There’s a revolution underway as people across the country and around the world favor of local, organic, community-scale food systems. The Fresno area offers several CSA farm programs one can join for the freshest locally grown produce there is. Stopping by Whole Farm Market on a recent Saturday morning I visited with Tara as she set up for the days cooking demonstration. Tara plied me with taste after taste of their various morsels such as chocolate nut clusters and a sweet, delicious smoothie of all fresh raw ingredients. Breaking off a chunk from a bunch of organic carrots she was cleaning for another customer, I blithely began munching. What a huge surprise! I have not tasted a carrot that sweet, crunchy and delicious in years. Even hours later I could still taste that carrot……who can say that about one from the grocery store today?
Asked why they got into farming, Tara shared that although they both come from farming families, she and her husband owned a printing business until a few years ago when their 5th child, Daniel, was born. Having more children later in life caused them to learn more about food and its sources.
Each year, the average American consumes 260 lbs of imported food. Over 98% of imported foods are not inspected by the FDA. Of the imported foods that are inspected, many shipments are detained each month for issues ranging from filth to unsafe food coloring to contamination with pesticides to salmonella. The U.S. imports almost twice as much food today as it did 10 years ago, yet the FDA’s budget for testing imports has been cut nearly in half since 2000. “We spend our life earning money to support our family and trust that the food we buy is wholesome and nourishing” says Tara. Whole Farm Market is an outgrowth of the family’s newfound way of living.
“This is the final year of transitioning our farm from conventional to organic, which means we use no pesticides or chemicals to produce food.” They preserve soil integrity by use of crop rotation, cover cropping and composting. Making them stewards of the land and more importantly stewards of health!
“The organic food revolution will succeed only if there are enough farmers with the training and knowledge to produce and market fresh, delicious organic food while caring for the land and community in which they work” Tara shares. The UC system runs a ‘Grow a Farmer’ Campaign meeting the challenge head on by supporting an apprenticeship program. This internationally known program has trained new organic farmers and gardeners over the last several years. Following in the steps of Fairview Gardens, another non-profit self-sustaining farm and the UC Grow a Farmer program, “we have established a local 17 acre farm to provide internship opportunities for education of anyone interested, while providing affordable whole foods to the local community.”
Think of Whole Farm Market as a general store that offers a wide variety of fresh, organic produce from their own farm as well as others in the CSA family of farms. Additionally they offer a huge selection of nuts, dried items and unusual spices. Linking them to the neighborhood they are located in, Whole Farm Market operates the Revive Café offering delicious quick bites of wonderful raw foods as well as weekly classes taught by professional chefs. They even deliver for those of you too busy to get to the store. Whole Farm Market and Revive Café will introduce you to a fresh new way of eating and we stop by this weekend on the next Art Born of Graffiti mural adventure Feb 12th beginning 10a. Tara will tell us about their February 7-day eat raw challenge and just what is a living foodist …..Want to come along? call today for the meet up location for a fun adventure!
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