Growing food naturally
Saving heirloom seeds
We are in danger of losing much of the seed diversity created over the last 10,000 years. Bioengineered seeds are quickly contaminating the global seed supply, threatening the genetically-diverse seeds that have been passed from generation to generation. We preserve our heirloom seeds and belong to seed saving organizations, like Seed Savers Exchange, to help protect plant diversity.
Preserving heritage breeds
Wherever possible, we try to select heritage breed livestock and poultry. With the advent of industrialized agriculture, many non-commercial animal breeds have disappeared, along with the genetic diversity they provided. Heritage breeds were bred over time to have traits suitable to their local environment—they hunt for their own food, can breed and raise their young and don’t require regular doses of antibiotics. While commercial breeds were developed to either produce a lot of meat, eggs, milk, or to gain weight quickly, these production capabilities come with a price—they require temperature-controlled buildings and regular antibiotic dosing. We are members of the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy, which is working to preserve heritage breeds.
Producing our own power
Fossil fuels like oil and gas create pollution—this affects everything from the air we breath to the food we eat. Heavy metals like lead, mercury, arsenic and others are released into the air when electric utility companies burn coal to send power to our homes. Solar energy, on the other hand, is produced by the sun and can be harnessed to provide clean energy. We’ve installed a 5.1 kW solar PV system which helps save money on our electric bills, locks in our energy costs, and decreases our carbon footprint.
Clean water is a precious commodity—especially during the extended periods of drought. We “harvest” rainwater to water our livestock and gardens. Water harvesting can provide a free, higher-quality source of water once the initial investment in collection and storage systems is recouped. For every inch of rain that lands on 1,000 square feet of roof area, about 600 gallons of water is collected. Rainwater collected from a tin roof can be used for flushing the toilet, washing clothes, gardening and, in some setups, fresh drinking water.
Why grow our own food?
When we put the responsibility for our food in the hands of others, we lose something very basic. We become dependent upon those sources to supply our needs. Today a handful of giant agribusiness companies control the food supply. Most of us are pressed for time and end up choosing speed and convenience over safe, nutritious and wholesome food. Our “hunting and gathering” skills consist of pushing a shopping cart through the aisles of our local mega shopping complex. Our goal is to grow food you’ll look forward to eating.