Featured Letter: A newfound respect for farmers

To the editor:

Thanks for posting the notice about the sustainable practices event organized by Peconic Green Growth. I managed to fit three farm tours into the day. As a result of my visits, I have a renewed respect for the farming community and, in particular, the role they play on the North Fork.

One thing I found impressive was the importance of family on each farm visited; children were either integral to each tour or stories were told about how they, as children, learned farming from their parents. Some of the eco-friendly approaches shown were impressive and included: actively managed composting, chemical-free ways of sterilizing greenhouse soil, and mitigating the growth of invasive plants with sheep.

From a behind-the-scenes tour, it became apparent that farmers are more likely to spend money on repairing equipment or paying workers’ wages than they are to spend it on chemicals. Some farmers might not show the same stewardship, so I would advise caution in bundling them all together. Farmers that respect their land deserve our respect and we should be their advocates.

Chris McGlinchey, Jamaica, Queens