With no prospect to inherit my own farm, being a farmer was an unrealistic dream, but meeting the ‘eco scene’ in Vienna I learned new possibilities and in 2017 myself and two friends bought a little farm as an association. We have 30 bee colonies, 0.5 ha vegetable garden, grassland, fruit trees and forest. We borrow money from 30 people from our networks. I’m keen to share ideas about this ‘direct credit’ system.
For Utopia (overcoming capitalism), farming concepts must be strengthened based on solidarity, especially for young farmers finding their role in a food system. Farm work needs to be attractive, offering a good life. The CAP should encourage quality and sustainability over higher production. CSAs can play a role in supporting anti-nationalist ideas of Food Sovereignty. Once farmers know what the consumers in their region want, they can cooperate with each other, planning produce, sharing machines and knowledge.
Austrian farmers are encouraged to keep together, but I have more in common with a small-scale farmer in Hungary or Slovenia, than a big salad producer here, who exploits water reserves and harvest workers. It’s a big challenge to overcome national borders, but necessary to save small-scale agriculture.