But because it fosters false nostalgia for an imagined self-sufficient rural life, it may mask some of the real problems facing the dwindling number of people who actually live that life. Emily Cook, manager at Virginia’s Farm at Sunnyside, told me she was sick of “farmer groupies” who weren’t actually interested in the real problems farmers are facing. “The discussion needs to move beyond how great heirloom tomatoes are to how are we going to have farmers 20 years from now,” she said. “Our system really needs to change to make farming a viable career to people.”
I got in a pretty strong debate not long ago with some well-meaning hipsters about this kind of thing…the desire for a “simpler time” without the risks is just nostalgia and living a nostalgic, but safe life, is counterproductive to being the change we want to see in the world.