Fresh Facts Week 13: Thankful for the Future and the Present

By November 22, 2014Fresh Facts, Newsletter

Some of you know that I am our local chapter representative to the CCOF board. We had our 40th birthday last year which means California Certified Organic Farmers has been around representing organic farmers and leading the battle for the integrity of organic long before the USDA even thought about regulating it. I can tell you that no one cares more for the integrity of organic than the men and women literally at the grassroots of its production.

So, this last weekend, we started the process of writing the 2016–2020 strategic plan. Many of you, I’m sure, have been through similar exercises where your best and brightest associates spend a couple days in some remote, inspiring setting—in this case Pescadero—planning and visioning and wordsmithing the document that will guide the organization into the future. This proud plan is then reproduced and set up on the shelf next to the previous one where it regally collects dust. The visioning process however is good for the team whether the ultimate plan is ever reviewed or not.

One of the exercises the moderator had us do was imagining the world 100 years from now. After we got home, my mind took off on quite an expedition. CCOF membership is growing at a tremendous pace that if kept up for even 50 years will convert every farm in America. Right now, we call non-organic “conventional,” but if most farms were organic, wouldn’t they be conventional and non-organic become “synthetic”?

And if most everybody were organic, you wouldn’t need to certify the organic farms, just the synthetic ones… So what would a synthetic certification process look like anyhow?

Well, like organic, it would have to start with the soil. I think you would need to prove that your soil was completely lifeless with zero ability to sequester carbon. Next, the produce would need to be tested for spoilage. If it decayed in less than 3 months, you’d be decertified and denied the privilege of bearing the coveted SYN label.

Of course, there would have to be a physical audit where an unbiased third party would attest there were no crickets chirping or birds singing in your field; a big plus for the SYN label since both these species poop contamination on otherwise sterile food. SYN produce would also need to be nutritionally evaluated to assure the public it contained only hollow calories and distilled water. The whole thing could be supported by a SYN tax on this stuff to subsidize healthcare costs. I think I’m having too much fun with this so I’ll stop.


Easily my favorite day of the year; a major holiday totally devoted to gratitude. If you can, you might look up George Washington’s original Thanksgiving Proclamation in 1789.

An attitude of gratitude is so necessary for not only our mental well-being but also our physical and spiritual health as well. In fact, going through life ungratefully is the equivalent of smoking 2 packs a day; and while I greatly dislike smoke, I’d much rather hang out with grateful smokers than the ungrateful.

An attitude of gratitude is much more than counting our blessings—although that list is a great place to start. True gratitude comes from acknowledging how most of the listed are a flat out unearned gift. As your loved ones come together, make sure they each know how gratefully loved by you they are and always will be.

Author Uncle Vern

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