The way that we grow food has changed more in the last 50 years than in the previous 10,000 years.” That statement is the opening of the trailer for the Documentary “Food, Inc.” by Robert Kenner. Kenner’s work was also the beginning of our mission (continuing today) to learn how to grow healthy fruits, vegetables and meat.
One can walk into the produce section of any supermarket in America and find uniformity- the apples are 4-5 colors, the corn is yellow, the pears are 2-3 colors, etc. All the fruits are the same size- and all look close to “perfect”. We have been trained to begin to salivate when we see the produce.
While produce used to only be available during its “season,” industrialization allows us to eat our favorite produce year-round. An example, the tomato. Today, bright orange-red tomatoes available year-round is almost an American birthright. How do we do it? As Barry Estabrook reveals in his seminal work “Tomatoland,” the tomato growing fields are doused with over a hundred different pesticides, the tomatoes are picked green and are artificially gassed to give them their red color. The result- the vitamin content is dramatically reduced, the sodium content is 14 times what our parents ingested when they ate a tomato, and the taste virtually destroyed. Another example-the apple. While over 15,000 apple varieties, less than 75 are commercially grown today. A third example, corn. When the Pilgrims celebrated the First Thanksgiving with the Native Indians they had virtually every color of corn except yellow. Today, virtually all commercially grown corn is yellow (yes, the color with the least antioxidant value).
Armed with this knowledge, we set out to grow healthy fruits and vegetables.
Today we have 125 fruit trees (with over a 100 different varieties), 90 olive trees and a growing vegetable garden. Our theme is pretty simple- if you can find it at your local supermarket, we probably do not grow it.
We would be remiss if we did not thank Richard of Trees of Antiquities for his gracious help and guidance. If you have not checked it out his website is an amazing resource.
We hope to be in the local Farmer’s Markets by the Summer of 2024!