Glencolton Farms Farmshare member Mascha Perrone wrote this letter in October of 2015, around the time of Canadian Thanksgiving. And her husband took this picture to go along with it. The picture has since been used on the back of the Glencolton Farms van, and on posters and memes promoting food freedom. More recently we asked Mascha to write an introduction and an update to provide a bit more contemporary context to her letter. This is what she wrote:
Introduction: Six months ago I wrote the following letter to ask for answers to my questions and to invite the authorities to talk to me. To this day I have no answers to my questions and I have not been invited to talk to any of the people that represent me in the provincial or federal government.
I have high hopes that this New Year and this new government will bring me the dialogue and cooperation I expect to encounter in this democratic country. I truly wish that soon Glencolton Farms will once and for all be left in peace while continuing to farm biodynamically!
My Thanksgiving to Glencolton Farms
Over the past fourteen years, I have had the privilege to pick up my weekly allotment of dairy products and other wholesome, farm-fresh food from Glencolton Farms at a local drop-off site. First Michael Schmidt and now Elisa Schmidt have faithfully driven to this site so I, as a part owner of the farm, can receive my weekly share of food in a convenient manner.
Glencolton Farms is a beautiful farm in Durham, Ontario, where Michael Schmidt has tended livestock and grown produce for more than 27 years in a sustainable, organic, biodynamic way – in harmony with nature.
I am a teacher, and not a dairy farmer; I totally entrust the care of my (our) farm into the skillful, experienced and dedicated hands of Elisa and Michael Schmidt. In this way I make sure my dairy and other foods are professionally sourced, to the highest standards and pose absolutely no risk to my and my family’s health!
To the contrary, it is my firm belief that these dairy products, which have formed a substantial part of my daily diet for more than fourteen years, have sustained my good health! If it were not for me receiving the benefits of the love of my family and friends, my Kripalu yoga practice, and my Weston A. Price Foundation (WAPF) food knowledge (in my case largely consisting of Glencolton foods), I would not have had the energy to do what I have done over the past years!
I have always worked and will continue to work with dedication, energy and integrity. Parents have entrusted their children to my care for twenty-five years. Elisa and Michael Schmidt are farmers. They work incredibly hard, with honesty, with pride, with dedication and with integrity. I have entrusted the farming of my farm to their expert hands for the past fourteen years.
Together with many others, I now partially own the farm in order to make sure that I legally have the right to drink the milk and consume the other products that our farm yields.
Why did I feel that representatives from the York Region Health Department, accompanied by the police, approached us as though we were criminals last Tuesday, September 29th, 2015? Why did the Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Natural Resources and the Ministry of Finance, also accompanied by local police, raid our farm this past Friday, October 2nd, 2015? Is it a crime to grow and eat sustainable food? Is it a crime to take responsibility for our own good health?
These are questions I would like to ask my Member of Parliament! With the Canadian Federal election around the corner, I am well-aware that I will have to vote for someone that will truly represent me in Parliament; a person that will stand up for my rights to choose the foods that benefit me, so I can sustain my good health. Who will do that? To whom shall I entrust that responsibility?
My gratitude goes out to the people that stood their ground last Tuesday when the York Region Health Department came to the drop-off zone and was only able to take samples of our raw dairy products. My gratitude also goes out to the people that came to Glencolton Farms this past Friday and made sure that the Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Finance and others were not able to confiscate our equipment and dairy products when they raided our farm.
Dear Friends, during this time of Canadian Thanksgiving I count my many blessings and give thanks for them. Glencolton-Farms-food is one of the huge blessings I receive in my life. I don’t ask you to agree with my choices; we are all different and each of us has different blessings in her/his life. What I ask from you is that you respect my choices – as I respect yours – and that, maybe, you help me find a way in which I can have the political and legal support for these choices!
I offer my gratitude to you for taking the time to read this and for letting me ask for your input and support.
SIX MONTHS LATER… In the fall of 2015 our beautiful, peaceful, sustainable, co-operative, biodynamic farm was raided by the authorities.
Half a year has gone by, we have a new federal government, but our provincial premier has still not been willing to talk to us…
This Wednesday, March 16, a few of the people that were present at the raid on Glencolton Farms this past fall, will have to appear in court.
We are trying to gather as many people as possible to stand in solidarity with Michael Schmidt and the others during a peaceful rally at the court’s entrance. We hope that these people will bring their children and grandchildren too, as it is our and especially their future we are standing up for!
These people do not have to be raw milk drinkers. All people that want access to truly nourishing food, want to choose what is best for their health and well being, and need to be left in peace when doing so, are warmly invited to join us!
That’s Wed., Mar. 16th, 8:30 am, at the courthouse in Newmarket at 50 Eagle Street.