Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Farming is Work That Matters

I was at the MOSES organic farming conference at the end of February. Several of the classes that I went to were out standing, real life changing stuff. I sent the teachers a note and told them they did a nice job and should be very proud of doing "Work that Matters".

Most organic farmers are doing "Work that Matters" too and here is why.
  1. Families depend on your produce or meats for their sustenance. We figure several hundred families buy most of their vegetables from us. You are literally preserving the DNA of the human race. Unlike conventional farmers whose corn, beans or wheat is gonna end up in some processed box some where as hollow calories for the masses. The organic farmer is likely to know a large share of his customers through farmers markets and CSAs.
  2. Direct marketing builds a relationship with the eater. The farmer becomes a part of the extended family of their customers.
  3. The organic farmer preserves the genetics of non-GMO plants and animals.
  4. The organic farmer's practices are environmental enhancing. You know the talk parents should have with their children about the birds and the bees. Well they should have a second talk about preserving natural insect control and pollinators. The organic farmer helps these environmentally challenged groups stay alive and thrive. If you build it they will come. You should see the pollinators that come to our rows of baby zucchini with their jumbo blossoms and copious amounts of pollen. The rows literally sing with insects in the morning sun. These are happy critters, we shake bees out of the blossoms who are drunk with pollen, and have never been stung.
  5. The organic farmer builds soil. I took a survey last year from an organic group at one of the land grant universities. They ask a question about how organic practices slowed soil loss...this is the wrong question. They should be asking how organic practices build soil. No other approach is acceptable, if you can't figure out how to build soil with your farming then you shouldn't be farming. If you don't build soil then there is no future. Even conventional farmers can do this. It is called cover crops and composting organic matter.
  6. The organic farmer purifies ground water. The biological system upon which the organic farm is built cannot contaminate ground water. Fertility is so intimately linked with the needs of the plant and soil microbiology, that there is no wasted nutrients to leach into the ground water.
You can partner with the organic farmer by buying organic. Vote with your fork.

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