Maybe it’s the squirrels that seem more frantic this week
about pursuing their food security, but more likely it’s reading
this month’s stories that have me thinking about “layering
on.” By that I mean the good things that can happen from intentionally,
creatively and maybe even desperately adding value to what you already
have, know and do on your farms.
When a family decides that health and promise lie in the direction
of grass-based meat production,
they face a world of learning curves. Our neighbors, the Stutzmans,
have kept at it, pursuing grass-based genetics, experimenting
with grazed crops for finishing and honing their marketing skills.
Farmers and their families who want to make an impact beyond
the market are often frustrated by their lack of time to be the
educators they want to be, even if they have the teaching gene.
The Orners joined other family farmers who have taken the plunge
into adding a non-profit education
Stepping back from the same old fruits you grew up with lets
you analyze your weather, bioregion, microclimate, market and
sense of horticultural adventure. Learning
about some uncommon fruits lets you find the openings
unique to your operation.
“Stacking values” is how we choose to see the tremendous
potential arising out of this year’s media frenzy around local
and regional foods. Layering organic certification with place-based
marketing, humane livestock treatment, heirloom varieties and excellent
consumer service creates new ways to win for farmers farming well.