On Sunday the 28th, the Garden Cycles Bike Tour presented at the Student Trade Justice Campaign Fall Summit at Friends of the Earth in Washington, D.C. There were twenty or so students from around the country that came together for a weekend to strategize around equitable trade, and this year the focus was on the Farm Bill and shifting towards local foods on campuses.
We thought this made a lot of sense! With all the work students do year after year to protest free trade agreements and push big multinational chains to be accountable, why not focus on something as local as where your food comes from? Maybe students won’t stop eating bananas from Central America anytime soon, but understanding the connections between policy and consumption – between local farmers here and local farmers there – is an important and attainable first step.
Our contribution was to simply relay the stories of the farms and gardens we visited on our journey. Several students were very interested when we talked about the Slow the Plow garden at Middlebury College. We presented information and links about various Farm to College initiatives as well as our ideas about “the new American farmer”. Afterward we had a good discussion and could see the gears turning as students started to strategize.