This is a flower centerpiece I just finished making using locally grown flowers and a locally grown pumpkin. Thanks to my local farmers for making this possible.
Last year at this time, I posted a column I had written about Farm City Week, which is always the week before Thanksgiving. This year it runs from November 21 through November 27. Its purpose is to foster a stronger relationship between the urban and the rural and to highlight the interdependence of those who produce our agricultural products and those who consume them.
It was started by the National Farm-City Council and promoted nationally by the American Farm Bureau who encourage all Americans to recognize farmers, ranchers, and all those who contribute to the strength of America's agricultural industry.
As I mentioned in my column about Farm-City Week, remember, Thanksgiving would not be possible as we know it, if it were not for our farmers and ranchers. And, I ask that you look at the products you eat, consume, and use each day keeping these things in mind:
Did you know that the state of California produces more than 50 percent of the nation’s fresh fruit, vegetables and nuts? That it does this using just 3 percent of the nation’s farmland? That California farmers and ranchers produce nearly $30 billion a year and support more than 1.1 million jobs?
That California is the top agricultural state, a position it’s held for more than 50 years?
What about the people who grow your food, fiber and flowers? It might surprise you to know that California is still dominated by family and small farms. Approximately 97 percent of California farms are run as family farms or partnerships.
Maybe you think that because you live in the South Bay, you are so far removed from agriculture that it doesn’t affect you. Have you ever stopped to count the number of times during the day that agriculture touches your life? From the time you crawl out of the cotton sheets on your bed in the morning to the time you brush your teeth at night, agriculture is there.
If you use products like paper, shampoo, crayons, buttons and shoes, then you are affected by agriculture. As you sit down at the table this Thanksgiving and give thanks for all of the good in your life, take the opportunity to thank our farmers.
Remember that agriculture is part of our lives, so we must help to protect it. You can make a difference by asking where your food is grown, who grew it, and when and how it was grown. Shop at your local farmers market; look for “Buy Local” campaigns at your local market, showing that the food was made in California.
Take your children to petting zoos, pumpkin patches, Christmas tree farms, “u-pick” orchards and farms, and teach them where their food comes from. Initiate a farm day at your school, or invite a farmer to talk at your school or community organization.