A farm is a farm...right?
I used to think "the farm" was ubiquitous for wholesome, pure, good and healthy. Not so unfortunately.
The more documentaries I've watched, the more reading I've done, the more conversations I've had has stripped me of that facade. I won't say it hasn't jaded me a bit, made me a little cynical, because with knowledge comes responsibility to make the appropriate changes. I can't just buy any bag of produce labeled "farm fresh" and think I'm doing my bit anymore. I know better now.
One documentary that has played a huge role in opening my eyes and my mind to what farming really is, is called the Biggest, Little Farm. If you haven't seen it, I highly recommend it. It's a wonderful mixture of harsh reality and intentionally grown optimism wrapped up in a very inspiring story.
Since I came to Local Harvest in spring 2021 I have learned so much about farming and "farming". I have learned about soil health, regenerative agriculture and a term called no-till. These phrases I have been vaguely aware of as their names suggests, but it wasn't until I really started to dig into the definition of each one did I discover why they are so important. This is why I am so passionate about bringing food from here to the North Shore. It's much more than local food.
Buying local is a good first step when choosing which onions or apples you're going to bring home. The emissions produced transporting fruits and veggies from around the globe to our grocery stores are staggering. We also want to support our local economy so it makes a lot of sense from that angle to chose local whenever possible.
When I came upon Local Harvest I discovered they offer a gardening course. There's a 10 minute video that elaborated on those particular terms. I was intrigued. I'd seen footage of the devastation of monocrop farming. Almonds, coconuts, raspberries etc. Mono meaning all of the diversity of life that was previously in that space was wiped out and one and only crop only was given permission to grow there. Beware the trends of "healthy eating" for they are costly to our planet and to our health.
Local Harvest uses a no till method of farming on their 25 acre property. Tilling disrupts the balance of life within the soil and releases the carbon contained within it. They seek to add to, not take away from, thus the soil food web is kept in tact with all the members of microbes, bacteria, worms, insects and fungi free to live and thrive bringing nutrients to the soil in which seeds will grow in. Seeds which are tended to without the use of any chemical sprays whatsoever, not even organic sprays. What grows on this particular farm is truly my ideal definition of the word. Wholesome. Pure. Good. Healthy.
When you know the farming practices of the farm where you buy your food you can eat with confidence knowing that what you're consuming was grown not only for the present season but with the future in mind. Regenerative farming. That "re" is very important as it represents a time not yet realized but one that is thought of and considered and planned for. The farm here