Thinking about my heroes and influences, and the direction our business is going.
I don’t think we are limited in what we do by anything other then our own preconceptions. Therefore I want to keep an open mind to all ideas. I’ve never interned or apprenticed at any other farm so I have no tangible concept of how most farms operate. I think this may be a good thing. It is a bad thing in that I, and we, have had to learn everything on our own, from scratch, through trial and error. The lessons we learned have become guiding principles, deeply ingrained.
I think the future of farming is small farms feeding medium sized groups of consumers. I just do. I see that model as more resilient, more connected, and more profitable for small farmers. An immediate connection with their farm creates Real Eaters, vs. Food Consumers. I don’t think we need or want food consumers. food consumers create factory farming, create waste streams.
In fact I see this concept as the future of all business. Take note of the Maker culture and 3d printers. Anybody can make anything with the right knowledge and skills. Will there come a future with no big businesses? I think it is unlikely but inevitable. See dinosaurs.
On the farming level I don’t think real change is possible without a Real Food Culture, meaning a society of people who are driven by food. We are seeing some of that with all the celebrity chef driven consumerism, but that doesn’t necessarily translate to people becoming Real Eaters. TV shows and cookbooks are a taste, but we need a full diet of real food. And most of that food is, by financial necessity, going to be prepared at home.
The entire story behind the food, everything before it gets to the kitchen, is what a farmers profession consists of.
How do we go about developing farms that are healthy, resilient, profitable? The answer is direct connection.