The slowness of winter on the farm allows time to read, study, plan and think about the next year. I had the idea of doing a top ten style list of why we started farming, both for the sake of new readers and as a reminder to us, to be re-read in the summer when we are pulling the one thousandth weed in the blazing sun, or moving chickens at 6 am, and questioning our sanity
Reason 1: Both of my parents died from non-hereditary forms of cancer. My dad was diagnosed with glioblastoma multiforme (stage 4) brain cancer in February 2007 and died May 2, 2007. My mom was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer in March 2009 and died January 6, 2010. Needless to say, I hate cancer. I hate that it is so prevalent now, and that it attacks and affects regardless of age, race or gender. And how and why you get it is (mostly) unknown. But I do know that, as a child and teen, I never saw my parents drink water. They would drink 4-6 cans of “diet whatever” a day. And I know that there is research that links brain cancer with aspartame. I just wonder whether their cancer was due to environmental reasons or due to their diet, or if it was just an anomaly.
Reason 2: The majority of the American diet is engineered in a lab. This article from the NYT was just released and it is shocking but not surprising to learn that food manufactures are trying to make as much money as possible, by getting us addicted to their products. On the other hand, the local food moving is resurging. More and more people are realizing that the best food is the freshest food.
Reason 3: I love to eat and I love to try new foods. This began during my undergraduate years at Ohio State. Through friends from different cultures I was introduced to world cuisine. Living in the city also allowed me to explore local and unique restaurants. This passion continued to grow throughout my twenties and today. With the growing focus on sourcing local, we hope to become a supplier to some of our favorite places someday.
If you farm, what are some of your reasons? Or are you a consumer wanting to make more informed choices?