Published Jan 21, 2011

2030: Scenarios of our Future

By Teresa Opheim

How do we envision our gardens and farming operations for the future? What are some of the positive changes we will make to cope with these conditions and improve our land and the environment? Improve our relationship to our families and communities?

Mary Swander, State of Iowa Poet Laureate and a PFI member, asked participants in her annual conference workshop to envision their farms and gardens 20 years from now. The writings participants produced are so wonderful, we’re going to feature them periodically on our blog and website. Here’s one from Irene Frantzen who, with her husband, Tom, received PFI’s Sustainable Agriculture Achievement Award this year.

“It’s October 14, 2030, my birthday. My husband and I are retired in our nearby community, enjoying a life of relaxation yet still involved in our community, our church, and family activities. After a day of community service activities and volunteering, we are traveling to the family farm where our son and wife and grandchildren have asked us to join them for a family birthday dinner. Our daughters and families will also join us.

“The many years of great meals placed on the table and prepared by me… I look forward to a home-cooked meal with all the food coming from the farm, prepared by someone else!
It will be great. It will be a joy to see our grandchildren because family means the world to me.

“It is harvesting season, a great time of the year. The farm has changed, with so many improvements. It’s more energy efficient—solar panels, windmill, less mechanical, less labor intensive, yet very sustainable and even more diverse than ever.

“The landscape of the farm beams with radiance and beauty. It’s a peaceful and pleasurable home with strong roots that will always be in our blood.

“After an enjoyable evening together, I look forward to another day of rising and thanking the Lord I’m still alive and doing well. Tom and I will be involved with educating at the local high school, working in their greenhouse and local CSA that we were involved in since Day 1. Our school and local community too have become more sustainable, efficient, and family-friendly, and are among the most respected schools and communities in the area. This is why we are so happy we retired and stayed in the area.”

Irene Frantzen at the PFI annual conference