Traditional farming methods free from pesticides and genetically engineered seeds are in danger of being all but wiped out.
Due to its widespread use of pesticides and chemical fertilizers, industrial agriculture has had a significant impact on soil health and traditional crops on smaller farms. A major problem is contamination: winds can carry corn pollen up to 16 miles to neighboring farms. Big companies that develop genetically engineered seeds are the legal owners of them, so when a neighboring farmer’s crop is contaminated by these seeds, it becomes worthless as the law determines they can’t use it.
As this problem continues, more and more traditional farms and farmers will become a thing of the past, creating lower quality crops that affect the well-being of the people and animals consuming them. It’s vital that we fight to maintain and promote farming that’s good for the land, farmers, the environment and communities.
Meet Our Family Farms
Our Family Farms is a Lush Charity Pot partner based in Medford, Oregon. Its members are committed to protecting traditional farms from the problems caused by industrial agricultural practices. Their focus is on creating thriving food systems and seed diversity, while advocating for regenerative agricultural practices: an approach to farming that rejects pesticide use and aims to build healthy soil and resilient crops free from the toxicity of pesticides.
Our Family Farms aims to educate and inspire farmers, policy makers, legislators, scientists and the community at large. To keep traditional crops and seeds from being contaminated, they’re creating genetically engineered-free (GE-free) zones, also known as seed sanctuaries.
What’s a seed sanctuary?
In 2014, after launching and passing a ballot initiative to ban genetically engineered crop production in Jackson County, Oregon, Our Family Farms created one of the few seed sanctuaries in the U.S.
Seed sanctuaries stop the growth of genetically engineered crops in certain areas, so smaller farms and their crops are protected. Establishing these GE-free zones is important so traditional crops can be grown without the risk of contamination, which is great for the people and animals consuming them. The more seed sanctuaries there are, the more protection for the farms and farmers that need it!
Our Family Farms also runs a community and business outreach education program called The Future of Soil: Ensuring Resilient Food and Agricultural Systems. A series of workshops explore how the decisions we make each day affect soil health: from the seeds we buy to the food we eat, to how we choose to maintain our gardens and flower beds. They show how best-farming practices can have a far-reaching, positive impact.
How you can help
Support the great work being done by our friends at Our Family Farms by making a donation, volunteering, purchasing a Farm Gift Box – which are filled with organically grown goods direct from Oregon Farms – or become a member! You can also spread the word by signing up for their newsletter and following them on Facebook.
Alternatively, head into your local Lush shop and pick up Charity Pot Body Lotion to support Our Family Farms and other groups like theirs. For every pot purchased, we donate 100 percent of the sales price (minus the taxes) to organizations fighting for human rights, animal protection and environmental justice.