Healthy Soil, Healthy Food, Healthy You

FieldEffectChances are, you have a physician, a dentist and a handful of specialists.  But have you ever considered your area’s local farmers as an integral part of your health care team?

As a lifelong gardener, I have come to recognize the value of healthy soil and the role that soil ecosystems play in the growth and vibrancy of the plants in my yard.  Fellow integrative physician Daphne Miller (author of Farmacology) has taken this concept a step further, making a concrete connection between healthy soil and our own health, bringing us beyond the concept of food as medicine and educating us on the idea that although buying organic produce is essential, the farm where the food is grown offers the real remedy.

Here’s where we dig into Biodynamic Farming, a method of agriculture that was born almost 100 years ago, linking soil fertility, plant growth and livestock care.  Biodynamic Farms are organic farms that surpass the simple practice of producing food without chemicals by focusing on composting, crop rotation and cover cropping. Not only are these extensive preparations utilized to nourish the farm and its soil, but farmers employ cosmic rhythms when carrying out daily activities on the farm, relying on the effects of the sun, moon, planets and stars and how the rhythm of each contributes to the life, growth and formation of plants and aids in ground preparation, sowing, cultivating and harvesting.

And so, the seed I’d like to plant is this:

While we continue to do our bodies good by questioning if our fare is chemical-free, it may be equally as important to research farming practices, soil management and the quality of our produce.  Something to chew on.

FoodGuide2014_COVER-350pxH_0There are plenty of folks working to make our food the best it can be and expediting delivery to consumers.  You can find some of these by visiting resources I enjoy, such as www.nofany.org/directory, a guide to organic and sustainable farms and producers, sites committed to CSA, or Community Supported Agriculture, which connects consumers directly to local farmers, www.thegoodfoodcollective.com, a year-round program that provides access to the area’s local, sustainable food, and additional sites that will direct you to your area’s farmers’ markets, such as www.rocwiki.org.

Hungry for more?  Check out a few of my favorite New York farms.

Firefly Farm in Canandaigua
Bedient Farms in Potter
Browder’s Birds Organic Farm in Mattituck
Northland Sheep Dairy in Marathon
Fellenz Family Farm in Phelps

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