“And piracy? To my view the gold in them that ships is “relevance”. We commoners are not to have it, let alone understand it. It belongs to the marketplace, to the patent holders, it’s the secret behind their control, power and wealth. As farmers, when we deign to ignore the “rules” the marketplace puts upon us we steal their relevance We use their seeds without permission and royalty fee, we squeeze eggs out of unregistered chickens without an ounce of quota allowance, we milk our sweet cows without so much as a howdy doo. For these crimes and more, the marketplace would label us pirates. So be it.”
There are four urban farms currently part of the Farmer Pirates. Together the farms lease or own more then ten acres of land on the East Side of Buffalo. Each farm is unique, however one thing we have in common, and perhaps what makes us Pirates is that we grow food for ourselves. While each of us grows and sells our surplus the greater emphasis is on resilience and self-reliance.
Growing food in the city is often cited for its potential economic benefit. Whether or not urban farming is an economically viable profession, let alone holding the potential for economic development, the real value growing food in the city is the potential to improve quality of life and strengthen communities. Lynn Miller of Small Farmer’s Journal, who originated the term “Farmer Pirates”, again,
“The two greatest environmental challenges today are related. They are poverty and the decay of community. Addressing these two issues goes to the core of small farm, organic, land reform, and ecology concerns.”
If you operate an urban farm or larger scale garden in the city, or if you are planning to start one consider joining the Farmer Pirates.