In Praise of Community Farmers
I love The Community farm
On Saturday 8th the farm had there squab 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 wood crates of squash are now tucked up in the cold store is a secure feeling for the farm. Its been a good growing year for squash and so brings happiness and security.
Its great to know that our shops will all have big displays of the squash harvest. And that everyone who buys and then eats these delicious, nutritious foods, will know that love and hard work got them from farm to shop.
Close to the squash harvest I saw a huge crop of leeks looking tremendous. Leeks are not an easy crop to make work by hand. Its fine for the big harvester machines who can get tons of leeks to market in 1 day. Digging with forks and stripping and washing takes time. Better Food decided to help the farm this year through their adopt a crop and our chosen crop was leeks. So we directly helped make sure the farm make a success of the leeks this year. Many of our staff have been to the farm as volunteers to help with what ever needed doing as well as helping with leek digging.
I have been involved with the farm from its inception and its had a some very tough times making it all 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. And producing a diverse range of crops is a bit like trying to push back the giant machine of industrial agriculture and a cheap food culture that serves no one. The Community farm are doing it. And thay have learnt that with perseverance and volunteer good will it can begin to 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 tending. Thank you farmers.
About the Author:
Phil Haughton – Owner and Founder of Better Food