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THE RUSTY GEAR

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Our logo is an old rusty gear, which we selected in memory of Charlie Koiner and the old rusty tools that he used.  However, over the years it has become a symbol for something more than old farm tools - the rusty gear now represents the way in which small farms operate within the context of the larger food system. Just like a small gear in a large and complex machine, a small farm in a large and complex food system can have a big impact... one that often far outweighs its tiny size.

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Just like a gear in a machine, a community farm can improve community efficienies and keep inputs and outputs cycling through the system.  For example, waste from a local restaurant can be inputs for the farm's compost system.  In return, the farm can grow fresh greens and herbs for the local restaurants.  In this way, the farm acts like a gear that keeps the food system turning.  Much like a gear, a farm can help the food system run more smoothly by lowering barriers to sustainability.  Similarly, a farm is most productive and effective when working in sync with the other elements of the system.

 

Continuing with this analogy, lets image that a gear within a machine is damaged or removed.  In this case, the machine will likely sputter, stall, and eventually fail.  Likewise, should farms become damaged or removed - say from infertile land, polluted water, unfair working conditions,  suburban sprawl, or monopolization / loss of family farms - the food system, in turn, will sputter, stall and eventually fail.  

 

Finally, neither the size nor the location of the gear within the machine indicates its importance to the system.  Each gear, no matter how big or small, has a significant role to play in the functioning of the whole system.  So too does each and every farm.

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