be sure that farmers' voices are heard.

Buxton wants to "get the message out there that big, industrial agriculture has created a food system that is not sustainable for the planet or the people that live on it. Small, sustainable farms are working to change that. We have a lot to say about how to move forward in a way that is more beneficial for the land and for people."

Feed the Movement began in mid-October and is largely coordinated in Vermont by Emily Curtis-Murphy of Fair Food Farm in East Calais. According to Curtis- Murphy, "The mission of Fair Food Farm is to make healthy food affordable to everybody. So, feeding the Occupation is a logical offshoot of that."

Curtis-Murphy tells of growing up in the Boston area where "everything we ate came from the supermarket. We never had a garden." She noted that "If I heard something on the radio about the Farm Bill, I thought it had nothing to do with me, but it does. It has to do with everyone's health and with rural economies."

The Farm Bill will be rewritten in 2012 and it is Curtis- Murphy's hope that sending healthy food to the social activists in Boston and New York will "bring food issues to the Occupy Movement and emphasize that farmers' issues are everybody's issues."

Buxton added that "having a broken food system makes it really difficult for the average person to stay healthy. As farmers, it is our mission to grow great food, great soil, and healthy communities. We are a business, but we don't put our profits before people and the planet." 

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