Blog : Jim Gerritsen, Renowned Organic Farmer, Speaks at Blue Moon Evolution
To say there was a buzz at Blue Moon Evolution Monday, February 13th would be an understatement. Walking into the restaurant was an experience in and of itself. The tables were wonderfully arranged with an assortment of delicious local cheese, bread, and fruit. Wine glasses were sparkling from the holiday lights that gleamed above. And of course, Jim Gerritsen, an organic farmer and president of the Organic Seed Growers and Trade Association, traveled all the way from Northern Maine to speak at the event. Jim was recently voted one of Utne Reader’s “25 Visionaries Who Are Changing Our World” and looked very excited to be in attendance.
Blue Moon Evolution, located in Exeter, New Hampshire started the event off with a kick. First everybody in the room introduced themselves including the Green Alliance Intern in attendance. After introductions, Kathy Gallant, Blue Moon Evolutions Owner, opened the night with inspiring words. Kathy mentioned that this event truly aided in helping individuals figure out where we are going and how we, as a society, can get there. Kathy closed her opening words with a beautiful poem by Mother Teresa called “Life is”. The poem certainly put in plain words that we have an enormous opportunity to make our future brighter and that it is up to us to go out and make that happen.
After Kathy’s talk the main course, chicken potpie, was served and did not disappoint. People conversed and made new friends; it was a real joy to see. After a little while, the moment everyone was waiting for took place. Jim Garritsen took the stage. Business owners to local writers to even child psychologists listened on to him as he opened his talk with a laugh.
The first topic Jim talked about was how flawed the farming industry has become. He mentioned that the amount of money farmers are getting from corporations and institutions is less than it takes to maintain the farm itself. Jim stated, “There is currently an institutional bias against farmers and unless we do something to change it, all hope is lost.” He also mentioned that in the near future farmers and consumers need to come together in alliance with one another and this way both can get better prices for their food. The middleman needs to be eliminated. Jim also brought up that everyone should think about having at least a small garden to grow lettuce, tomatoes, or whatever you’d like. And when you think about it, growing and enjoying a garden doesn’t sound like such a bad idea.
The second part of Jim’s speech talked primarily about agricultural giant Monsanto and the lawsuit filed against him by the Organic Seed Growers and Trade Association. Without being too technical, Jim said things look very bright in the fight against Monsanto. Monsanto is being accused of 4 separate accounts. For Jim and The Organic Seed Growers and Trade Association to win the case Monsanto needs to be found guilty for only one of the 4 accounts.
Last but not least, Jim explained how he believes that we are on the verge of great [positive] change. Responsibility needs to be taken and will be taken. His final words were that “we owe it to ourselves, but more importantly, to our kids, that we provide them all with fresh, local food for generations to come.”
The Food and Health Forum will be having their next guest speaker Pete Johnson of Pete’s Greens, at Blue Moon Evolution. This is a continuation of the “Food for Thought” series. The $70 registration fee includes a three-course meal with a glass of wine and the seminar. For information or to register go to www.foodandhealthforum.com, or register at Blue Moon Evolution located at 8 Clifford Street, Exeter, New Hampshire. For more information call 603-380-1080.