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10:12 pm, August 17, 2012

Changing Our Food World

I love good food, and I care deeply about what I do for a living. I genuinely believe that as organic farmers we can help lead the way in changing our food culture for the better.

However the world of food writing that describes the good food process does not reflect this; the “passion” bandied about in food writing frustrates me. For me, joy and commitment say a bit more.

Passion is an emotion which is fleeting, and no matter how much you have it’s not going to get the job done. Food is altogether different, its elemental. It’s at the top of our pyramid of needs. We need it to live. And there’s the rub, because its commitment we need here not passion. 

So What does that mean? 

For me the committed types are those who fully understand the impact of their decision making in any part of the food chain: producers, growers, chefs, retailers large and small, & pivotally, customers. 

Those who grow their own food understand this. Passion is fleeting, commitment is about weeding beyond one growing season. Looking after your soil, feeding it with compost, rotating your crops so you minimise disease risk. The joy comes in smelling the earth the carrots grew in, making jam with our blackcurrant crop, & watching our animals thrive in the fields. For me its feeling that connection between our living breathing farm right through to the customers who have bought, cooked and eaten our produce. Our commitment comes in less glamorous ways like making sure we minimise waste & grow as much as we can on our farm. 

However that commitment extends to all our customers: thank you all, for turning up on that wet cold Saturday at the farmers markets, to those who phone, email, and order online, the shoppers who come to the farm, the committed chefs who buy week in week out for their customers & the retailers who share the vision of bringing good food to new places.

All of you share that committment to make a mountain out of small differences. Collectively that commitment means we are still here, feeling the joy great food can bring, and making our small contribution to collectively changing our food world. 

So do join in the happy throng, we’re a joyful bunch, very committed, & with plenty of passion in the background to fuel us along our way.