Saturday, August 02, 2008

Onward and Upward!!

This is likely to be the first year that I will not be actively involved in a fruit harvest of some sort or another. Why? Well, when I started Blue Marble Farms a few years ago I knew the two biggest obstacles that I had to staying in business were the facts I didn't own a farm (a biggie!) and I was not independently wealthy (REALLY big in light of the fact I didn't own the farm). Everything that Blue Marble Farms did received incredible feedback. Nonetheless, Blue Marble Farms is no more. But I am content. This season I have been doing incredibly important work helping other growers manage their crops (apples, onions, and lettuce) and implement food safety programs. What's food safety? Well, it is about being responsible about growing and processing the food we eat. 99.9% of the time (unofficially) the food we eat is perfectly safe, however it is the other 0.01% of the time that bothers folks--often fatally.

We need safe food. We need clean food. And although my job right now is to help folks get certified and implement globally accepted food safety program, the fact is there is no better food safety program than buying local and knowing your farmers. Know your roots, or course.

My time at Stone Ridge Orchard has ended. I don't regret a second I spent there. I do wish I could have finished out the year. But, alas, the winds of time have pushed me in another direction, to use my talents and expertise differently. I encourage everyone--all of my customers and readers--to buy local and organic (but definitely local) as much as possible. Support those that support you and a healthy environment and safe food supply.

Cheers and stick around for more from organic schmorganic, 'cause there is no doubt this train hasn't reached its destination yet.


Anonymous Rowland said...

im a little lost on this post,its kinda vague? How did you start a farm you didn't own? i cant find anything about a local blue marble farms, is that in Wisconsin? Also, Stone ridge orchard is closing, or your just no longer working there?
either way, best of luck to you now and in the future.

8:56 AM  
Blogger Mike Biltonen said...

Blue Marble Farms was just the name of a business, not a farm. Stone Ridge Orchard was the farm. So how could I start a farm I didn't own? Good question. Actually, I wanted to farm (verb) and not own one (noun) necessarily. I don't believe that in order to farm one has to own one--or that was my thought. In the end, it would have helped to own it. Stone Ridge Orchard existed long before I got there and hopefully it will last for long after I have gone. But who knows? Now my missions is to help preserve farming--in practice and real estate--for future generations by working with other farmers to improve what they already do so well.

7:28 PM  
Blogger Knocky said...

I'm sad to hear you're not at Stone Ridge anymore. I visited last fall and had a great time and was planning a return trip on Monday.

Do you by chance know if it is still open to visit on Labor Day?

Thanks and best of luck!

10:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't believe that in order to farm one has to own one--or that was my thought. In the end, it would have helped to own it. Stone Ridge Orchard existed long before I got there and hopefully it will last for long after I have gone.


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