Monday, July 7, 2008

Laguna Farm

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).


Anonymous said...

Locally grown organic produce always tastes the best!

Steamed greens are my favorite.

James Gurney said...

Our CSA is called "Little Seed Gardens" and your description practically matches our experience. We get a lot of unusual stuff, like sorrel, pea shoots, kohlrabi, and fennel, which makes Jeanette get creative. We participate both in the bounty and the hardships: a couple weeks ago a 40-minute hailstorm decimated the lettuce crop.

Dan Gurney, Mr. Kindergarten said...

Anon--yes local food tastes better. I think it's because veggies get tired from long travel just like us.

Jim, isn't it great to subscribe to a farm via the CSA movement? It's added a lot of satisfaction in my life in several ways: by building my participation in our community through knowing personally the people who grow what you eat; by increasing the variety veggies we eat and cook (we've had all the items you mentioned and more); by significantly increasing the number of veggies in our diets; and finally by upping the quality of the food we eat.

Patch said...

sir scott can we check out your farm and conduct a survey?because we are making at thesis regarding proper preparation and cultivation of organic food...

Dan Gurney said...

Patch, I'm not Scott, but his farm is open to subscribers any time for inspection. He farms out in the open and open to inspection by anyone who eats his food. That's the best certification there is.

Anonymous said...

sir good evening1im denise may i ask what are the proper preparationa and cultivation of your organic food?

Dan Gurney said...

Hmm. Cook it if it needs cooking. Otherwise, wash it and eat it raw.