FARMERS MARKET REPORT: WEEK OF NOV. 1, 2009

© 2007 martini media
© 2007 martini media

FOOD IN THE 21ST CENTURY: SUSTAINABILITY

It’s interesting to think that we talk about sustainability as if it were a new trend or seemingly more fashionable than ever. The Post-World War 20th Century turned agriculture into a scientific analysis and the Green Movement allowed food to sustain incredible population growth. That model was based on a surplus of global resources: land, water, fuel and environmental sustainability. Today, none of these resources come cheap nor can they sustain our planet’s increasing food demands and decreasing agricultural productivity. Sustainability has always been the model for survival. It is now that the sense of urgency can no longer be ignored. Agribusiness cannot be sustained economically. It is the economics that drives the future of agriculture. It gauges the viability, rationality and plausibility of agricultural productivity. What does it mean for us? Small sustainable farms growing regionally specific foods are at the core of present and future agricultural models. Each week we embrace the farm to market method we are putting money into a sustainable system. We are directly investing in food and farms because they matter. We are supporting our community, creating vital relationships and food sources of capital for small farmers and growers. Paul Newman said, “I just happen to think that in life we need to be a little like the farmer who puts back into the soil what he takes out.” That is basic math and economic sustainability. It isn’t fashionable or trendy. It is now and it is our future.

FEATURED FARM:

PENRYN ORCHARD

Penryn Orchard is a 100% sustainable boutique-sized 4 acre orchard that is growing amazing tree fruits: from rare heirloom Asian pears to eight different varieties of persimmons. Jeff Reiger purchased the orchard from a retired Japanese immigrant, George Oki who started the orchard in 1980. Jeff knew nothing about growing fruit when he started. George handed him a map of the orchard and said “Good Luck!” Today Jeff farms the land with the assistance of bees for pollination, bugs and guinea hens for a healthy ecosystem and sheep and cow fertilizer for composting. The result is a prolific orchard growing “uncommonly good fruit”

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