Starting literally at ground zero with their new purchase in 2007, Mackey and Barry, owners of Red Sunflower Farm, researched, read, and were mentored into homesteading. The concept of homesteading involves commitment. Commitment to agricultural production that supports a self-sufficient lifestyle. Commitment to preservation of food for personal use. Commitment to sustainable, organic, pesticide-free growing principles. No small commitment.
Red Sunflower Farm is also a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) which offers consumers the ability to purchase “shares” of the farm’s production on a weekly basis throughout the growing season. Consumer benefit is many-fold: receiving the highest quality, most flavorful, freshest, whole, locally produced fruits, vegetables and proteins while enjoying a relationship with your grower. Stable farm income and forecasting of crop production and consumer usage benefits the farmer.
The analogy of commitment to one’s self and to others in the production and consumption of food is a perfectly aligned example of spiritual practice. One practices for one’s self and simultaneously commits to practicing for all others. True spiritual practice.
So, let’s go back to one of the questions in a previous post: What steps can I take to improve the quality of my life and my food?
- Become a member of a CSA, like Red Sunflower Farm. In addition to the joy and pleasure of consuming food at its peak, you’ll learn a smidge about organic farming practices which will improve your decision-making about other consumables.
- Pop by a farm market, and talk to the growers about what they’re offering. They’re expert practitioners in their fields, and they have amazing stories to tell of hard work, perseverance and success. I talked the owner of Grateful Grahams at Findlay last Sat about his vegan graham cracker bites before buying a bag. I was reminiscing about making graham crackers for my son 25+ years ago. In three years, Grateful Grahams has gone from one day a week production in a 1000 SF facility to full-time production in 5000 SF with distribution in places like Joseph-Beth, Roebling Point and Blue Manatee Books, Lookout Joe, Monkey Brew, Sidewinder and Luckman Coffee Houses, plus retailers like Whole Foods, Jungle’s, Green Bean Delivery, Madison’s at Findlay, and oh yeah, Amazon Foods. You can’t imagine how delicious these are.
- Increase your awareness of quality in all things. Very easy. Very simple. Consumer-driven markets (food and other consumables, clothing, household purchases, major investments) cannot help but respond to consumer demand. Make the simple commitment to take junk out of your life. When making a buying decision, look for the confluence of quality and price: it’s called value. There’s no need to sacrifice quality. We have the power to dictate what’s in the marketplace with our dollars.
Not sure where to look for a farmer’s market? I’m here to help. Check in tomorrow.