Find your farmer at your local farmers market, and become friends with them.
Your local farmer’s market is calling for you! I have always shopped at a farmers market; however, after March 2020, I decided to take it to the next level; meet my farmers, talk to them, ask questions, and visit them weekly. I am now good friends with my dairy, produce, honey farmer, and my local butcher. Not only do I feel more connected to my community but also to nature.
After deciding to be more invested and curious about my local farmers, I decided to do more general farming research. I learned a lot in the documentary, The Biggest Little Farm, and if you haven’t watched it, watch it tonight, it was incredible and enlightening.
Below are a few things I have learned in the last year about farmers:
#1. A Biodynamic Farm is a whole living organism that respectfully brings planst and animals together. Biodynamic farm’s fertility is created through composting, local animals, , cover cropping, and crop rotation. The concept and practice were based on Rudolf Steiner’s ideas ( he started the Waldorf school system).
It’s hands-on farming and planting by the moon, stars, and planets ( I was introduced to this as wild-crafting in my botanical medicine teachings- very fun!).
For biodynamic certification, the Demeter Biodynamic® Standard was established in 1928 and is managed worldwide by Demeter International.If you are a reader and want to learn more about gardening, read Citizen Farmer. Their mission is,
” We believe in the power of agrihoods: thriving communities, where farming, conservation, and development bring food, nature, and people together to create a healthier, more connected world.”
Their work shows respect for our land, animals, and humans. It connects humans to animals to soil and brings harmony and health to our bodies and souls. I love it. Zach Bush, MD is also a fabulous place to learn more. His story from conventional medicine to nutrition to regenerative farming and how he weaves them all together is fascinating.
When we think about farming, we think about fruits and vegetables; however, flowers are essential too! In my first year of medical school, I read a book by Andrew Weil, MD. Of course, it was packed with great information; however, one thing that popped out was his recommendation of having flowers in your house. Dr. Weil spoke of bringing nature indoors to embrace your parasympathetic nervous system ( rest and digest), and bring joy to your eyes and nose. Since reading that passage, I ( almost) always ask patients to pick a flower from their backyard, purchase flowers ( instead of that sweet), and place them in rooms you are in the most. Typically I suggest your bedside table, so you see the flower first in the morning and last thing at night.
If you want to learn more about regenerative farming, I had a great farm talk with Becky from mapleridge farm . We talk about biodynamic and regenerative agriculture & farming, caring for the earth, and much more! Becky gives excellent tips for anyone interested in sourcing their food more sustainable ways. She also provides info about starting your at-home garden! If you want to watch the full version of our talk, click here.