Where Nash Huber grew up in the Midwest, he witnessed the rapid decline of a people-centered agricultural economy. Pressures from a globalized economy, industrial agriculture, and a commodified food system meant that family farmers - including Huber's own father - had to sell up the farm and take up paid work in order to get by.
So when Huber moved as far away as he could, to Washington State, he was delighted to see some remnants of small-scale family farming still surviving. Here too, however, the challenges of the modern industrial food complex were making themselves felt.
With $20 to his name, Huber began farming vacant garden lots in the town of Dungeoness that weren't being used - keeping bees, growing produce, and selling what he could at local farmers' markets. And as we've seen before, backyard farming can mean real income for hard working entrepreneurial types. But vacant lots you don't own can't maintain a farming operation forever - at some point you need long-term stability to make investing in the land worthwhile.
Huber partnered with began partnering with PCC Farmland Trust to buy and protect farmland in his region. Through his business Nash's Organic Produce, he now manages over 400 acres organically in the Dungeoness River Delta, of which Nash's Organic Produce owns only 5%, the rest being held under a long term lease. He was designated Steward of the Year 2008 by the American Farmland Trust.
Huber sat down with Peak Moment TV to explain more, and to try to talk above the chainsaws...