We’re thrilled to share this guest post from Chris McCaffity, a member of the community-supported fishery Walking Fish and the first workshop presenter in the HOMEGROWN Skills Tent at Farm Aid 2014. We couldn’t have made it happen without him! Read on for more about Walking Fish, why community-supported fishing is crucial, and the September 13 concert in Raleigh, North Carolina.
The day started with a press event featuring Farm Aid founders Willie Nelson and Neil Young. Several small scale farmers explained how some corporations and politicians are controlling them and our food supply. Their stories mirrored much of what commercial fishermen experience. The best chance of survival for independent food producers is simply for consumers to purchase our products. Voting with our money can have more impact than voting for most politicians.
We were scheduled first at the Skills Tent, immediately following the press event. The gates had just opened to the public, so our audience was small to start with but grew through the presentation as a steady stream of people joined us. A chef from Hatteras demonstrated how to clean some seafood as I talked about how consumers across the state could access local seafood through Walking Fish.
After visiting educational booths with topics ranging from biodiesel to locally sourced food for schools, we got to enjoy some music in a sea of spectators.
My daughter met Lillie Mae from Jack White’s band. Lillie told us about how one of her friends fished commercially as she graciously posed for a picture.
It was inspiring to see so many people supporting independent food producers. Our collective purchasing power is the key to preserving our freedom to access healthy food from family farmers and fishermen.
You can learn more about Walking Fish on the fishery’s website and feel free to contact me, Chris, if you are interested in learning about how we can sustainably manage our fisheries to limit waste and produce more seafood. Ask me about how you can place special orders for the snapper/grouper and other offshore seafood I harvest.
Our hearty thanks to Chris, his family, and Walking Fish. You can browse more photos from the HOMEGROWN Skills Tent and read more about the North Carolina organizations we partnered with to make the workshops happen.
ALL PHOTOS COURTESY OF CHRIS McCAFFITY