Friday, July 14, 2006

Ted answers, "Why Camden?"

When folks hear about Farm Aid’s annual benefit concert, they typically imagine we’re doing our concert and farmer gathering in a remote rural area where only farmers are likely to attend. Fact is, that’s just not true. Last year we did our show in Chicago, the year before that it was Seattle. Hardly rural settings.

This year, we’ll take our big concert to Camden, New Jersey at the Tweeter Center on the Waterfront. It’s right on the banks of the Delaware River. It’s somewhat bucolic, but definitely not rural, and I’ll guarantee you’re not going to see dairy cows grazing in green pastures on the side of the road as you head for the show. But it is a great spot to hear live music, and there’s a magnificent view of the Philadelphia skyline right across the river, too.

More important to Farm Aid and it’s work, this urban setting opens the door between the people who grow our food and the people who eat it. That’s all of us, right?

In cities, with our big supermarkets and fast food restaurants, it’s easy to forget that a farmer somewhere grew the food we are buying and eating. Most of us are hoping that our food is fresh, healthful and grown with care for the environment. Given the way most of us buy our food, it’s hard to figure out whether or not that’s true. It’s a lot easier to be sure when we buy directly from farmers, and the great thing today is that it’s easier and easier to do just that. There are farmers markets popping up in cities all over the country and there are subscription programs called CSA’s that make it easier to get good food directly from farmers. Many stores are carrying organic foods now, too. And that helps.

At Farm Aid this year, we’ll be spotlighting the great strides being made in the Delaware River Valley to build this exciting new food system that gives us the kind of food we want. We’ll also be talking about some of the challenges urban areas face in getting access to good food. By addressing these concerns together in Camden in September, we’ll take another step forward for the Good Food Movement.

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