Mar 152010

The Answer is: Farmer’s Markets. Local food production. Small Farms. Sustainable Farming.

What is: The Future of Food?

If we were playing Food Jeopardy, you would be a big winner. We’re not, but in a sense we’re playing a much bigger game. We have been putting our planet, our oceans, and our environment in jeopardy with our food production habits over the last decades. But it’s beginning to change…

What is happening with our food? Where does our food come from, and what impact does growing it have on the Earth? More and more people are asking these questions, and the answers they’re getting are making them question everything about how they’ve been eating all their lives.

Personally, reading Michael Pollan’s The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals had an enormous impact on my own perceptions of the food industry, and it altered my ways of eating, my relationship to food, and how I purchase food. I realize now that every purchase I make has an impact on the planet. Some people read this book, however, and it completely changes the course of their lives.

Such is the case for Tara and Craig Smith. I still have a hard time wrapping my head around what they’ve done, because it’s so ballsy and so amazing. They sold their home on the water in Marin, Tara quit her career, and they purchased 240 acres of land to start a sustainable, organic farm raising cows, chickens, pigs, and growing all manner of produce. They were so profoundly moved and affected by what they learned about food, they decided to make their own impact on the world and become food entrepreneurs.

Yesterday, I had the good fortune to visit their farm, Tara Firma Farms, nestled in the gorgeous hills of the North Bay. The farm is open to visitors almost every day, and Tara conducts wonderful, amazingly informative tours every Sunday. In talking to her, I was struck by how passionate she is about her farm, about the locavore movement, and about organic, sustainable farming. It really needs to be the future of how our food is produced, or we are going to end up ripping this planet apart. But the beauty of it is, when you learn about how this farming is done, you realize that it makes perfect sense, can produce equivalent (or better) yields, healthier meat, and wonderful fresh produce.

By practicing biointensive farming, they are able to get greater yields per square foot from their produce gardens. By moving their cattle to new patches of grass every day, the grass isn’t grazed down too far, and is able to stay healthy and nutritious. And by moving their hens onto the land recently vacated by the cattle, their hens are able to eat bugs and grubs which gives their eggs thick yellow yolks.

Honestly, I don’t have enough good things to say about Tara and Craig and their lovely farm. It truly is the future of food, and once more people have access to farms like Tara Firma, I really do believe that we will see a food revolution that will put food production back in the hands of small, local, independent farmers.

So I just wanted to thank Tara and Craig for having a dream – and making that dream a reality. And I wish the best to everyone else out there willing to make an impact on how we, as Americans, get our food.

  2 Responses to “Returning the Power of Food to the People”

  1. Thanks so much for coming out to the farm Aaron and for taking the time to share about your experience there. The weather was beautiful and no doubt your photos captured the essence of the green hills and happy animals. You even got a shot of my favorite rooster doing what he’s best at…watching his girls! :-)

    I’m thrilled you’ve decided to trust us with providing you a weekly box of our pastured meats & veggies from our bio-intensive gardens.

    Hope to see you out at the farm again soon…come spend the day, hike, picnic, fish in our pond…our farm is your farm…

 Leave a Reply

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>