BY CAROL LOPEZ-BETHEL
As many of us prepare for Thanksgiving, the season of sharing and caring, it is also important to reflect on where our food comes from, and the people in our community who grow and help provide us with sustenance.
Many of us are fortunate enough to have moved on from the effects of Hurricanes Ian and Nicole. That’s not so for Common Ground Farm at 1330 E. Taylor Road in DeLand.
In 2003, John and Pat Joslin, the owners of Common Ground Farm, began to create a small garden that has grown into a farm that is now in its 14th season.
The Joslins, both former nurses, grow more than 30 different vegetables and herbs using only organic practices. In addition, they offer classes in topics ranging from canning to baking bread.
It is their passion to educate the public about what is happening to our food supply in the current commercial food industry, and how it impacts our health.
“We feel we are doing more to promote general health now than we ever did during our nursing careers,” Pat Joslin said.
Pat and John continue to do all they possibly can to provide good, clean, fairly priced food to this community, despite more than half of the farm suffering its second inundation after Hurricanes Ian and Nicole.
The Joslins and I believe the flooding the farm experienced in the east field and at the entrance — the most flooding in 10 years — comes largely after water is pumped from or seeps from water-retention ponds in nearby developments that are used for irrigation, perhaps to lower the pond levels before the storms, and flows into surrounding wetlands that drain to the closest low-lying areas.
Sadly, this condition worsens with each new development. Yet another slate of crops has been ruined after replanting, following Hurricane Ian.
The damage is ongoing, and the recovery costs have risen to triple digits for this tiny family-run farm. They have scheduled a donations-based Pancake Breakfast at the farm on Saturday, Dec. 3, to help mitigate the rising costs.
Please visit this link to RSVP to the pancake breakfast or donate to the farm’s recovery. The Beacon reaches many who may care to help, and every donation will help.
To find out more about Common Ground Farms, click here.