This is part one of a two part article. Both were blogged on the same day.
The Function of Farming Determines the Function of You
The Farm -to-Fork (“Farm-to”) movement is one of many programs, which is evidence of a paradigm shift in how we think, grow, purchase and use food.
Sprouted from the desire to support community-based food systems, strengthen family farms, and improve the health of our land and ourselve’s, the sustainable farm movement is amongst the fastest growing business in the world.
Healthy Food access, by all accounts, by now should be viewed as a foundational birthright. So why are so many of us still without access to it ? Because there isn’t enough local, sustainable farms to serve us. If you purchase organic foods from your local supermarket, you purchase foods with little nutritional value. These foods are picked way before the ripened state; the state of highest nutritional value. SO they are pretty “dead” in terms of nutritional life. You are also supporting the area where it came from – thousands of miles away, not your local area. In essence, you’re really not getting anything for the purchase of it.
Biological Farming -Cutting Edge & Effective for All Factors of Farming
When I lived in the Berkshires, I was a member of one of the 1st CSA in this country. They used Biological Techniques and I must say, I never saw them have a bad year, no matter what mother-nature was up to. The reason why is because biological farmers work with and for nature, and for the healthiest food and land possible, while making farming very efficient. It is a very safe and sustainable system designed to keep production extremely efficient and healthy. In this farming technique, the chemical, physical and biological properties of the soil are kept in balance, which results in optimal outputs, even in bad years. Biological farming improves the environment, reduces erosion, reduces disease and insect problems, and alters weed pressure- all without using heavy machinery, chemicals and pesticides. The methods they use involve a unique system of beliefs, observations and guidelines that result in increased production and profit.
Superiority of Local, Sustainable Food
Elliot Coleman is a well-known author of organic farming and a farmer himself . He has been in the business for more than 30 years and is a regular column writer. One of his latest articles on Sustainable Farming notes:
”Nutritionists to their dismay, have found what they call “dilution effects” in modern chemically adapted crops. Breeding programs aimed to produce high yielding cultivars, combined with intensive chemical fertilization to push yields higher, have resulted in vegetable and grain crops that are no longer as nourishing because their limited root systems can’t absorb enough nutrients. The result is a “hidden hunger” caused by trace element deficiencies in those who consume those foods. The recent study by Brian Halweil, “Still No Free Lunch”, presents a very complete picture of the relationship between plant breeding, high chemical fertilizer use, and the decline in nutritional value of what we eat. A few forward-thinking scientists around the world are starting to look into biological issues, and they are finding that the system that biological farmers have been creating for the past 120 years is as good as they have claimed it to be.”
Would you like to help expand the availability of Sustainable foods in our local area ? Did you know that all the community supported farms are usually sold out before the beginning of the summer ? We need more access to sustainable local farmed foods. Please go to the face book page of a local farmer (below) who is currently working at a community level, on expansion for our community. You can help. Please contribute anything you may know that could help find more land, and/or help acquire financial support. Please go to facebook page of Michael Kilpatrick of Kilpatrick Family Farm in Middle Granville, NY (www.kilpatrickfamilyfarm.com)
As a community, we can support each other to make more sustainable food access a reality. For as Margaret Mead said, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”
See the first response I received to the call for Sustainable Farming resources in Part 2