Frequently Asked Questions
Why does the health of the soil matter in producing locally grown foods?
Food that is grown in healthy soil, I believe, produces more healthy food than food that is grown in non-soil systems and systems in soil that has been dependant on high inputs which depletes the soils’ original diversity of life.
Did you know that when man first started tilling the prairie back in the 19th century here in the plains, that the soil was a masterpiece of biological diversity? It had fertility in it that allowed the prairie grasses to grow up to ten feet and beyond. The original settlers would get lost in this grass within a few feet of their houses. What kind of corn crop do you think could have been grown on those original prairie soils?
God gave us a diversity of life under that prairie grass that you do not see now after hundreds of years of unsustainable farming practices.
At Arnold Acres, we want to bring that kind of diversity of life back into the soil that our food is being grown in. Just like we want our children to grow strong and healthy by eating healthy food, our soil can produce the same results with the plants we grow in it for food. Using cover crops and compost increases this soil diversity and is a main component of fertility in our soil. We use methods which uses low and natural inputs versus inputs which degrade the diversity of life in the soil. Healthy plants from healthy soils have fewer issues with diseases and pests and grow optimally with the correct amount of nutrients and water. It only makes sense that the food produced in this sustainable environment will be healthier than the food grown on the modern technology-driven methods used in big agriculture.
Read more about soil and healthy soil from the links below:https://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/main/national/soils/health/https://www.soils.org/discover-soils/soil-basicshttps://soilhealthinstitute.org/about-us/
Why is it beneficial to buy locally grown fruits and vegetables from Farmers Markets?
First of all, because they taste soooooo much better than fruits and vegetables that you buy in the grocery stores. Not to mention how much healthier they are for you. In many, many instances those fruits and vegetables in stores, have been shipped hundreds or even thousands of miles from where it was grown and picked before it was ripe so they can be shipped. Many of them are grown in other parts of the world where there are not the regulations to protect our health that we have here in the good ole USA. You probably don’t know and will never find out what inputs or chemicals were used in their production. International trade is a bureaucracy where information does not flow easily.
Locally grown fruits and vegetable in most instances were picked at the peak of freshness the day or day before they were taken to the market. This is almost like picking them out of your own garden. When you buy at a Farmers Market most of the time you are looking the Farmer or an employee right in the eye when you are making the transaction. This allows the opportunity to ask questions about how it was raised and what inputs were used. Most farmers would be glad to have you visit their farm.
Below are a couple of links that give you other reasons:https://food.unl.edu/BFBL/PDFs/7%20Reasons%20Buy%20Locally.pdfhttps://ncdc.unl.edu/localfood.shtml
Why is it important to grow fruits and vegetables in a sustainable matter?
In my mind, because it is the right thing to do.
Modern technology has driven us to larger and larger farms controlled by large companies who for the most part are driven by profit. This technology has allowed us to grow continuously the same food crop year after year on the same plot of land. This has not been good for the land and has degraded the quality of the land and I believe the food that is grown on it.
When we think about whether we have improved the quality of the land with these methods, I do not believe that we have. These questions need to be asked?
Has the environment been sustained in this technology-driven pursuit of food?
Has bio-diversity in our environment that was here when we first started tilling the land remained the same or increased?
Has the quality of our food increased through this technology?
I believe the answer to these questions is no, and we at Arnold Acres are committed to growing our food in a sustainable matter that uses low inputs where we can, maintains or increases the health of the soil, increases biodiversity in the environment, and does not pollute the environment.
Why can’t we use technology to sustain and improve our environment in the pursuit of food?
Read more about the sustainability of agriculture at the links below:http://www.nebsusag.org/https://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/detail/national/home/?cid=STELPRDB1251507