NEWSFLASH: Lawn Darts Aerate Soil Like Worms!

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I thought I had the Great American Novel by the tail back in 1995. I grew up in the suburbs where old Pennsylvania farm land - the kind painted by Andrew Wyeth - had been mixed and cooked into 3/4 acre parcels then cut one after the other and laid with sod into warm little lemon-bar landscape squares. As kids we would dig in the backyard mud when it would rain and sometimes find cow bones and old farm knicknacks. Much later in San Francisco, I started writing a story about a suburban farm - how one man returned a suburban parcel back into land that produced food. There were plot lines about a strained marriage, the stress of bringing farming into a white-collar world, and the reaction of people threatened by growing row crops in a front yard. In the end, the story didn't work and it's still in a pile in my things-to-do folder.
Last week, however, two of our FruitGuys - Dan and Rebecca - were at the Eco-Farm Conference in Monterey where they heard Heather Coburn Flores, the founder of the Food Not Lawns movement talk about turning yards into productive farm land. Parts of the idea aren't new - victory gardens during World War II were a necessity for folks who wanted cost-efficient variety in their diets as well as a sense of self-reliance. And my wife's extended family - the folks that still live in a 16th century village in Tuscany - have homes surrounded by terraced gardens. They live close to their food. When we visted during our honeymoon, we were introduced to the chicken that graced our dinner table that night. As we wrestle with global warming, carbon footprints, compostable materials, we continue to question the way that we are living and consuming. Folks want to do something, anything that they can to make a more sustainable life.
The word sustainable is thrown around a great deal when people talk about how to effect the environment. When it comes to farming, "organic" has become a legally defined term, while "sustainable" is open to wide interpretation based on region, economics, and other factors. We've started a page on our website to explore the evolving definition of sustainability, not from an academic or political point of view but from farmers - the people who are managing the land and growing our food. Karla - our amazing documentarian - has posted the first two videos from White Dove Farm (passion fruit, Southern California) and Gabriel Farm (asian pears, Northern California) on sustainability on our site at: www.fruitguys.com/sustainability.shtml.
We'll continue to update this as we talk to our farmers about their challenges.
For fruit mix explanations, check out this week's mix.
Enjoy and be fruitful!
chris@fruitguys.com

 

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About Us

Our online magazine offers a taste of workplace culture, trends, and healthy living. It features recipes for easy, delicious work meals and tips on quick office workouts. It's also an opportunity to learn about our GoodWorks program, which helps those in need in our communities and supports small, sustainable farms.