The Washington Post reports a bit of good news – small organic farms that are both environmentally and economically sustainable. Whoa, that word is HOT.
The local farmer pictured here, Michael Pappas, farms only 2 and a half acres and they’re only 8 miles away from the middle of D.C., but he’s making a "nice living" from it, thank you very much, selling to restaurants, grocery stores and college dining halls.
(The article helpfully reveals that he’s single, no kids. And if he’d just smile I bet he’d be my type. Maybe he needs to be interviewed.)
And here’s an interesting connection. Garden writer Michael Pollan’s best-selling Omnivore’s Dilemma, which "calls into question the wisdom of industrial organics," is being credited with the new, more enlightened focus on local produce at Whole Foods. Apparently their customers see the wisdom in Pollan’s argument: "What good is eating organic if it’s been trucked 3,000 gas-guzzling miles across the country?" Whole Foods is even spending $10 million this year to promote local agriculture. Guess the written word – in print, no less – hasn’t lost the power to enlighten.
WE *HEART* FARMERS MARKETS
Finally, the growth of these niche farms is seen as a product of the phenomenal growth of farmers markets across the country. That’s where buyers for those restaurants, stores and college food services are meeting up with their new local suppliers.
So veggie gardeners, maybe you CAN quit that indoor job and make a living doing something you love. On top of which, it has a very cool purpose.
Photos: Top, by Melina Mara of the Washington Post. Bottom, seen at Takoma Park Maryland’s Farmers Market.