What exactly is organic farming? Thank goodness the USDA has a website that defines exactly what that means. Not really. I find it hard to espouse and embrace the organic culture as it has been defined recently. To think that for thousands of years humans grew food, tended animals and lived off the land without our benevolent government to tell us the correct methods is not commonly accepted. Actually, I personally despise the certification of the food I grow and the methods of which I grow it.
How is it that humans lived so long without an agency to approve of the methods of food production? Maybe the free market had something to do with it. Perhaps if someone produced bad food in a community, word got out that the food was no good and the locals ceased buying from that producer. Word of mouth advertising is more prevalent today than ever with the explosion of social media usage. When you find a good restaurant or local produce stand you surely tell your friends and family.
And what of the producers? What are their motivations? Do they wake early in the morning determined to produce the best possible product that they can? I believe most of them do. But lately, I have met some local farmers who think it is important to have a USDA Organic label on their products. I ask them why and the response is that it proves that the food was produced responsibly. But does it really mean that this is the case? I believe the jury is still out on this issue.
What must happen to insure the safety of our food supply? I have given this much thought and have come up with some answers to my own questions and provided myself with some standards that I will utilize as a new farmer in my community. Please note that the items listed below are my virtuous attempt to get to an ideal.
- FiveDollarFarm will leave the land in better condition than we found it.
- We will not use chemicals to produce food or enhance the mediums in which food is grown.
- We will care for our animals humanely to the best of our ability. We will not cause suffering or discomfort.
- We are thankful for the sacrifice of the animals given to us for our sustenance.
- We acknowledge that we are merely caretakers for God’s gifts to us and that they belong to him.
Soon we will explore in more detail the solar energy that is available to us and how we understand it and use it to our advantage.