SLUG: What prompted you to start AFLA?
Cundick: Specifically, it was the book The Omnivore’s Dilemma by Michael Pollan. I was on tour with my band Loom and at that time, I was scraping by on food stamps, so it hit me pretty hard. We’d stop at gas station after gas station, and end up eating these horrible, processed, preservative- and pesticidefilled, genetically modified bullshit sandwiches and burritos. But at the same time, I was learning about a unified approach to agriculture that would improve the environment, while at the same time producing healthy, high-quality food … It became a black-and-white issue almost immediately.

SLUG: How large of a community is involved with AFLA?
Cundick: We’ve been able to count on a large community, and without them, we wouldn’t be half of who we are today. It’s not always the same faces at our weekly volunteer days, but we always have people willing to come out when we need it. I’d say we’ve had over 75 people volunteer with us at one point or another. It would take too long to give credit to everyone that helped, but special thanks go out to Josh, Teena, Cassie, Larry, Rick, Jim, Alex, Shaun, Kiva, Danika, Adam and many more.

SLUG: How do you incorporate artists into your organization’s ideals?
Cundick: Artists and musicians are what drive our organization. The donation of their prints and originals allow us to be able to offset our costs. Every fundraiser, farm benefit or production we’re involved with features talented local artists and musicians. AFLA respects and promotes creative expression in our culture, and we encourage these artists to view themselves as role models and community leaders. Artists can inspire so many to do their part, whether through volunteering, or even by starting their own urban gardens through our programs or others throughout the valley. There is also the “No More Starving Artists” program, which we hope to finish developing soon. This program will help artists learn to grow their own food by taking part in community garden activities, and will also provide them with a public space for art shows.