Monday, July 7, 2008
Every week I enjoy a happy trip to Laguna Farms, a CSA membership organic farm on the edge of town. Laguna Farm is run by Farmer Scott Mathieson who’s a real a farmer, you know, the kind you read about in kindergarten books about farms.
Scott lives on his farm. He’s told me, “The best fertilizer in the world is the farmer’s shadow.” He exemplifies the bumper sticker slogan: “Without a farmer, it ain't a farm.” Am I alone in finding agribusiness operations forbidding, lonely, and even scary landscapes?
When there’s time I prefer to ride my bike to the farm. It takes 10 minutes longer than driving, but it’s 100% enjoyable. And Mother Earth likes bikes.
For those who can’t pick up their own food, Farmer Scott offers delivery. He recently got this electric truck to run around town. It’s a proper hybrid: the blue gas engines are small, a pair of them mounted above the tailgate. They have only one job: to recharge the battery which powers the electric motor. They only come on when the mileage exceeds the battery capacity. It’s more efficient, I’m told, than the Prius arrangement which is basically an electric assisted gasoline car.
An array of solar panels powers the farm and the electric vehicles. Farmer Scott’s farm is a green place! His green plants, of course, convert solar energy into food energy more efficiently than these solar panels turn sunlight into electricity.
Here’s the tub of food I’m going to pack into bags and pedal home with. Can't see it, but inside one of those bags is the best salad mix I've ever tasted. The paper bag has shittake mushrooms—mmmm— and there are strawberries, cilantro and lots of other yummy treats. You eat more veggies and better veggies when you support a farm by subscribing to it. The one thing about being a member of Laguna Farm is that it makes it hard to enjoy any other lettuce based salad. His greens are without peer.
Ready to go! The food Scott grows he calls “Beyond Organic” because he’s not certified as an organic farm (too much paperwork chasing after standards he feels have been relaxed too much).
The best certification I know is walking the fields (they smell good), knowing the farmer (he’s an honorable, compassionate man), and tasting the food (it’s so much better than grocery store organic).