Why do this at all?
Permaculture is the guiding set of principles practiced on our farm and is best explained with this quote from its founder, Bill Mollison, “Permaculture is a philosophy of working with, rather than against nature; of protracted and thoughtful observation rather than protracted and thoughtless labor; and of looking at plants and animals in all their functions, rather than treating any area as a single product system.” With the industrialization of food in the world, came increases in diabetes and obesity, highly processed foods with little to no nutritive value, centralized food sources, food-borne illness outbreaks, poverty level wages on farms, concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFO), inhumane handling practices, herbicide resistant weeds, monocultures, topsoil loss, nutrient runoff, air and water pollution, excessive miles to get to the consumer, food waste, genetically modified organisms, and on and on. The solution to one problem tends to create at least one other nefarious problem.
Luckily there are alternatives to this bleak outlook in the form of small, family-owned integrated farms like this one all over the country making a comeback. Our farm consists of a vegetable market garden, a small orchard and flower garden, a diverse grassland pasture, and forest areas that all support our different types of livestock. We strive to continuously improve our farming methods, the quality of our products, and the positive impacts we have on the community and the environment. Food production should be a priority of every community for the food safety, food security, and good nutrition it provides. No longer do we have to import food from many miles away with all the baggage it carries. One advantage to supporting your local farmer, especially one who uses sustainable or regenerative practices, is the cost certainty that comes from our resiliency. We’re not buying many inputs from off the farm that rely on cheap fuel, cheap grain, high yields from good weather, or government subsidies to be profitable. Therefore, we can keep our prices steady even during drought, fuel price increases, tax hikes, etc. When all those inputs actually are cheap, we are probably more expensive than the grocery store across the board, but our quality will always be better and the price is not subject to external factors.
Start getting your food from a local farm with the right priorities!