Posted on April 08 2013
If you ask the average person where food comes from, they might be inclined to say, "the grocery store". I might have also been inclined to say the same thing prior to my summer on the farm.
A couple of years ago, I decided to spend my summer volunteering for a local organic farm. It was one of the prettiest places I've ever been. The first day I ever laid eyes on it was when I was given a tour by Farmers Charley and Tara who walked me through what seemed like endless rows of beautiful rainbow-colored vegetables, herbs and flowers. The whole place smelled like the most perfect combination of honey, grass, and fresh earth. Every row was perfectly manicured and every little growing plant was struggling hard to thrive and be as perfect as nature intended. It was a true miracle of nature.
A few weeks later began my volunteer time - my first day on the job was about 100 degrees - so hot the poor sun-scorched growing things looked like they wanted to crawl back deep into the cool earth. In an instant, on that day, I learned where food came from and what it took to get it. My back was aching, my arms sore and my skin burning from the relentless sun. I was pulling weeds and hauling wheelbarrels full of compost and tools and dirt. All I kept thinking was how did the Farmers do this every day, day in and day out? The physical labor is unexplainable, the hours are endless, the risk of failure is high and the pay, well, the pay often doesn't add up to even a decent living.
What I didn't know about Farmers is how smart they are...brilliant really. They know what to grow and how to grow it. What to feed it, how to water it, when to add sun, when to add shade. They have to be scientists and know what is the proper PH balance for the soil. When to add sand, when to mix lime. I spent a lot of time during my volunteer tenure thinking about the understanding and respect that Farmers get for what they do. They grow our food. They actually, with their own two hands, grow our food - the food that we need to survive. The grocery store does not grow it. The Farmers do. And they are some of the smartest, strongest, wisest people I've ever had the pleasure of working for.
At ChocAlive!, we believe that food matters - where it comes from matters and the Farmers who grow it matter. We believe that in order to repair the health of our bodies and the planet, we need to start back at the beginning and examine deeply, what we eat and how much it impacts everything around us. The things we have been eating for so many years now seem to have gotten very far away from what real food is. That is why our very passionate mission at ChocAlive! is to remind us that food, real food, can be delicious but it has to start simply from nature and needs to be nurtured by a Farmer. Eat well!