In the suburbs of Chicago, Radical Root now lives along with the 249 certified or exempt organic farms counted in 2014. Exempt farms are not certified, but use organic practices and don’t make more than $5,000 a year in sales, according to the 2014 Organic Product Survey by the United States Department of Agriculture‘s National Agricultural Statistical Service.
But a nearly dead old maple tree stood at the entrance of Radical Root’s proposed community food mission. Conserve Lake County Executive Director Dave Neu said, “When I noticed that the old maple tree in front of the house by Milwaukee Avenue was nearly dead, I considered removing it completely. Then I thought, ‘Why not re-purpose it and create an art piece that would serve as a landmark for the farm?'”
Organic-food sales accounted for $35.9 billion of all organic sales (date unclear), with organic fruits and vegetables accounting for 12 percent of all produce sold in the United States. While organic exports are growing, they are dwarfed by organic imports, reflecting this country’s inability to keep pace with demand, largely because of a lack of farmers. And maybe that’s why you gotta revive what’s already there, dead or alive.
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