This week we return to the topic of sustainable farming.
People often tour our farm to see a sustainable farm in action, either as educational groups, or as part of pizza night. When they arrive on farm, I give a brief introduction; first generation farm family, 20 acres, on farm for 10 years, 2 acres in vegetable production, selling through CSA, Farmers Market of The Ozarks, and a few restaurants, three or four full time farm workers, etc. Then I explain that we try to make all of our decisions through the lens of the three P’s; Planet, People, and Profit.
People are a key part of the farm community, from family members and farmworkers to CSA members, to the wider community that attends pizza night and buys from us at the farmers market. We want to treat the people involved with our farm in an ethical and principled way, and in a way that honors their desire to be happy and have a balanced life. For example, one of the reasons we have lots of covered growing space on the farm is because it gives us a place to work in inclement weather; because we can keep busy even in poor weather, we are able to even out our workload, rather than cramming all our work into a few perfect days. Another benefit of growing under covered space is that we are able to supply good fresh food for our members year-round, which makes them happy. Our decision to grow naturally is also a choice we made largely due to people; we feel good about feeding our family and members food that doesn’t contain pesticide residue. Our open door policy is also a result of this principle; it’s increasingly difficult for folks to connect with the source of their food, and even rarer for families to participate in a hands-on way. We love having our members come work with us on the farm, and we have structured our farm in such a way that this is possible. There are many more examples of the way people are considered on our farm, from our vacation policy to our options for delivery and pickup of your shares; we try to keep this a central guiding principle as we continue the process of creating and remaking the farm.
Next week, a look at a couple of ways that the third P of sustainable farming ties into the design of our farm.
Thanks for choosing us to be your farmers. Curtis, Sarah, Kimby, David, Eric, Ron, Ken, Hazel, Ella, Chelsea, Rebecca, Becca, Karissa, Jennae, Brie, Colby, Emma, Leticia, Anna, Isabella, Leta, Sophia, Grace, Ruth, Reuben, and the rest of the crew at Millsap Farm.