Thank You for Wanting Great Local Food!

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Janiece, one of the many great young farmers who will be the face of food in the next 40, 50 years!

Before I was a farmer I was in two industries that were both dying.  Wholesale gift (which wanes and waxes with the economy) and journalism (which may not survive the internet age).   Both of these it was a struggle to hang on.  In the wholesale gift industry I can remember many meetings trying to think of strategies to sell more of our product, reduce expenses, create the next new big thing.  On the journalism side, every time a reporter left it seemed that instead of a new person filling their position, their “beat” was re-assigned to another reporter. 

Now strangely enough, by most accounts, farming is also considered a dying industry and that has been well, really, since the 1970s.  But that actually isn’t quite true in many ways.  See, people still have to eat.  And we’ve got more people than we use to.  So it’s not that farming is producing LESS food overall, it’s just been producing less variety of food and doing so in ways that focused on mega efficiencies so work that once took huge crews now is accomplished with one $250,000 GPS-run tractor.   That combined with a culture of “cheap food” that came straight down from the top.  In the 1970s Secretary of Agriculture Earl Butz uttered the famous lines encouraging farmers to “Get big or get out” and to plant “hedgerow to hedgerow.”  The idea of cheap food is a noble one, but like many things, it had a lot of (expensive) repercussions that weren’t anticipated.  And what affect it certainly did have was it eliminated many small farmers who, for whatever reasons, weren’t able to “get big.”  Or, at least not big enough.

And of course, the repercussions of all this is still very much going on.  If you followed the news this week, you might have heard how the U.S. Congress just passed a farm bill that stripped out our national food stamp program, used by 48 million Americans.  Ironically enough, they still kept in the agricultural subsidies which were of course, originally introduced with the thought of producing “cheap food” to feed our nation.  So apparently the idea is we still get to subsidize cheap food with our taxes, but only for those who can afford it…(And actually most all farm groups – across political boards – are protesting this newest farm bill.  Even the big big BIG farms realize they need the masses to be able to eat if they are going to be able to sell their crop.  Even if they are buying it with food stamps!).

But all this comes down to my little 15 acre farm and what we are experiencing this year (and have really been every year since I’ve started this crazy thing).  We are BUSY! I am sometimes just blown away by the demand for local, interesting, GOOD food.  I keep waiting for the other shoe to drop.  For folks to say, ya know, that McDonald’s, they have playgrounds and drive-throughs!  But that hasn’t happened.  Not in the least.

And really, it makes sense. Food is something we enjoy several times a day. And, as long as we have enough to eat, what people across I think almost every culture  think is important is the “enjoy” part of food. 

So I guess that’s where I come in.  Creating a product that people really, really enjoy.  And want to buy – like crazy!

So on that note…off we go to another insanely busy market day.  Today we will have…

* Arugula * Broccoli * Cauliflower * Basil * Summer Squash * Carrots * Scallions * Mesclun * Potatoes * FAva Beans * Kohlrabi * Fennel * Cucumbers * Cherry Tomatoes * English Peas * Snow Peas and more!  Hope to see you there!

Before I was a farmer I was in two industries that were both dying.  Wholesale gift (which wanes and waxes with the economy) and journalism (which may not survive the internet age).   Both of these it was a struggle to hang on.  In the wholesale gift industry I can remember many meetings trying to think of strategies to sell more of our product, reduce expenses, create the next new big thing.  On the journalism side, every time a reporter left it seemed that instead of a new person filling their position, their “beat” was re-assigned to another reporter. 

Now strangely enough, by most accounts, farming is also considered a dying industry and that has been well, really, since the 1970s.  But that actually isn’t quite true in many ways.  See, people still have to eat.  And we’ve got more people than we use to.  So it’s not that farming is producing LESS food overall, it’s just been producing less variety of food and doing so in ways that focused on mega efficiencies so work that once took huge crews now is accomplished with one $250,000 GPS-run tractor.   That combined with a culture of “cheap food” that came straight down from the top.  In the 1970s Secretary of Agriculture Earl Butz uttered the famous lines encouraging farmers to “Get big or get out” and to plant “hedgerow to hedgerow.”  The idea of cheap food is a noble one, but like many things, it had a lot of (expensive) repercussions that weren’t anticipated.  And what affect it certainly did have was it eliminated many small farmers who, for whatever reasons, weren’t able to “get big.”  Or, at least not big enough.

And of course, the repercussions of all this is still very much going on.  If you followed the news this week, you might have heard how the U.S. Congress just passed a farm bill that stripped out our national food stamp program, used by 48 million Americans.  Ironically enough, they still kept in the agricultural subsidies which were of course, originally introduced with the thought of producing “cheap food” to feed our nation.  So apparently the idea is we still get to subsidize cheap food with our taxes, but only for those who can afford it…(And actually most all farm groups – across political boards – are protesting this newest farm bill.  Even the big big BIG farms realize they need the masses to be able to eat if they are going to be able to sell their crop.  Even if they are buying it with food stamps!).

But all this comes down to my little 15 acre farm and what we are experiencing this year (and have really been every year since I’ve started this crazy thing).  We are BUSY! I am sometimes just blown away by the demand for local, interesting, GOOD food.  I keep waiting for the other shoe to drop.  For folks to say, ya know, that McDonald’s, they have playgrounds and drive-throughs!  But that hasn’t happened.  Not in the least.

And really, it makes sense. Food is something we enjoy several times a day. And, as long as we have enough to eat, what people across I think almost every culture  think is important is the “enjoy” part of food. 

So I guess that’s where I come in.  Creating a product that people really, really enjoy.  And want to buy – like crazy!

So on that note…off we go to another insanely busy market day.  Today we will have…

* Arugula * Broccoli * Cauliflower * Basil * Summer Squash * Carrots * Scallions * Mesclun * Potatoes * FAva Beans * Kohlrabi * Fennel * Cucumbers * Cherry Tomatoes * English Peas * Snow Peas and more!  Hope to see you there!

Before I was a farmer I was in two industries that were both dying.  Wholesale gift (which wanes and waxes with the economy) and journalism (which may not survive the internet age).   Both of these it was a struggle to hang on.  In the wholesale gift industry I can remember many meetings trying to think of strategies to sell more of our product, reduce expenses, create the next new big thing.  On the journalism side, every time a reporter left it seemed that instead of a new person filling their position, their “beat” was re-assigned to another reporter. 

Now strangely enough, by most accounts, farming is also considered a dying industry and that has been well, really, since the 1970s.  But that actually isn’t quite true in many ways.  See, people still have to eat.  And we’ve got more people than we use to.  So it’s not that farming is producing LESS food overall, it’s just been producing less variety of food and doing so in ways that focused on mega efficiencies so work that once took huge crews now is accomplished with one $250,000 GPS-run tractor.   That combined with a culture of “cheap food” that came straight down from the top.  In the 1970s Secretary of Agriculture Earl Butz uttered the famous lines encouraging farmers to “Get big or get out” and to plant “hedgerow to hedgerow.”  The idea of cheap food is a noble one, but like many things, it had a lot of (expensive) repercussions that weren’t anticipated.  And what affect it certainly did have was it eliminated many small farmers who, for whatever reasons, weren’t able to “get big.”  Or, at least not big enough.

And of course, the repercussions of all this is still very much going on.  If you followed the news this week, you might have heard how the U.S. Congress just passed a farm bill that stripped out our national food stamp program, used by 48 million Americans.  Ironically enough, they still kept in the agricultural subsidies which were of course, originally introduced with the thought of producing “cheap food” to feed our nation.  So apparently the idea is we still get to subsidize cheap food with our taxes, but only for those who can afford it…(And actually most all farm groups – across political boards – are protesting this newest farm bill.  Even the big big BIG farms realize they need the masses to be able to eat if they are going to be able to sell their crop.  Even if they are buying it with food stamps!).

But all this comes down to my little 15 acre farm and what we are experiencing this year (and have really been every year since I’ve started this crazy thing).  We are BUSY! I am sometimes just blown away by the demand for local, interesting, GOOD food.  I keep waiting for the other shoe to drop.  For folks to say, ya know, that McDonald’s, they have playgrounds and drive-throughs!  But that hasn’t happened.  Not in the least.

And really, it makes sense. Food is something we enjoy several times a day. And, as long as we have enough to eat, what people across I think almost every culture  think is important is the “enjoy” part of food. 

So I guess that’s where I come in.  Creating a product that people really, really enjoy.  And want to buy – like crazy!

So on that note…off we go to another insanely busy market day.  Today we will have…

* Arugula * Broccoli * Cauliflower * Basil * Summer Squash * Carrots * Scallions * Mesclun * Potatoes * FAva Beans * Kohlrabi * Fennel * Cucumbers * Cherry Tomatoes * English Peas * Snow Peas and more!  Hope to see you there!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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