Hurricane Gustav

Hurricane Gustav is racing towards our back door. Looks like this Labor Day weekend will be spent securing the farm for the up-coming storm. Hopefully, we at least get some more much needed rain out of this.



HOMEsweetFARM Radio: John Ikerd - Small Farms Are Real Farms - Part 1

Farmer Brad interviews John Ikerd, Professor Emeritus of Agricultural Economics at the University of Missouri, has written extensively on how sustainable farming practices affect and are affected by industrialization, the environment, economics, and communities. He now spends his time writing and speaking out on issues related to sustainable agriculture with an emphasis on the economics of sustainability.

Part 1 of our interview with John Ikerd... http://homesweetfarm.podomatic.com/entry/2008-08-14T19_25_04-07_00


Volunteer Farm Crew

Our farm has had one of its best seasons (despite the drought), largely in part by the commitment and enthusiasm of our volunteers. These ladies came out to our farm once a day every week during the spring/summer season, and we could not have done the work without them. These folks working behind the scenes are a real tribute to Community Supported Agriculture, harvesting, washing and sorting produce for our members. Work like this brings the best of people together, and we are truly grateful to have them, sharing the labor, and sharing the harvest.



Tropical Storm Edouard

At the farm we are preparing to batten down the hatches in anticipation of Tropical Storm Edouard. Tuesday morning we expect a violent thunderstorm or just a very windy day which will dry things out further. It always makes us a bit nervous, especially for our fall crops. After much care was taken to getting them established during this drought, the crops are looking great at the moment. The animals are well protected as we ride out the storm, and everything should be fine.

Food industry fails at safety

A recent article by Ellen Silbergeld, a professor of environmental health sciences at the Johns Hopkins University, says the rickety outbreak-reaction system used after food outbreaks needs to be replaced with a much more rigorous effort to actually create healthy food from healthy animals in ecologically sound production systems.

"The answer is twofold: to change the way our foods are produced and the way we think about food production."

As food safety becomes more of an issue, the obvious work needs to be done by ensuring that food is raised and handled properly, not just putting a band-aid over the problem giving the public a false sense of security thinking that the FDA can guarantee safe food as long as you over cook it. The problem lays in our production methods. The standard industrial production of pork, beef and poultry carry pathogenic bacteria, often resistant to the antibiotics added to feeds. This challenges the safety of our food and our health more every year.

Ultimately, it is up to us, the responsible food buyer, to seek out trustworthy local food sources by getting to know the producers who grow our food. Encouraging proper stewardship with our dollar, and making a conscience choice to not support industrial food factories that merely hide behind an idyllic farm marketing scheme. In the future, as the cost of fuel rises, we may depend more upon a healthy local food economy then we do today. It's time to start supporting the farms and families that will supply our communities with righteous food in the future.


Farming With A Face

August 1, 2008

Texas Agriculture Magazine/Texas Farm Bureau

By Mike Barnett, Editor

Brad Stufflebeam admits it took a little getting used to. It seemed a bit silly to this agricultural entrepreneur when his customers started calling him "Farmer Brad."

Not any more. A pioneer of the local food movement in the Lone Star State, Farmer Brad now wears his nickname as a badge of honor.

What was traditional a century ago—growing food locally and selling it to your community—is untraditional in agriculture today. But this niche market is expanding. And a generation removed by three is coming back into agriculture to meet that demand, riding the crest of a new wave in growing and marketing food.

Brad calls it "farming with a face."