In Praise of Community Farmers
I love The Community farm
On Saturday 8th October 2016 The Community Farm had there squash harvest day, and they had hoards of people coming along to help and to celebrate a superb crop.
Witnessing so many people with muddy hands making light work of harvesting tons of colourful squash was a rich experience. To know that by now all the big wooden crates of squash are tucked up in the cold store is a secure feeling. It’s been a good growing year for squash, which brings happiness and security.
It’s great to know that our shops will all have big displays from the squash harvest; that everyone who buys and then eats these delicious, nutritious gourds will know that love and hard work got them from farm to shop.
Close to the squash I saw a huge crop of leeks looking tremendous. Leeks are not an easy crop to make work by hand. It’s fine for the big harvester machines, which can get tons of leeks to market in a day, but digging with forks, then stripping and washing the stems takes time. Better Food decided to help the farm this year through their Adopt-a-Crop scheme and our chosen crop was leeks. Through the shcheme, we’ve directly helped make sure the farm makes a success of the leeks this year. Many of our staff have been to the farm as volunteers to help on the fields too.
I have been involved with the farm from its inception and though it’s had a some very tough times making things stack up, I am delighted to say I have never seen such great crops and happy teams. Launching into new ways of working in food production that really values the soil and the people who tend it is a risky business. Producing a diverse range of crops means trying to push back the giant machine of industrial agriculture and a cheap food culture that serves no one. The Community Farm are doing just that, and thay have learnt that with perseverance and the goodwill of volunteers it can work. Together we can push back the giants just a little.
I take my hat off to all those who have slogged through summers of long hours and winters of cold and mud. Thank you farmers.
About the Author:
Phil Haughton – Owner and Founder of Better Food