Video: Stewarding the Land Is Essential

December 11, 2020

More than ever before, 2020 has brought home what is essential. Mitigating climate change is essential. Organic farming is essential. Supporting the next generation of farmers is essential. And you are essential. When you donate to CUESA, you are uplifting these essential community needs and ensuring that organic farmers can steward the land for a climate-wise future.

This month, we’re focusing on local food heroes who are essential to building the sustainable and equitable food future we all need. In this new video from CUESA, visit Lonely Mountain Farm, a lush and diversified 10-acre farm in Santa Cruz County, and meet first-generation organic farmers Molly and Kenny Baker and their three children, River, Ruby, and Uma.

Though neither came from a farming family, protecting their environment motivated Kenny and Molly to become farmers more than 10 years ago. “Agriculture just always came back as a central consumer of water and resources, and a good place to start to change the way we interact with our environment and world,” says Kenny.

In a record-breaking year of wildfire devastation throughout California, the urgency of addressing climate change has never felt more close to home. Agriculture has a vital role to play in reversing climate change. According to Project Drawdown, changing agriculture and land use is imperative to our climate solutions, and accounts for 8 out of their top 10 actions to take now. Regenerative farms like Lonely Mountain, which you support each time you donate to CUESA and shop at their stand, are part of the solution. 

A decade into farming, Kenny and Molly have built a loyal following for their organic vegetables, beans, and cut flowers, and the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market accounts for 65% of their income. When COVID hit, they saw their restaurant sales dry up overnight. “We were faced with uncertainty if people were going to buy our food, if they’re going to come out to the farmers market,” says Kenny.

But farmers are innovative and adaptable, and the Bakers adjusted their crop plan for home cooks. You showed up for them at the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market and supported them through the CUESA Farmers Market Box, so they could make it through this challenging season.

Climate change has not taken a break during the pandemic, and neither have our organic farmers. They need farmers markets-—and you—to keep up this critical work. In Kenny’s words, “You’re saying yes to a delicious tomato, but you’re also saying yes to my kids growing up with the land…and yes to clean water going into our ocean and pollinators that are going to thrive into the future.”


Keep the Next Generation of Climate-Wise Farms Thriving

Ensure that small, sustainable farmers like Molly and Kenny can steward the land for years to come, bringing delicious organic food to our tables while contributing to a better climate future for our children. Support next-generation organic farmers in 2021 and beyond by donating to CUESA today.

Video by Fox Nakai.

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