Aaron Newton oral history interview, 2019 March 29
Aaron Newton is a food advocate and native of Concord, North Carolina. He works as the Lomax Farm Manager for the Carolina Farm Stewardship Association, where he oversees new farmer training and coordinates other participants at the Elma C. Lomax Research and Education Farm in Concord. Mr. Newton also serves as an Ambassador for Steward, a business platform that helps small-to-midsize sustainable farmers raise financing through online crowdfunding and promotes agricultural research. In this interview he discusses urban farming and the future of farming in the United States. Topics covered by Mr. Newton include his involvement with the Village of Blume project, which was planned as an eco-sustainable community in Harrisburg, North Carolina and how it did not come to full fruition; the pitfalls and obstacles of urban farming in a big city, and some of the advantages such as proximity to customers; bringing the younger generation into farming and the idea of farming as a career; and his views on food and how it has been commodified. In concluding he reflects that a lack of connection with the natural world in modern life has brought some people, including the younger generation, back to farming and gardening.