Why Organic, Why Fresh, Why Local – Farmer Donna
Why Organic, fresh, local? I have to admit I asked myself that while filling out the seemingly endless reams of paperwork required to become CCOF Certified Organic, California State Registered Organic, and inspected by the Department of Food and Agriculture to be a Certified Producer to sell organic products at local, certified farmers markets. It’s always interesting to hear other farmer’s reasons for growing organically. Our reasons are many, but start with the premise that farming is a lifestyle not a factory operation. If the only thing that mattered was the immediate bottom line, and this is where conventional shines, I believe conventional farming practices might be a better short-term, dollar profit choice, at least for us. We’d sure spend less time filling about paperwork.
But we’re not a factory. Because we don’t have stockholders to answer to, we have the freedom to consider alternative forms of profit and loss that might not be considered by a conventional factory farm. Additionally, when a farmer boosts yields by using chemicals that poison the ground water, in what column does that loss get placed? Who pays for the actual cost of those increased yields? Our farm happily embraces kids, dogs, dairy goats, chickens, llamas, friends and family. That’s one kind of profit. Not that we could live without the profit that jingles, it’s just that as organic farmers, we choose to take into consideration all the profit and losses. A seven year old visitor from the city recently remarked that the llama manure we use to make compost really stinks. Just so you know, and I think most llama owners are with me here, I don’t happen to agree.
Besides, I’m much happier knowing she’s breathing in a little harmless llama aroma, as opposed to some chemical giant’s enormously profitable, ground-water polluting, fertilizer/bomb making ingredient. And the manure-fed compost I build and feed to my trees serves more than just fertilizing purposes. It strengthens their immunology. It provides for a better tasting, nutritionally superior harvest. It conserves our very expensive water by reducing evaporation. And another benefit that the agri-business giants can’t offer is erosion control.
Rain beating down on bare land will wash away precious top soil. Covered with compost, the soil is protected.