by Erin and Steve on 10/06/18
I've had a few conversations recently about the way food is grown and the terms used to describe it. If you know me at all you know I hate the term "Home Grown" because it makes absolutely no sense. It insinuates the food was grown in someone's back yard, and hides the exact growing practices and location it came from. But that's not the only terms used to market food that get me.
Hydroponics is somehow getting mixed in with the same crowd as organic, but it is not. Hydroponics simply grows produce in water, and since there is no soil to nurture the plant growers add all kinds of chemicals to feed the crop. The reason we grow in the soil is because the nutrients the vegetables need to grow are provided by our soil (as long as we care for the soil through cover cropping, composting and crop rotation among other things). In hydroponics there isn't any soil to provide nutrients. So growers add tubs of liquefied chemicals that are not regulated by organic certifiers to take the place of soil. If a label says "hydroponically grown" it by no means is any better than any other conventionally grown produce out there.
Now the last term I'm going to mention is just as annoying, but maybe gaining more traction recently: "Amish Grown". Once again this term is not regulated and it contains no information about how it was grown and where it came from. Amish people use just as much chemicals and plastics as other conventional farmers. Once again the term does not mean it's any better, healthier, or fresher than any other conventionally grown produce out there.
If some of these marketing terms annoy you as much as they do me the best thing to do is actually talk to the farmer that is growing the produce you intend to purchase.
When Steve and I started Root Down Farm CSA we did it because we are passionate about growing produce for people in our community and showing the value in family farms. If you ever have any questions about the farm and our growing practices or general questions about food at all please feel free to start a conversation in the share room while you are picking up your share. I have no shortage of opinions!
This week's share grown by us to organic standards includes: potatoes, winter squash, fennel, kohlrabi, beets, carrots, onions, eggplant, peppers, hot pepers, chard, kale, broccoli, flowering broccoli, radicchio, bok choy, lettuce, leeks, and spaghetti squash.
The fruit share will include asian pears, bartletts, apples, peaches and quince.