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What Farming IS NOT

Sometimes it begs me all the things that sustainable farmers talk and brag and worry about.


There are so many extra social issues and environmental issues and political issues loaded on to farm these days. I'm tired of it.


Farming is and always has been about growing food to feed people.


That's it: Produce food for people and sell it for money.


Obviously this is very important work. After all, everyone needs food. We all eat.


And just like any other type of work, it can be done better and worse. The product can turn out pretty different depending on how the work is done.


You can pay attention to the details or you can be sloppy. You can be committed to quality or you can do the cheapest and fastest thing possible.


In short, you can care or you can not care.


And this work can also be done for selfish reasons or generous reasons. Do you do it FOR the other person? Or do you do it FOR yourself? Who tells you what to do? Your own ego or your customers? The answer to that is who you are doing the work for.


And I don't think a lot of farmers are really farming for anyone in particular. They are just mostly farming because they want to farm. And they hope someone will want the food.


That bothers me. And I'd like us to change that. I'd like our farm to be a farm that is actually farming FOR our community. Which hasn't been done for a long time.


I doubt industrial farming would be in such a state if the farmers had actually asked people what they wanted. I can't imagine anyone would have voted FOR a lot of the food production practices that are normal in our modern world.


Of course people choose the cheaper option. But that is just because they have no idea why one is cheaper and one is more expensive. They have no idea where the cost is falling.


But a lot of people are now pretty upset about the accumulating costs of industrial agriculture. And they are increasingly concerned with the falling levels of nutrition in their food. And the subsequent illness that is becoming pervasive in our culture. No one wanted any of THOSE things. But no one asked them what they wanted.


We're here to change that. We're here to farm FOR our people. And we get it--not everyone knows exactly what is best in food. In that case we are happy to make recommendations. But ultimately we work FOR our eaters and we're ready to make that real by putting them in the driver seat.


How are we going to do that? We are going to start asking questions. Please take some time to answer these questions. Your answers will guide us in our work.


Its not really much more complicated then that. We're not a big agri-business. We're not a distant corporation. We're people and we're working for a small crowd of people who care. And we're going to do the work to get them the food they want and need.


And I'm pretty sure getting real about this is both simple and hard. But I'm pretty sure it can make all the difference.


Your Farmer,

Joel





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