One perk of a Eatwell CSA membership is that they hold special events at the farm throughout the year. Last Saturday, TC and I joined a few friends for Strawberry Days at Eatwell Farm in Dixon, CA. The deal was that we could eat as many strawberries as we wanted for free on-site, and for the berries that we took home, we’d be charged a mere $1 per pound. It actually ended up costing less than that, since they were rounding down. Not only was it really fun to pick our own berries, but we got to meet some of the workers and got a tour of the farm too.
I learned a lot on Saturday. For example, we learned that the strawberries were grown without pesticides, herbicides, or fertilizer. Nigel Walker, the owner of Eatwell, spent some time talking to us about the chicken rotation they have on the farm. Essentially, the chickens get moved from field to field throughout the year. In the process, they eat all of the bugs as well as fertilizing the soil. Win-win. I also got to see where some of the vegetables were grown, and was impressed by the diversity of produce. No monoculture here! And unlike most farm fields, there were plenty of weeds growing among the produce, but they didn’t seem to be hurting them too much. Finally, it always amazes me when I see a vegetable in its natural form (i.e. not isolated in the grocery store) and realize that I have never ever seen (or ever thought about) the vegetable as a plant. Example: Saturday was the first time I’ve ever seen an entire potato plant. Then I thought about how easy it is to think of veggies in isolation without thinking about the whole plant. I think it speaks to the disconnect in our relationship with the food we consume.
Mostly, I felt extremely grateful to be a tiny part of this farm that is doing the right thing. With food production, that’s hard to come by these days.
Enjoy the photos! (Unfortunately, I forgot my “real” camera, so you’ll have to settle for iPhone pictures.)