For the second year in a row I am participating in a photography exhibit at the annual conference of the Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture. The photographic theme for this year is Loving your Mother: Farming as if the Earth Matters, 2009.. Throughout the 2008 growing season I made portraits of my harvest. These are all seed grown, 100% organic produce photographed within minutes of being picked from the garden.

"The time is past to think of this as a hobby for enthusiasts; it is a fundamental part of human life."

Those words were written 30 years ago by Christopher Alexander in his book A Pattern Language in the chapter on vegetable gardening, and they echo my own reasons for growing organic vegetables at home, from seed. Alexander warned of the disconnection that people have from their food sources, and the resulting insecurities and imbalances that follow. I firmly believe that we are now almost past the point of no return for most of American society in the loss of connection to the soil and our food sources. We make ourselves feel warm and fuzzy by buying organic foods at the Supermarket, and yet we have no idea where these foods were grown or how they were processed and packaged.

It is only by growing at least some of our own foods in soils that we have dug and prepared with our own hands, and in sharing that produce with our friends and neighbors, can we truly get back to the fundamental organic security that we all need as humans. It is this philosophy that prompted me to join PASA, and for the 2009 season I have now joined a local Community Supported Agriculture program at Pennypack Farm in Horsham , Pa. My goal is to consume only produce from my own garden or from the CSA during the entire 2009 growing season, as well as harvest as much produce as I can for storage into the Fall & Winter.

PASA Mission Statement...

Promoting profitable farms which produce healthy food for all people while respecting the natural environment.

PASA works to increase the number of farms and the economic viability of existing farms in Pennsylvania through farm-based educational programs, organizing an annual conference, publishing a quarterly newsletter, networking to build markets for local and sustainably produced food, providing educational programs and opportunities for new farmers, and providing information and education on farmer-developed value-added products.

PASA works to provide healthy food for people in both rural and urban locations. PASA increases consumer awareness about health and safe food through advocating, educating, and networking with hunger and food advocacy groups throughout the state.

PASA creates a thriving natural environment by promoting and providing educational programs about sustainable agricultural practices, building coalitions with environmental and statewide organizations, and promoting policies that support a positive relationship between agriculture and the natural environment.

Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture

Pennypack Farm

Where I get my Seeds
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