What's Honest Food?

Honest Food is food grown using sustainable farming methods. Since not everyone knows what that is I tell customers that the vegetables we raise on the farm are grown in much the same way that our grandparents grew their food. In other words, without synthetic chemicals and with a lot of composted horse manure. We regularly rotate crops, and plant cover crops of clover and wheat to add nitrogen and organic matter to the soil. This creates the healthiest and richest soil for crops and customers say, the most delicious food they've tasted. We also plant flowers and herbs in between rows of vegetables to attract beneficial insects and we concentrate on those crops that we can grow successfully using organic methods and mostly organic approved products.

So why not just call it organic? For one thing that's illegal unless you're certified. At one time I was high on becoming certified but that's no longer a goal. My issue with it (besides the highly intensive paperwork and record keeping involved), is that organic food has gotten highly industrialized -- and this includes the large-scale organic vegetable industry. There is far too much processed food -- including TV dinners and junk food -- with the certified organic label. I mean when there's organic Ragu and Rice Krispies I don't feel like my prize beets should be in the same category. 

So I mostly stick to talking about "honest food" with customers and the importance of sustaining the land and buying local food and creating local food systems within a community.
Back in 2005 I started the nonprofit farm and blog to share what I have learned about good, honest food raised by small farmers in a way that sustains the land. I've gone whole-hog in the opposite direction from when I worked as an editor for fancy magazines in New York and mostly wrote about what other people did. I traded in my Prada boots for garden clogs and rolled up my sleeves. Instead of magazine test kitchens I work outdoors. There are less dishes to wash and less recipes to obsess over. I enjoy cooking the food I grow but the recipes are a lot less fussy and to me, a lot more delicious because of the blood, sweat and love that went into it. Now it's all about keeping it honest.
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