IMG_2308.JPG I am not alone in believing that it is enough to just grow great produce. We have to restore the fertility of our soil and bring our farms back to life. Growing our own fertility with the pasture and the chickens is but one step. We have now embarked on making changes to how we plant trees. We will surround the vegetable fields with fruit and nut trees, all mixed in. The goal is three dimensional farming, not thinking of a field as just a flat plain to grow one crop. Last Saturday we planted 35 walnut trees. Between then in the same rows we will plant  lemons and the edible catus that the crew so loves. We can take advantage of the of light and space that the walnuts, which are a tall tree, do not use. There are two rows at the west end of the farm which will also provide a refuge for the cows and chickens on very hot and sunny days. The vegetable fields will be surrounded fruit and nut trees on all sides. Our beautiful Lombardy Poplar windbreak trees will eventually go. They do just one job, break the wind. We do have a Hawk next in one tree, the first time in 15 years. To move forward we need the trees to do three or more jobs, eg break the wind, provide a multitude of crops, shade for our animals and wild life habitat. There will be some conflict with the food modernization act because they want us to grow in sterile fields with no wildlife or farm animals present. This is not only impossible but not what a farm should be. Farms, to be fertile and full of life, need to be a holistic enterprise. An example is an organic chicken farm where 50,000 chickens live in a shed and are fed organic feed. They produce eggs but they are not as tasty and nutritious as ours. The manure is a biohazard which needs careful handling and processing before it can be returned to the soil. Our eggs are superior, the chicken lives a more normal life and the manure is a valuable and safe asset. As the manure is deposited by the chicken it is sterilized by the suns ultraviolet rays. The very last thing I want is for our members to get ill from eating our food. Not only is this a bad thing but you know where I live. We have the ultimate in traceability, we know exactly who eats our food and can contact you all in a matter of minutes. That is much harder to do when you buy a lettuce at a supermarket even if you do use your club card and are in their corporate database. You, as our members, are doing something very radical here, you are subverting the normal channels of food distribution. Your food is harvested and driven directly to your neighborhood. You pay the farm directly. That cuts out all the distributors, supermarkets etc and they do not like it. That I believe is the real issue here. The USDA and FDA is full of hard working people. My gripe is with those that create the policy which favors their corporate masters.