Neighborhood modifying: At what worth? The meals in your desk is in disaster.

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M. Eleanor McGrath Editorial Committee of the Standard Freeholder Community Handout / Cornwall Standard Freeholder / Postmedia Network Handout / Cornwall Standard Freeholder / Postmedia Network Delivered

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Recent global headlines are grabbing the attention of even the best scrolling teenagers on Reddit and BuzzFeed, including CNN’s “The Earth is Warming Up Faster Than Previous Thoughts, Scientists Say, and the Window is Closing to Avoid Catastrophic Consequences”.

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And on site is it the ongoing public battle between voluntary conservationists and a politician-led board of the nature conservation authority of the Raisin Region over a campsite or a nesting site? And that is the core of all our problems – is this the world for Mother Nature or for humanity – or can it apply to both?

Downtown Toronto has a gentrified neighborhood that’s been around for so long that most Toronto residents don’t resemble the low-income housing of the early 1970s, but rather the now tony, trendy, and millionaire expensive Cabbagetown.

I remember my mother worrying as a child about where the poor would go if all of their homes were bought up by the rich, and that question remains a problem in our overpriced city where social services, housing and health care are available for the The latest development of condominiums, which further densifies our streets in the city, is being marginalized.

But Cabbagetown was once home to the first wave of Irish immigrants who survived the Great Famine in Ireland, a treacherous voyage on the bottom of “coffin ships” across the Atlantic in 1847. Cabbagetown got its name for the small plots of vegetables produced by was grown by the Irish in the neighborhood to support their families and supplement the meager wages on the jobs they were allowed to work.

A hand drawn sketch of the layout of Allen Dimmicks vineyards and lavender fields in France.  Dimmick was McGrath's great-grandfather.  Handout / Cornwall Standard Freeholder / Postmedia Network A hand drawn sketch of the layout of Allen Dimmicks vineyards and lavender fields in France. Dimmick was McGrath’s great-grandfather. Handout / Cornwall Standard Freeholder / Postmedia Network Delivered

Food is the necessity of life. And I would add the inspiration for anything creative. When we started rethinking our plan for farming here at Apple Hill in 2017, it was copies of my great-grandfather’s hand-drawn layout over his vineyards and lavender fields in the hills of France that made me want to follow in his footsteps.

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The sketch with its labels seemed majestic but achievable and although we knew from experience that growing grapevines was not for the carefree, there were hills that made the perfect terrain for our orchard. And every year I collect apples along our windbreak that follows the Beaudette River and keep the seeds. In some years there are over 100 small saplings and in others only 40, but now over 20 trees are being transplanted on the hill alongside organic bulmer cider and other named fruit tree species. The work has begun that only our grandchildren will really know.

A tree is a life’s work. Agriculture is lifelong learning. What didn’t work last year might work this year, might not work, or will stop working depending on so many variables from health, wealth, and nature – and often none of them are within the farmer’s control.

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When our environmental crisis hits the headlines, there are often many causes, but it inevitably ends up on the farmer’s doorstep. However, this isn’t a sketch where an eraser can just rub out one line and then quickly draw another. It is up to politics and consumers to incorporate this simple concept into their understanding of agriculture.

When you eat, you should thank a farmer. But most people still think of farming as the job drawn like an idyllic picture on the wall of an art gallery, and I would go on to argue that many consumers and politicians are still torn over the heavy equipment, behind which they are on the country roads, to reconcile with the red barn, horse plows of the 19th century.

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We need a marketing plan to educate consumers about the cost of a tractor and not even a large tractor, the cost of an acre of farmland that has tipped over $ 100,000 in parts of our province, the cost of seeds, feed and fuel, Work and this is the reality for most establishments.

We need to learn quickly that banks hold large mortgages and lines of credit on many farms that would require nerves of steel for most consumers to even close one eye to sleep at night. We have asked too much of our farmers to take on the burden of our demand for cheap food at the expense of their livelihoods and where will that end? A new CO2 tax?

Mcgrath's floor plan of her farm in Apple Hill, inspired by her great-grandfather's hand-drawn floor plan of his vineyards and lavender fields in France.  Handout / Cornwall Standard Freeholder / Postmedia Network Mcgrath’s floor plan of her farm in Apple Hill, inspired by her great-grandfather’s hand-drawn floor plan of his vineyards and lavender fields in France. Handout / Cornwall Standard Freeholder / Postmedia Network Delivered

Why is this still being offered by our politicians as a solution for the environment when the reality is that farmers make food, not tractors? especially for companies of all sizes. As a consumer, you DEMAND to pay the price of food that is equal to the cost of planting a seed in that soil and caring for it until the carrot grows on your table.

Strolling the stalls at St. Lawrence Market in Toronto or the college campus in Cornwall on Saturdays will give you the chance to speak to a farmer and help produce food in Ontario.

When the consumer strolls through the aisles at Walmart, they benefit from mass production, from food from far-flung farms, and yet there is no farmer to educate consumers about how difficult it was to get their products on the table because he does faced labor shortages, logistical nightmares and drought forcing a drastic rethink of why they farm in the first place.

It is time for the consumer to educate themselves and work with the farmer on solutions to the global problem of coexistence with Mother Nature. We all need to think of the world’s great-grandchildren, and today’s politician needs to know that you care about him.

Stop pitting farmers and farming practices against each other, we need solutions – solutions that put our world first without sacrificing the people who put our food on the table.

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