Friday, July 9, 2010

Veteran Farmers

In yesterday's LA Times food section was a story about returning Iraqi veterans finding work as farmers.

From Swords to Plowshares, Thursday, July 8, 2010

It was very inspiring. Colin Archipley owns Archi's Acres - a 200 acre former avocado farm in Escondido. He was a Marine who returned from Iraq in 2006. Michael O' Gorman is the executive director of Farmer Veteran Coalition, an organization in Davis that hosted a career fair.

Jason Rich, a Navy man returning from Afghanistan works with veterans. He said, "It's meditational in some ways. You get to shut down the noise in your life."

Then there's Hungry Mother Organics, in Carson City, NV. This "veteran-centric" farm has several veterans on staff. It turns out they've teamed with Whole Foods to sell their produce while taking Whole Food's scraps to create compost for the food they grow.

Matt McCue, an Iraqi vet, said, "Farmers have to save the world - that' our job." He's a partner at Shooting Star CSA in Fairfield, CA.

It's wonderful seeing food and gardening (farming) offered as an option to our returning veterans.

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