The Pursuit Of Justice
Justice, Justice, shalt thou pursue. Deuteronomy 16:20
The Renegade Farmers are passionate about Justice; it is our legacy!
MENTAL HEALTH JUSTICE
The Renegade Farmers pursue Mental Health Justice and effect change in the world for persons living with mental disability in three powerful ways:
The Renegade Farmers believe that engaging people in nature-related activities enhances the life of the individual, the family, and the community. Thus, for the honor of Life, and that measure of mental and physical health that makes it worth living, the Renegade Farmers seek to share transformative farming experiences with people who have lived through Florida’s State mental hospitals.
APPRENTICESHIPS AND INTERNSHIPS. The Renegade Farmers extend apprenticeship and, whenever possible, internship opportunities to people who live with mental disability and want to learn the ancient art of natural farming.
Through volunteer and work experiences the Renegade Farmers have spent many thousands of hours engaging with persons who live with mental disability. As well, a great deal of that time has been invested in pursuing and advocating Justice because we have witnessed the discrimination and we have witnessed the abuse. We have made a difference in the lives of too few in comparison to the many more for whom an outcry is necessary. Therefore, we work –
CAMPAIGNING FOR A NATURALLY-FARMED-FOODS FINE DINING EXPERIENCE. The Renegade Farmers are building the Host A Thanksgiving Day Dinner Celebration, a campaign to bring a nutrient-rich, naturally-farmed-foods dining experience to residents living in one of the state’s mental hospitals.
DONATING TO THE PURSUIT OF JUSTICE. The Renegade Farmers and Heph’zibah and Beulah Farms make these programs possible by donating time and a portion of proceeds to the advocacy of Justice for persons living with mental disability.
STRENGTHENING ORGANIZATIONS. A percentage of our donations go toward the benefit of such persons who depend on Disability Rights (DR) of Florida, a non-profit watchdog organization existing to demand that the Americans with Disabilities Act as well as the fundamental rights of American citizens are adhered as furtively behind closed doors as they are in the public eye.
Our practical programs are structured to help individuals build upon their capacities and upon their capabilities, sufficient to create doorways into which sustainable career and life enhancing opportunities within or without agriculture may be established. Simultaneously, through these interactions, communities, as well, learn to build upon their own capacities and capabilities toward the encouragement and assistance of persons within their population who are living with mental disability.
16 million americans have cognitive limitations or mental illness
Despite laws; despite statements and seeming efforts – we are witnessing violation after violation of not only our civil rights, but our human rights. The need for an outcry and action in relation to our civil and human rights as People with Disabilities, Family Members, Friends, and Advocates has never been greater than it is right now.
5.1 percent of Floridians experienced a physical, mental, or emotional disability in 2015
Prevalence of mental illness should be of great concern to us Americans wherefore such proportion signifies that we have a neighbor suffering and perhaps even a family member . . . Where is the security of our nation when we, by lack of deed, allow and thereby promote the reduction of ability that exists in people who also experience disability?
Placement of people with disabilities in institutions also increases their vulnerability to violence.
It doesn’t matter that Santana was left alone for 30 minutes in a tub that reached 118 degrees — so hot that his skin peeled off when workers tried to revive him — or that state records categorize the case as “confirmed neglect.”
In the name of patient privacy, the state has built a wall of secrecy around its mental hospitals, making it nearly impossible to track how they respond to abuse, neglect and carelessness by government workers.
Abuse is more likely to happen when three factors are present: power (of one person over another), vulnerability, and isolation.
This survey has collected dozens of personal stories and many have . . . a second form of victimization – the mishandling of abuse once it comes to light.
Among the more egregious concerns:
 The administration of medication, often without consulting the resident, likely without informed consent, frequently with limited understanding of the likely effect on this particular individual, including possible long-term side effects, and often for reasons of control rather than treatment;
 The absence not just of regular effective treatment programs, but of any purposeful activity (residents can still be seen sleeping in hallways and in the dayroom when bedrooms are locked);
 The arbitrary(and often dangerous) application of restraints, seclusion, and isolation; and
 The continued warehousing of individuals for months, if not years, after the expiration of any determination of [danger].
The Renegade Farmers pursue Food Justice and effect change
for the benefit of the earth and its living creatures:
FOOD JUSTICE TOURS. The Renegade Farmers organize transformative learning experiences by coordinating practical facility tours with farms and other organizations that engage in those issues that concern food justice.
WAPF CHAPTER MEETINGS. The Weston A. Price (WAPF) Chapter of Sumter County leads educational discussion sessions that introduce the concepts of food justice through the reading of Nutrition and Physical Degeneration, written by Dr. Weston A. Price. This timeless book is a classic piece of literature that has inspired not only the national WAPF organization but also a countless number of people to begin making healthy food-related changes to enhance sustainability and increase food security.
Inclusively our meetings serve as a hub to bring people from all ages and all walks of life together for the sharing of resources and personal stories of food justice challenges and triumphs.
HEPH’ZIBAH & BEULAH FARMS TOURS. Our hands-on farm tours are structured to help people of all ages build upon their capacities and upon their capabilities in the development of healthy food justice related habits. Specifically we seek to encourage the growing of backyard gardens, sustainable water harvesting applications, appreciation for the lives of creatures, and a profound understanding of the importance of soil preservation.
COMMUNITY COMPOSTING PROGRAM. Our composting program unites community efforts to increase food security, biodiversity, land improvement, and many other food related mitigation efforts in Florida. We receive and collect hundreds of pounds food scraps weekly and together with our animals and micro-organisms, these food scraps are turned into healthy humus that fertilizes the soil and nurtures vegetation at Heph’zibah & Beulah Farms.