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Soccer or Food? Help Save Nick’s Organic Farm

Soccer or Food? Help Save Nick’s Organic Farm
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What is it about loss of farmland, erosion of biodiversity, degradation of soil and tightening control of the global seed market the good people at Montgomery County’s Board of Education don’t get?

Yes, physical activity is important. Yes, soccer fields are worth having.

However, this is 2012, when the global food system is under so much stress that trading Nick’s Organic Farm for a private soccer organization is akin to turning over the majority of the world’s seed supply to a handful of private chemical companies.

Come to think of it, that is exactly what we have done. The biggest seed producers are chemical companies such as Monsanto, Du Pont, Syngenta and Bayer. That makes Nick’s Organic Farm in Potomac all the more crucial. We need these pockets of stubbornly organic, non-GMO seed growers. With seed company consolidation, soil degradation, fuel costs, water woes, loss of young farmers and climate change poised like sledge hammers over the crops we rely on, places like Nick’s are the insurance policies we would be fools to do without.

So I am trying to wrap my mind around the curious decision to end a 32-year lease. I’ve put soccer balls and organic agriculture on two sides of a balance, and the weight keeps coming down on the side of the seeds.

The community is not happy. When the Board of Education announced the end of that long lease, hundreds of people turned out to public meetings to speak against the plan. Over 50,000 people signed petitions, including this one on Care2, which gathered 26,293 signatures.

Next: Brickyard Educational Farm

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Photographs courtesy of Brickyard Educational Farm; Photo 1 by Tory Cowles; Photo 2 by Anna Johnson; Photos 3, 4 & 5 by Mollie Chang

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83 comments

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2:46AM PDT on Apr 19, 2014

thanks

4:26AM PDT on Aug 17, 2012

Thanks for the info.

5:30PM PDT on Aug 16, 2012

Thank you Cathryn.

4:48PM PDT on Aug 16, 2012

Thank you for sharing.

12:27PM PDT on Aug 16, 2012

I am guessing they can find another location to play soccer.....

9:23PM PDT on Aug 15, 2012

More organic; less soccer.

10:17PM PDT on Aug 14, 2012

If the School Board is so foolish as to convert productive farmland into a soccer field they should provide nearby structures (as a replacement) for indoor/ urban farming 24/7/365 ...farming that may also be used for educating their students about agriculture, science, resource conservation and the environment. In brief, the School Board needs to be responsible for replacing what is being lost. (It would be helpful to know who on the School Board has connections with the Soccer club.)

6:13AM PDT on Aug 14, 2012

Thanks for the awareness spread!

6:13AM PDT on Aug 14, 2012

Thanks for the awareness spread!

3:54AM PDT on Aug 14, 2012

Sounds like good old fashioned political payola to me.

The farm should stay were it is, and the soccer club find another venue.

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