Farmers and food growers along a latitude line have a unique connection that shapes the rhythm of their growing seasons- day length. Crops are very sensitive to light, and farmers are too. Light on each latitude line is specific, and influences crops in profound ways. A bulbing onion for instance, like the large sweet ‘Walla Walla’, will commence bulbing when the daylight in the summer gets long enough to trigger the bulbing process, no matter how large or small the plant is, and regardless of how warm or wet or dry or cold it has been that growing season. And the moment a ‘Walla Walla’ sweet onion begins bulbing in Walla Walla Washington (46.3′ N), United States, it will also begin bulbing on farms near Millerville Minnesota (US), Salisbury Canada, Amancy France, Udine Italy, Ljubljana Slovenia, Oleksiivka Ukraine, and Xianshunzen, China, among many many more places, all on the same very day on farms directly East and West around the world.
Farmers along a latitude line around the world can build on their natural connection of same latitude line/same light to share perspectives on livelihood, ways to sustain the land, and strategies for sustenance and survival in the face of a range of mounting climatic, economic and resource challenges. And a very specific international farmer community can form along the common and enduring thread of shared latitude.
Currently, the focus and scope of farm organizations generally falls into one of four categories- local, regional, national, or international, for practical reasons. The latitude movement seeks to start a new kind of conversation that bridges local, national and international to directly connect local farmers globally in ways that elevate perspectives on what we simultaneously do locally and globally each and every day in agriculture. What will be achieved is a focused and intimate international conversation among farmers who have their daily rhythms shaped by sunlight on their latitude line.