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No Farms No Slogans

For years, I’ve seen the No Farms No Food bumper sticker, and wondered what the message was trying to get at. Sure, we need farmers to grow ingredients for food, but that’s such a general need, it’s difficult to get worked up about. Food is good, but it’s when I picture particular foods that I feel motivated. So, I propose the following alternative message: No Farms No Pizza. All of a sudden, I feel a great deal more enthusiastic about farming.

no farms no pizza

But, let’s be honest about this. Farming isn’t itself at risk as much as farming culture is. You know the image. A farmer’s family has worked the land for generations, and has become part of a local culture of people who all know each other, and meet each other in the parking lot of the local family restaurant, wearing plaid, with a knowing look and a kind of drawl that comes from being steeped in an isolated linguistic tradition. No Farms No Twang.

no farms no twang

Of course, we know the truth is that those kind of farmers are in the minority now. Most farmers these days run big corporate operations, and spend most of their time managing spreadsheets in an office rather than running tractors over the dusty ground. Most people with twangy accents live in cities now. So, what’s farming all about, then? It’s about putting fuel in the tanks of urban twangers’ SUVs. Increasing numbers of farmers aren’t growing crops for food at all. No Farms No Ethanol.

no farms no ethanol

What can we do in the face of powerful corporate agricultural interests? We can become activists, defending out national food heritage, and protesting GMOs, and gluten in our salads, and drone warfare in Somalia, and depictions of the baby Jesus in the local art museum, and the imprisonment of Mumia Abu Jamal. If you aren’t planting beans, you aren’t paying attention! No Farms No Peace!

no farms no peace

That’s where we come full circle back to food. America, it’s time to give a shuck. Give peas a chance. No Farms No Peas. It’s a self-evident truth. It’s an ultimatum.

no farms no peas

5 comments to No Farms No Slogans

  • Bill

    F.G., I love “No Farms, No Pizza.” You could make a living in advertising, man.

    The only addition I can think to make would be “No Farms, No Republican Electoral College Votes.”

    • F.G. Fitzer

      Aw, shucks, Bill. That’s mighty kinda ya.

      Looking to integrate your idea in a typographically realistic way, do you think “No Farms No Red States” would work?

  • No Farmville No Fake Radishes!

  • Bill

    While I certainly wouldn’t call myself a ‘farmer’ (having too much respect for what goes into that), nonetheless I do live on a farm. My youngest ran kicking and screaming from the country life at the first available opportunity and is now what I would have to call something of an Extreme Metrosexual…that boy loves him some city life. So we get into good-natured disputes about country living on a fairly regular basis. He maintains that country living is economically and ecologically irresponsible: providing public services to a widely dispersed low-density population is ruinously expensive (this from a kid who has yet to pay his first dollar of income tax); the heavy dependence on private automobiles it pretty much necessitates leads to huge carbon footprints (never mind that I can mathematically prove that my well-husbanded pastures and woodlands sequester far more CO2 than my diesel Jetta produces, and our net-metered photovoltaics are doing their bit to help power his city); and our livestock pollute the surface waters (he’s never gotten his Gucci loafers close enough to our manure composting site to realize there is zero run-off from our operation).

    Anyway, I mention this only to justify the following:

    No farms, no foodies.
    No farms, no fabada.
    No farms, no foccacia.
    No farms, no falafel.

    And, since he does love to use my rifle range when he’s here:
    No farms, no firing lines.

    But then, on the other hand, since you can’t swing a dead cat without hitting an evangelical around these parts:
    No farms, no fundamentalists.

  • J Clifford

    No farms, no filial disputes.

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