Tom Shepherd is Certified Organic part 1!
My dad, Tom Shepherd, is quite literally the OG organic farmer in this area. He started farming Organically in 1973 as a form of protest to the wrongs that he saw being committed around him. He believed and still believes in the idea of organics saving the planet and saving the people. It was super simple back then in 1973. The people farming organically were on the fringe back then, they were the people that cared about the bigger picture, and usually they were people that cared little about the money in their craft. My father hasnt changed one bit from this, he is the same man with the same vision to change the world thru his vegetables that he was way back then, but things have changed around him. Organic is no longer fringe. The idea of organic has undergone a cultural transformation. Everyone knows that organic is a way to protect yourself from the dangers in your foods that you do not see or smell. As this idea has spread, Organic has become big business, big money, and consequently big ag has done everything it can to keep pace with its declining trust and confidence in the market place. Initially they sought to discredit Organic in general, this obviously could not work with our general societal health in such decline. Then they sought to dillute the practice with terms like sustainable, which can be applied to a crop with a very small decrease in the application of pesticide and herbicide. The thing that really broke my father was when they succesfully lobbied the agricultural commission to allow any farmer at the the farmers markets the ability to say “we do not spray” without providing any proof to the matter. This really blew his mind. It blew his mind because in the same breath he was no longer allowed to call his crops organic without a lengthy certification process, a large fee, and a lot of record keeping.
Being the 1973 hippy man that he is, he automatically wanted to resist and fight this and refuse to conform. His logic was good when he asked “why i should have to disclose and pay to farm traditionally, they should have to pay and disclose all of the toxins that they are using”.
With Jasons gentle prodding, and with the frustration of his customers being decieved by other growers at the market, he has finally come to the conclusion that it is hugely valuable that it is hard to become organic, and even more valuable that the word was protected. Working through his certification has been a form of therapy and a form of enlivenment for him. As we await my fathers first organic certification ever to arrive in the mail this week, I can honestly say that this OG is more excited about farming than I have ever seen. Stop by his booth and let him proclaim Certified Organic to you and you will see what I mean. We are actually going to have a ‘Tom is getting certified party’ and we will be sure to invite you all to it. We can’t wait to show you the pictures of him standing with his organic certification in a few weeks.
Bacon Avocado… the best alternative for a winter avocado!
If you opened your Friday email up you learned that the haas avocado season ended last week and pick up again in April. Lucky for us we have winter avocado alternatives. Avornatitves? In the winter we see bacon and fierce avos which really are good. Yes haas has that awesome rich oil but while we can’t get them over winter we are excited to see something else. Bacon avocado is an alternative that is slightly less oily and has a buttery creamy texture. The skin is smooth, green and stays green when ripe. You should really give them a try in your next box! We have them in our add on store for $1.35 each.
How to store this week’s farm box!!
Citrus- citrus can be left on the counter OR can be thrown in the fridge.
Peppers- Peppers can be stored in the crisper.
Spinach- throw this bag of spinach in the crisper.
Onion/Garlic- both of these items should be left on the counter and out of direct sunlight. Make sure they don’t get wet!
Carrots- carrots do best in a wet environment. When you get home remove the stems (you can eat them, try carrot top pesto). Then rinse the carrots in cold water. Then put your carrots in a Tupperware or glass container with a half inch of water on the bottom of the container. Carrots should last a very long time!
Sweet Potatoes- sweet potatoes can be left on your counter, out of direct sunlight.
Spaghetti squash- spaghetti squash can be left on the counter as well. Don’t worry about using it right away! This baby will last at least a month!
Broccoli- Broccoli should be eaten in the next day or so. And if you need to store it it’s best to run it thru cold water and then wrap it in a wet paper towel or dish towel.