The other day, a farmer told me that it’s now illegal for farmers to eat food straight from the field. It’s a new law. I have no idea why, but I suspect it’s because so many farms are now dangerous. Pesticides stronger than anything we’ve ever used in history, nasty antibiotic resistant bugs that are evolving on livestock lots and finding there way onto farmland via fertilizer and runoffs. Most of the food grown in this country is so toxic water alone isn’t sufficient to clean it, we need to use soap/ antibacterial baths/ heat.
This picture of Chris eating a daikon was taken 4 years ago. If this picture was more recent would Chris be breaking the law? It made me wonder: how can we be growing in such a way that even farmers can no longer taste their crops? Our not-so-secret mission at Clover is to build a better food future. And a better food future begins with the soil. With farmers who care about building up the soil, instead of destroying it.
This photo was taken at Winter Moon Roots Farm in Hadley, MA, not far from where I grew up. The farmer, Michael, is one of my heroes. We buy tons of produce from him. [Plug: we’ll also be announcing signups for his super-popular Winter CSA next week!] His fields are fed by the fertile Connecticut River. The fields are certified organic, so no pesticides will ever end up there. And I believe you can taste this in the vegetables that come from these fields. Taste starts in the soil. Chris and his team do some beautiful things once they receive the produce. But without healthy soil we can’t do much. Winter Moon Roots is located on land that is actually protected by law. This land will be farmland forever.
I want more farms like Winter Moon Roots. PS: About that daikon. I think we ended up creating a daikon radish sandwich that totally bombed. Not every experiment works at Clover.