Santa Cruz Good Times

Sunday
Apr 19th
Text size
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

The Gaiety of Farming

blog_slug1UCSC farm presents 2nd annual Queer Farmer Field Day on June 19
With the raucous annual Pride Parade just around the corner in San Francisco, UC Santa Cruz queer students are preparing for a very different celebration: the 2nd annual Queer Farmer Field Day. Because while risqué costume parades and inebriated dance parties are all good and well, the Queer Farmer Field Day celebrates community in quite a different way.

The event, which will take place this Saturday, June 19, is a fun summer day spent on the UCSC farm and is free and open to everyone: queer identifying individuals, queer allies, farmers, city folks, families and children. Combining issues of social justice with issues of food justice, the event celebrates the intersection of the organic, sustainable farming and gardening community with the queer community. “It’s the summer,” says event organizer Maggie Cheney. “It’s a fun event, bringing people together and sharing ideas and sharing communities and networks.”

Festivities begin at 2 p.m. and end at 9 p.m. Between 2 and 5 p.m., staff and apprentices of the farm will give tours around the lush 25-acre farm, which interested participants will learn how to work. Throughout the day, Santa Cruz locals and residents of the Bay Area will be holding various workshops on skills from beekeeping and pickling, to kraut making and canning strawberry jam—sure to leave you feeling like a true DIY rugged pioneer from back in the day. For those feeling inspired, a UCSC professor will set up a booth and hold workshops on creative writing and poetry, which can be shared at the potluck dinner at 6 p.m., in which staff members will be contributing a dish made of fresh ingredients harvested from the farm.

blog_slug2After dinner, the event hopes to shine some light on these issues with the screening of a few short films. “Queer Farmer,“ a short documentary by Bay Area filmmaker Jonah Mossberg, is a collection of interviews of queer farmers from both urban and rural farms throughout the country. Another film, “Ladies of the Land,” features female farmers and discusses gender issues in agriculture.

It was these very issues that inspired the idea for the Queer Farmer Field Day. Now in its second year, the event was conceived after a panel of female farmers from the region paid a visit to the farm to discuss the issues and experiences of being a female farmer. Cheney, who was present at the discussion and curious about other underrepresented minorities in agriculture, asked about the experiences of gay and lesbian farmers in the area. “And then the whole panel was silent,” she says, “because no one had. And to me that was a problem because I know a lot of people who are queer and who are trying to farm and there’s just that disconnect. And there’s a whole group of farmers out there that don’t even know that there’s anyone gay trying to farm.”

Rainbow Chard Alliance (RCA), one of the organizations sponsoring the event, is a group of sustainable and organic queer farmers from the Bay Area, working to include queer identifying individuals into the definition of family farms. Other sponsors include The Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food System (CASFS), a program at UCSC dedicated to educating and promoting sustainability and food justice, and UCSC’s Cantu Queer Center, a supportive learning environment for queer individuals of UCSC.

Ultimately, Cheney hopes this event will be an educational experience for those new to the farm and sustainable agriculture. “If we are talking about local food and the sustainable agriculture movement,” she says, “you’ve got to include everyone. You’ve got to cross different boundaries of identities and groups of people.”

Comments (0)Add Comment

Write comment
smaller | bigger

busy
 

Share this on your social networks

Bookmark and Share

Share this

Bookmark and Share

 

Smells Like Team Spirit

The organizers of TEDx Santa Cruz don’t just talk about this year’s theme, ‘radical collaboration’—they live it

 

Pluto Retrograde, Aries New Moon, Lyrid Meteor Showers

As the Lyrid meteors, radiating from the star Vega in the Harp constellation, begin showering heaven and earth with light, Pluto, planet of transformation (or die) turns stationary retrograde (Thursday, April 16), 15 degrees Capricorn. Retrogrades have purpose, allowing humanity time to review, reassess, research and reinvent while returning to previous situations. Retrogrades are times of inner activity, seeds sown in bio-dynamically prepared soil. Pluto retrograde is the most serious and resolute of retrogrades—a pure tincture, or, as in homeopathy, a “constitutional” touching the essences of all that matters. Pluto offers deep insight into confusion or puzzlement and areas where transformation is still incomplete. It’s valuable to have one’s astrology chart to follow what area of life the major planets— especially Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto—are influencing. These outer planets have long-term and lasting effects on our psyche, inner/outer life events, how people see us and how we see and process our world. Pluto, retrograde for five months (until Sept. 24) offers deep earthquakes of change, awakens humanity to the task of building (Capricorn) the new culture and civilization, flailing our inner world about, deepening us until we transform and do things differently. Pluto is an unrelenting teacher. New moon (29 Aries) is Saturday, April 18. With the personality-building keynote, “Let form again be sought.” Mars anchors the new creative fires of Aries into our world. The New Group of World Servers participates together in the new moon festival, while also preparing for the Taurus Wesak, Buddha Full Moon Festival (May 3). Join us everyone.

 

The New Tech Nexus

Community leaders in science and technology unite to form web-based networking program

 

Film, Times & Events: Week of April 17

Santa Cruz area movie theaters >
Sign up for Good Times weekly newsletter
Get the latest news, events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

Latest Comments

 

Mighty Leaf

Radicchio from Dirty Girl Produce, wine etiquette fail, and a treat from Gayle’s

 

What would you like to see a TED talk about?

Hydrogen-gas cars that are coming this summer. Scott Oliver, Santa Cruz, Professor

 

37th Parallel Wines

I visited the Capitola Mall recently to check out the newly launched Third Fridays Walking Art Tour, and was surprised to find an impressive assortment of artwork from local artists.

 

New Bohemian Brewery

New Santa Cruz brewery focuses on European style lagers