When we decided to make this move for our family, we made several decisions right away. First decision was that we had to create some way to give back. That was our first discussion and we are proud to say that over this year, we have donated food after every farmer’s market to the local food pantry. The second decision we made was to grow only heirloom produce and do so with organic principles. This was another easy decision. One of the goals of our farm was to raise our family the way our ancestors did-self sustain as much as possible. If we are going to eat this food, we want to know that our food is indeed healthy. We also know that the movement of farm to table exploding in the U.S. There are many benefits to buying local. First and foremost is the local economy. Buying directly from your local farmer keeps those dollars almost entirely in the local economy. There are no middlemen getting a share of the price you pay. You can visit the farm your food comes from. Ask your local farmer to come visit; most will be more than happy to give you a tour. We are planning on opening a country farm stand on our farm encouraging people to come out and see us! Build that relationship! Another benefit is the environment. The produce you purchase at the grocery store travels an average of 1500 miles and is picked up to a week prior to being placed on the shelves. Fifteen hundred miles on average…this doesn’t represent the food that comes from South America! Picking your produce that many days ahead of your purchase deprives the fruit or vegetable from absorbing all the nutrients that should go into it for the health of your family.
The demand for organic foods is also growing in demand.
We talked to other small farmers like what we were wanting to do and were told our biggest enemy would be weeds. That was an understatement! I would estimate 80% of our labor went towards weed control. Pests were no problem-we released tens of thousands of ladybugs. Weeds, that’s another story. We have learned a lot and look forward to showing you our lessons next spring when we start planting!
Past generations didn’t have to have movements to push for organic practices; that’s all they had! Again, we wanted to emulate what our grandparents did to provide for their families. I think there are many families out there that are wanting to make sure their whole food is purely the food they are looking for. Several studies show that food without harsh chemicals applied have greater health benefits.