Barn-owl chicks in a box, made especially for them, at the Everglades Research and Education Center in Belle Glade. EREC has an extensive barn-owl program; the birds are used to hunt crop pests, thus reducing the amount of rodenticides. / J.D. Vivian

Farmers have always been the foremost stewards of the land. In fact, longtime radio newsman/commentator Paul Harvey (1918-2009) delivered a speech in 1978 to a group of future farmers. Harvey’s speech, “So God Made a Farmer,” begins “And on the eighth day, God looked down on his planned paradise and said ‘I need a caretaker.’ So God made a farmer.”

(To read a complete transcript of the speech or to download a .pdf file of it, visit

Of course, farmers — whose livelihoods depend on ensuring the viability of their land — aren’t the only people who value sustainability. Gardeners, too, want their plants not just to survive but to thrive. And all of us who enjoy having nutritious, affordable food have a vested interest in a sustainable food supply.

How do you promote sustainability?

We at Florida Food & Farm want to know what you are doing to promote agricultural or wildlife sustainability. So please tell us.

Maybe you’re a farmer who has found an effective yet economical way to recycle wastewater. Or a grower who uses protective screens to protect citrus from insects and diseases. Or have figured out a way to reduce the number of birds flying into windows — by installing vertical “wind curtains,” for example. The list of potential topics is virtually unlimited.

Your idea doesn’t need to be land-based. Delray Beach brewer Chris Gove, for example, came up with an eco-friendly, edible six-pack holder. Plastic six-pack holders can kill fish, which sometimes become trapped in one of the rings. (The complete Florida Food & Farm story is below.)

Saltwater Brewery’s Edible Six-Pack Ring Aims to Save – and Feed – Turtles

We want to hear about anything you do that promotes ag-related sustainability so that we can let readers know. Here’s how.

1) Write a short description of what you do to ensure ag sustainability; 100 to 200 words should suffice. (Submissions are subject to editing.)

2) Include one to three high-quality photos, with caption information explaining what the photos show. Provide identification of anyone in the photo, if possible.

3) Email the description and photos to me at [email protected] Please include a phone number and a contact person, in case we need more information.

We’ll use these submissions to write short stories about the methods used to be good caretakers of the land. We also might write a full feature story on your project.


J.D. Vivian