So, we visited the farm today, which is about 10 minutes east of our house by car. Very nice guy in his early twenties, running a permaculture farm on his own. Not interested in becoming certified organic. Doesn’t use pesticides, uses compost made with manure from the local horse rescue (we discussed how this could contain antibiotic residues, etc.). He’s slowly building up the farm—last year he sold some through a “locavore” group, this is the first year selling some at the farmer’s market and also for CSAs. Very willing to work with me on payments instead of one lump sum.
The only bummer is that he’s raising several types of animals for meat—chickens, ducks, turkeys, rabbits, etc., and he’s very much bought into the entire “circle of life” rationalization. I realize that probably most of the fruits and vegetables I already buy are in some way tied to animal agriculture, even if it’s just the fertilizer that’s used. I’m not sure about the larger farm organic veggies, but if I look very far, I’m sure to find a connection. One positive would be that since he does everything by hand, there is going to be minimal equipment incidentally killing field animals.
So, do I go with this CSA in spite of the draw-backs? Or go with the certified organic one from last year that was pushing the larger meat animals? Or just buy organic produce from the farmer’s market this summer, from places that probably do the same thing? If I get tied in with a super local farm, could I go there regularly and learn some tips to then modify for my own garden? Would it be an opportunity to open up a discussion, plant seeds of a different kind?
I sure wish I could find a farm in my region with a CSA based on veganic gardening practices though. Some people were raised to believe that it’s impossible: Clearly it’s not.
Also called stock-free farming, vegan-organics is a system which avoids all artificial chemical products (synthetic fertiliser, pesticides, growth regulators), genetically modified organisms, animal manures and slaughterhouse by-products (blood, fish meal, bone meal, etc).
I’ve got to learn to grow more of our own food. And to can and preserve. I did a pretty good job growing two summers ago, and hey, at least we’ll have a lot of kale this year.