What Is Heritage Growing?
I find it interesting that within the past couple of decades, food comes with descriptors rather than just their name; apparently an apple is no longer just an apple.
Different approaches to growing, commercial farms spitting out mass produced goods, imports from too far away, suspensions to give produce a 3 month shelf life and colorants and additives to pretty up food on the outside has left so many of us questioning what we are eating. Labels like Clean, Organic, Conventional, Bio-dynamic, Countries of Origin and the list of information necessary to make choices of what will go on our table seems to grow weekly. That feels so very wrong, when you just want to crunch into an apple.
At Crickets Cove, we made the decision to expand our kitchen garden into a working farm, to educate ourselves and to put into practice an approach to feed ourselves and our community with food that doesn't need a pamphlet to describe what we've produced and I've dub our way of growing "Heritage Growing". It's nothing new, not a passing trend and this approach can easily be applied on a working farm as well as in an urban backyard.
We've all heard about heritage animals; those genetically pure breeds that once graced homesteads. Those homesteads were self sufficient because they had to be. Not so long ago, families raised all of their produce, meats, medicinals and food for their livestock without the assumed necessity of a garden center's bag or bottle of additives. Just think about this for a second: Every human on this planet is proof that this approach works; if it didn't none of us would be here.
That thought kept ringing in my head as I studied Permaculture (permanent agriculture) and Biodynamics (a completely closed system where there is nothing added to a farm that isn't generated from the farm). We're fortunate today that science has injected itself into the understanding of the whys and hows of Mother Nature's scheme to gift us everything we could possibly need to feed ourselves, our animals and our communities. This is so important because we've lost generations of knowledge of how to survive with what the earth gives us, how to read signs that nature provides us and how to partner with our surroundings to produce beauty and bounty without opening a bag of additives.
We've dedicated ourselves and our growing practices to simply partner with the earthly companions provided to us. This approach is nothing new but it has to be relearned. Convenience and immediate gratification let so much information literally slip through our fingers that our forefathers knew and passed along. We thought it was unnecessary; we thought that mankind could master the universe. Heritage Growing is our continuation of our ancestor's proven approach to growing, surviving and loving the taste of pure food. Nothing from outside of our farm is added to our soil or to our plants. We hope that more people embrace what we know is doable and give a much deserved nod to our ancestors that worked so diligently to ensure that we are still here.
Take a couple of minutes and simply scroll thought the pictorial journey on our Farm Journey page. What can be accomplished when partnering with Mother Nature is the epitome of awesome. Going forward, I will go into greater details of the hows & the whys of our specific gardens on the farm. Please check back often since things are always expanding and growing here.