Outside of the Agro-industrial Pipeline
by David Pitre
Happy New Year! Here’s to Health and Peace for all of us. As always, we are excited about the coming year on the farm. One of the common traits successful farmers share is a poor memory, which allows us to specifically forget the trials, tribulations, and sore muscles of the past year while getting all giddy about the fresh young plants in the greenhouse ready to go in the ground. It’s wonderful to be able to start fresh each year.
As many of you know, we have struggled with water issues on our farm. This year we are starting to develop for farming new land about 12 miles east of us. We have planted onions there and hope to grow some of our potatoes, melons, and winter squash. The soil there is wonderfully rich and water appears to be plentiful. We are very thankful that the opportunity for the new land arose and that we are making it work as a new farm.
You, our CSA members and regular farmers market shoppers, may not know it, but you are doing something radical. You are supporting and investing in a relationship that flies in the face of the anonymous global marketplace. You are creating a direct connection between the growing of the food that sustains you and your family. It is a personal relationship built on trust and respect. As we make decisions on the farm, and grow and harvest produce, we have many of your faces in our minds. It is similar to the visions of family or friends you hold as you cook in your kitchen. You have their health and happiness in mind as you cook, and it guides how you do it. This gives great meaning to what we do, and is in contrast to conventional or mono-crop large scale organic farms that anonymously feed into the world’s agro-industrial pipeline. For those types of farmers there is little incentive to produce the best they are able because it all gets mixed in with every other farm’s product. The effect is that they only try and meet the lowest common denominator, and the bar continually lowers. Anyone that is older can attest to the fact that food quality, flavor, and nutrition is not what it was. By participating in our CSA, or weekly market, relationship, you are receiving great, delicious, nutritious food that was grown with concern for the earth and the workers, but you are also demonstrating that our food system can be one that is honest and healthy, one that values integrity and compassion.