Friday, May 6, 2011

Farm to Consumer Legal Defense

First off - did you know there was such a thing as the "Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund?" I'm sad to think of the circumstances that led to its creation. How uncool is it that in AMERICA we have the need of a fund to defend farmers who want to sell their products to people.

Last month they did report on something pretty cool though. Three towns in Maine have voted to adopt the Local Food and Self-Governance Ordinance (pdf). I'm not a fancy lawyer or constitutional scholar that gets paid lots of money to determine the legality of the ordinance, but it basically has the groundbreaking audacity to say that farmers can sell food directly to their neighbors without having to navigate a system of rules, regulations and licenses.

In other words, farmers don't have to pay the state and conform to the arbitrary (and often costly) whims of bureaucrats to earn a living.

How novel, eh? It's like people want freedom in America. Crazy stuff.

The preamble is rather pretty:
We the People of the Town of (name of town) , (name of county) County, Maine have the right to produce, process, sell, purchase and consume local foods thus promoting self-reliance, the preservation of family farms, and local food traditions.
We have faith in our citizens’ ability to educate themselves and make informed decisions... We support food that fundamentally respects human dignity and health, nourishes individuals and the community, and sustains producers, processors and the environment.
Though I didn't ever meet them myself, I feel as if this is really one of those things the founders of this country would say is a pillar of America. Small farmers selling pumpkins to their neighbors without the state inspecting their pumpkin fields and demanding that there be an accessible toilet outside of the house and at least 50 feet from any pumpkins that is cleaned 5 times a day by a certified and licensed toilet bowl cleaner.