In honor of Mother Earth we’re focusing on sustainability, organic farming, and other ways we can help out our wonderful planet. We’ll be sharing how we do things on the farm, as well as tips to bring these techniques into your own home.
To us, sustainability means creating systems which ensure continued fertility, diversity, and vitality, benefiting humans, animals, plants, insects, fungi, and microbes for many years to come.
As we explore our sustainability ethic in the month to come, you can look forward to learning all about:
Vermicomposting (that’s composting with worms!)
Involving pollinators and other animals in agriculture
Importance of supporting family organic farms
The Laysan albatross sanctuary on our land
How sustainability and organic practices impact food quality and nutrition
But before we get started, we wanted to share with you just a few of the many reasons sustainability, and organic farming in particular, matter so much to us.
Small Scale Farming
The world is moving more and more toward industrial food systems, meaning fewer larger farms growing larger yields of fewer crops with more pesticides and more herbicides.
Most big farms only grow one or two crops, most often heavily subsidized corn and/or soybeans. The market is flooded with cheap corn and soybeans, and then it’s the market’s job to figure out a use for them.
Unfortunately, there are some very heavy hidden costs that go with industrial farming:
Edging out of small business farms and even medium-sized farms, putting farmers in debt
Dilution of “organic” standards, increased difficulty in regulation
Decreased diversity of plants, animals, and microbes
Increased agricultural runoff, potentially harmful to the environment
Increased consumption of processed foods, decreased nutrient intake
Later this month, we’ll discuss why it matters to the environment whether or not you know your farmer (even if you only know them online!)
Modern industrial agriculture places little emphasis on the long-term fertility of the soil, instead focusing on fertilizing intensively in the short term. Not only does this practice deplete the soil of nutrients over time, but it also causes runoff of toxic chemicals, decreased diversity, and the need to apply ever more fertilizers, herbicides, and insecticides to keep nature at bay.
We see it as our responsibility as farmers to return as many nutrients to the soil as we can in the form of mulch, compost, worm castings and compost teas. Not only does this improve the nutritional content of the food we grow, but it also ensures the long-term ability of this land to stay productive over the years.