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2014 The Year of Family Farming

Year of FarmingAccording to the Days Of The Year website,, 2014 is the International Year of Family Farming. To highlight the importance family farms play in the world’s food production, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United States declared this year to family farming.

The purpose of the International Year of Family Farming is to promote sustainable and environmentally friendly family farms all over the world. Whether small or large, these farms often lack support through financial loans and technology and yet still play a large part in farming. These farms include indigenous clusters and neighborhood cooperatives that produce crops, livestock and marine fisheries. The hope is to raise awareness in local and national governments and farming industries/organizations to help support these family farms.

Family farms are not new. During World War II, they were called Victory Gardens (according to my Dad). After sending supplies overseas to feed the servicemen, what was left was limited and therefore rationed. So to survive, just about everyone had a Victory Garden in their backyard. It was also a way to show their support in helping the United States win the war. Not too long ago I remember them being called Kitchen Gardens because the gardens were usually small backyard plots that you could see from your kitchen window. Growing up, we always had a kitchen garden and we would pick fresh vegetables every day to prepare in our meals.

Today the movement to sustainability, urban gardens, and local farm cooperatives is in response to chemicals used on commercial farming crops. Sustainability is raising animals and farm crops without the use of pesticides and harsh chemicals. Most local farm cooperatives have joined forces to provide fresh groceries that are chemical-free or organic to their community.

I have a kitchen garden every year and sometimes year round when I work hard at it. I have found that being able to reuse my small plot year round and still produce a good crop requires a good soil conditioner. Out of all the soil conditioners I have tried, I keep coming back to Southland Organics' Jump Start Soil Conditioner. I don’t have to work as hard and I still yield strong plants that produce a healthy crop. My mother still gardens with me and now my daughter and son are starting to garden as well so I claim that 2014 is our year, the Year of Family Farming.

Mike Usry
Mike Usry


Mike is the founder of Southland Organics. He is an avid gardner and leads his family in a sustainable lifestyle. Mike holds his degree from the University of Georgia and his MBA from the University of South Florida.

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