I recently went to a fundraiser breakfast at the Mcleay Grange Hall. Walking into the large room with wooden tables and tradition, I looked around to see countless volunteers running around cheerily serving food and some playing live music on guitar and violin. They were the “country folk” of Sequim, with little voice to be heard by big industries, and had to work to keep the old ways and traditions up and running. From my breakfast table, I looked up and saw a large sign that exclaimed what all these people were here for. They all were “Friends of the Fields.” The sign read, “Ask us about Saving FARMLAND!”
I asked my mom what we need to save the farmland from and she said “industries that want to build houses.” I wasn’t surprised. I just shrugged and thought that this whole idea about giving up traditional ways to make riskier decisions like building more and more houses and buildings and cities was becoming hackneyed. I think it was ridiculous that all these people had to work so hard just to preserve what we get food from.
And the Olympic Peninsula is the perfect place for farms. Why can’t those industry people go build their houses elsewhere? Without our farms, there will be no farmers markets, and without farmers markets, we will all have to buy our food from Safeway. I’ve done research behind the subject and I can prove that fresh, pure food is better than processed, packaged foods — no matter what claims they make. It’s part of a nutritious and delicious breakfast! Whatever. Any cereal that transforms the color of your milk is not nutritious.
Anyway, I read the placemat on the table I was sitting at and it said about 1,000 acres of farmland were disappearing every year. I thought about how big an acre is, and then 1,000 acres — it seems like that’s bigger than Sequim! We live in a world that is changing extremely quickly and this made me wonder: Where will we be in 10 years? In 20 years? In 100? At this rate, will there be too many houses with too many people and not enough food? What are we doing to our planet?
It was when a young girl of about 10 years served plates of eggs and fruit to my family that I realized how special this was. The poignancy of it was powerful — she was so small, yet altruistic enough to be willing to save the essential land of her hometown. This is what all these people were doing and it touched my heart. It made me want to donate thousands of dollars to them. I did end up donating $20 of my allowance, but I want to do more by getting others to help the farmlands of our country. Then we could make a HUGE difference. You don’t even have to donate anything to Friends of the Fields — the simplest way to help protect the farmland is by buying your groceries from local farmers markets. And it’s healthier that way, too!
Kristina Holtrop, is a 14-year-old and president of Writer’s Club at Sequim Middle School.