Read the original article at ThriveMovement.com
As a Marine, I understand the challenges of adjusting back into civilian life after a tour. I had served my country proudly, and I wanted to continue to do so back home. This sense of honor and service, combined with my passion around healthy, natural local growing, led me to start Veterans to Farmers.
In the future, local foods and farming will become a necessity to sustain our population. But today, 85% of our produce comes from California or Mexico. This method of larger, long-distance growing of our produce creates enormous problems around water, energy consumption and resource management. Each state and region is going to have to look at becoming more like small countries in Europe in order to sustainably meet our food requirements within the bounds of our natural resources. But we have our work cut out for us.
For example, here in Colorado we grow within our state less that 2% of what we consume. Colorado, like many states, is a net importer of food, even though we have the sun and resources available to us to meet our own fresh food needs. Not long ago, Spain was in a similar situation when it decided to build greenhouses and start a new way of farming. Today, Spain is a net exporter of fresh vegetables to the rest of the European Union and reaps billions of dollars in benefit to Spain’s economy. Israel accomplished the same thing and in turn conserved its precious resources of water, land and energy. Through the use of greenhouse technology and hydroponics, these countries became exporters of fresh food all over the world. And so can we here in Colorado.
Our vision at Veterans to Farmers is to build these types of sustainable growing communities while at the same time training our service men and women in a new, rewarding, therapeutic, and wholesome way. We can do this not only with fresh food, but also with feedstocks for biofuel from other crops that we are researching. In this way, we can create true food and fuel security for our states in the future.
CPL USMC 89-93 Honorably Discharged