A bill is on the table in CA that will lower start-up costs for CSA programs. At the same time, they’re creating steeper penalties for mis-representing the quality of food in farmer’s markets - I wonder if that applies to “Organic” grocery stores as well.
The importance of transparency in the food market is paramount, how much government regulation do we need to get there?
A core idea behind Farm Shares was that customers should be able to judge how trustworthy or price-worthy a farm is on a case-by-case basis, that if we can aggregate a lot of information about how individual farms work, we can create a more transparent and self-regulated marketplace for food.
Local and State-level legislation like this is certainly welcome, we can use all the help we can get!
“It has to start somewhere, it has to start sometime.
What better place than here.
What better time than now.”
- Rage Against The Machine, Guerrilla Radio
Farm Shares is breaking out.
Our Facebook reach just hit 3,500 people, a new all-time high.
Last night I met a business man from Australia who has just moved to Chile with his wife and daughter, he’s interested in joining us and managing a system of local distribution that will make it possible for home or office delivery to grow out like roots all throughout the world, anywhere that our farmers are selling.
Our sales for Ecoterra are starting to grow, and soon I won’t be able to deliver to all our customers on my bicycle - I know that getting friendly, dependable people to serve as couriers in our delivery network is key, as important as hiring my technical co-founder, I’ve been interviewing people this last week and have found some really good ones!
I just got back from my second visit to the Feria Organica in a suburb of Santiago, we’re going to get more farms in Chile serving customers in the city very soon. In addition to eggs, Santiago residents will be able to get fruits, vegetables and cheeses delivered to their door every week. We’re hunting for grass-based providers of beef, chicken and pork to complete the selection.
We’re also very excited to finish integrating Chilean payments, which unfortunately took a bit of time, and jump into redesigning the Farm Shares front page. This last week I added several farms to the site, soon residents of several US states - Vermont, California, North Carolina, New York, Connecticut, Oregon, Nevada, Arizona, Maryland, Virginia, Arkansas - will be able to see farms within 300 miles of them and be able to order pastured-raised meats for home shipping.
We are going to create a new food system, and faster than you might imagine. Maybe fast enough to turn around climate change, top-soil depletion, healthcare and unemployment.
On Saturday I went to visit the Feria Organica in the mountain-side neighborhood of La Reina (which means “The Queen” in Spanish).
The thing I love most about doing this work is meeting all these people, many of whom have families, and tasting their delicious foods! Then, helping them by helping you taste their delicious foods. We’re definitely going to be working with more Chilean farmers in the near future.
Vamos supuestamente trabajar con mas agricultores Chilenos en la futura cerca.
Farming has changed in many ways over the past 10 years. We can look not only at large-scale farms adopting GMOs, but also to small-holdings adopting holistic soil management. Whatever the farm’s focus, the product needs to be good and profit-margins need to be sufficient for the farming model to expand. There is also a moral dimension for farmers to consider: environmental impact, animal welfare and the health effects of the farming methods on consumers. When operations that account for all of those elements, we call it “sustainable farming”.
Sustainable farming is “new” but may be considered the traditional way. The USDA defines it as “an integrated system of plant and animal production practices having a site-specific application that will over the long-term”. Sustainable farms are springing up frequently and globally. These agriculturalists use their farm as a method of self-sufficiency, commercial production and a training ‘seed’ to encourage an army of new sustainable farmers. If this social and economic movement can continue growing, it will change how the world eats and heal the biome!
So… What does the future hold for sustainable farmers?
1). How the products will get to market….
Farmers will change the way they sell and get their products to the end user. Farmers’ markets, local shops and in the case of dairy produce- the local milkman are the current channels which farmers utilise. While many of these are still relevant and widely adopted, there are now more and easier ways to will get food to more customers FASTER. It is also possible for farmers to raise more advanced cashflow from their clients, and to maintain good relations as the poolof customers grows without losing tons of time in administration. This is only going to get better in the future as dozens of start-up companies compete to build the foundations of a sustainable food system.
The internet and the proliferation of mobile devices make it possible for customers to get more information about their food and how it was grown than ever before, while giving farmers a direct market. A patchwork of companies in different regions of Europe and the Americas are slowly building a distribution network to get food delivered to people’s homes and offices. The old market of negotiating with a supermarket chain and waiting 2 months to receive payment is being replaced with $7.99 delivery and receiving funds in advance.
2). Increased Awareness
Advertisements about healthy eating and real food frequent the airwaves more and more. Meanwhile, a generation of 20 somethings are using their smartphones to re-pin infographics about GMOs or how much food is wasted along the supply chain. This rising generation is going to demand authenticity and direct access: knowledge equals power. More consumers will look at where their food came from and from whom they choose to buy food.
3). Health and its impact
An epidemic of Cancer, Diabetes and Obesity has shaken people awake to look at their plate critically. Just like when cigarettes became socially unacceptable in the 1960s, it’s no longer cool to fill one’s body with fried factory chicken and wash it down with high-fructose corn syrup. Questions being asked are A) where is the food being sourced? B) What chemicals were involved in the making of the food? C) which foods are healthier?
More consumers asking questions will mean that sustainable farmers can answer more questions and therefore give insight into how their produce came to be. The future of food marketing will involve helping farmers conduct these conversations down to the individual customer in a time and cost-effective way.
Tips relating to food! #Food
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons ancho chili powder
- 4 (6-ounce) bone-in center-cut pork chops (about 1/2 inch thick)
- Cooking spray
- 1/4 cup fat-free, less-sodium beef broth
- 2 tablespoons seedless raspberry preserves
Combine the first 3 ingredients in a small bowl and stir well. Rub spice mixture evenly over pork. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add pork to pan and cook 3 minutes on each side or until desired degree of doneness. Remove from pan and keep warm.
Add broth to pan and cook for 30 seconds, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Increase heat to medium-high. Add preserves to pan; cook 1 minute or until slightly thick. Stir constantly with a whisk. Brush pork with glaze.
Like this recipe?
At Sugar Mountain Farm, Walter and Holly Jeffries have been at work on a small-scale slaughter and butchering facility on their property. This facility will serve as a prototype for pastured pork and beef operations around the world.