The final adjustments are being made to the crop plan and the first hot pepper seedlings are already in the greenhouse. Despite the alarming lack of precipitation in February, the eternal optimism of springtime is in the air. Wendell Berry describes that optimism best:
“There is a kind of idealism that seems to be native to farming. Farmers begin every year with a vision of perfection. And every year, in the course of the seasons and the work, this vision is relentlessly whittled down to a real result–by human frailty and fallibility, by the mortality of creatures, by pests and diseases, by the weather. The crop year is a long struggle, ended invariably not by the desired perfection but by the need to accept something less than perfection as the best that could be done.”
The Longer Table crew is still basking in that vision of perfection, and the excitement of adding a new field manager and an additional two acres of growing space this season.
Did you know that we are Real Organic Project (ROP) certified? Longer Table Farm has proudly grown USDA certified organic vegetables since day one and the organic ethos aligns with our values as growers. So why add another endorsement? The Real Organic Project is a farmer-led effort that goes beyond the standards necessary for USDA organic certification, which has become a diluted measure as "big organic" has made its way to mainstream. ROP was born out of discontent with a decision that allows hydroponically grown vegetables to become certified organic. As a farm we believe that soil is the heart of organic agriculture and are leery of indoor hydroponic lettuce marketed as ‘organic.’ It is a challenge to add a new label to the absolute excess of certifications that one finds on food products, but we think it is important to keep pushing the envelope for the best production practices possible. Look out for the ROP logo on our products soon, and see if you can spot it out in the world on other products!
Stop by and visit us at the Thursday and Sunday Marin farmer's markets in San Rafael (8:00-1:00) and let us know if you think soil should be at the center of organic agriculture! Until next time, Peas and love from Dylan and the LTF crew