Written by Gail Taylor and Jennifer Ristau
On July 22nd, Gail Taylor, owner and operator of Three Part Harmony Farm (3PH) and Jennifer Ristau, a member of DC Fair Food, co-presented an informative talk to the thirteen Green Ambassadors Program interns at the Washington Youth Garden in D.C.
Taylor talked about how proud and fortunate she is as a small vegetable farmer to follow in the footsteps of organized farmworkers from the UFW to CIW. On a local level, 3PH offers the progressive, conscious, activist community a way to consume good food. By speaking to young folks who are engaged in learning about how plants are grown and where vegetables come from, Taylor and Ristau had an opportunity to teach them about an important aspect of the food system at large: who grows the food we eat? In other words: who feeds and sustains us every day? As someone who has been supportive of all of the CIW boycotts beginning with the “No Quiero Taco Bell” campaign, Taylor wanted to
start a farm, in part, so that she herself and those around her would not just have a list of places where they couldn’t eat, but would also have an alternative place to buy and support locally grown, healthy food. Says Taylor, “I hope the young folks were challenged to think more about the human beings that work so hard every day to make sure food ends up on our plates. And perhaps my model of becoming a small part of the local food system opens up their minds to the idea that we can make our own future by creating our own alternatives.”
In addition to Taylor’s talk about the creation of an anti-oppressive food system here in D.C., DC Fair Food representative,Ristau, spoke to the importance of solidarity with theCIW.
To learn more about the struggle of farmworkers in Immokalee, Florida the interns participated in a popular education production using a human pyramid to simulate the power dynamic between farmworkers, supervisors and those with the most political power in the agricultural industry when the CIW was forming – corporate supermarket owners. The simulation showed the high barriers to farmworker organizing and how the CIW’s Fair Food Program could change the tyrannical nature of the food industry. The participants discussed how and why the food system is unfair and also saw how recent immigrant farmworkers direct the movement to hold U.S. corporations accountable.
The workshop brought to light many important ways in which the organizing of Immokalee workers can be supported here in D.C. Particularly, with the current campaign to “Boot the Braids” boycott of fast food chain, Wendy’s; the last of the five large chain restaurants who have yet to sign the CIW’s Fair Food Program contract.
Three Part Harmony Farm produce is available through a Community Supported Agriculture (weekly subscription box) program, at Pansaari grocery store in Dupont Circle, and through a work exchange program at the farm. Contact gail for more info: gail at threepartharmonyfarm.com