First, we have learned to see that food is not a ghetto, it is a door. You can use food to talk about the environment. You can use food to talk about culture. You can use food to talk about politics. And people took a good hard look at how their food was being produced, and they didn’t like what they saw. They didn’t like the way chemicals were being used on apples, and they didn’t like the fact that we were feeding cows to cows. But what’s driving it now is not just fear but pleasure—people have found that food gives them a lot, it gives them things that they aren’t getting elsewhere in their lives.
“Know, also, that farming is tough. Some days, maybe most days, you’ll feel overwhelmed. When your crop of onions is failing and your tomatoes have blight and the weed pressure on your winter squash is mounting and you can’t stand the people you work with (or, worse, the people you work with can’t stand you) and your livelihood depends on this food, you’ll feel overwhelmed and even afraid. But you’ll also feel a fullness. Your life will feel different from how it would if you were a young person living in a city, working in an office, going to bars and restaurants. You’ll know what quiet is and you’ll be able to go outside at night and see darkness. Your body, at first weak from the winter or the suburbs, will reject your work. Then, after struggling, it will embrace it. You’ll eat good food. Eventually, you’ll ask: “How do I live well?” And we need you to answer that question. We desperately need you to.”