Journal, Summer 2000, Pasture-Based Farming

Wise Traditions, Volume 1, Number 2

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President’s Message: The Value of Mixed Farms

by Sally Fallon

This issue is dedicated to the concept of the mixed farm, in which cultivation of fruits and vegetables is combined with a grazing animal operation. The May, 2000 issue of the Stockman Grass Farmer describes Guidestone CSA Farm in Loveland, Colorado, 60 miles north of Denver. Five of the farms’ 150 organic acres are dedicated to row crops and 120 to pasture. The hub of the organization is the dairy where ten Jersey and Jersey-Devon cows supply members with rich raw milk.

Because it is illegal for dairies to sell raw milk in Colorado, Guidestone has developed a co-op system that the Colorado Board of Health has determined does not violate State laws. Members of the CSA receive raw milk with their weekly allotment of vegetables. The farm also offers natural beef, pork, lamb, chicken and turkey on a “custom basis” where the meat is slaughtered on the farm and processed at a USDA facility in Loveland. One share, which costs a onetime fee of $20, provides one gallon of milk per week. A regular monthly boarding fee of $20 per share is charged for the cost of feeding, housing and milking the cows. Members may buy as many shares as they like and sell them back at any time.

The original community-supported farm was managed by Trauger Groh in Germany. It was a mixed biodynamic farm, supplying members not only with vegetables but also animal products. In fact, in Europe a biodynamic rating will not be granted to a farm that produces only plant crops. Rudolf Steiner, the founder of biodynamics, envisaged the farm as a self-contained unit in which composted animal manure contributed to the fertility of the soil and the vigor of plant crops. A farm is not a farm without animals, says Trauger.

When Paul Flack of Enosburg, VT polled the members of his CSA farm about what they wanted he was stunned. Only two wanted vegetables. The biggest demands were for raw dairy products, followed by pasture-raised eggs, chicken, beef, pork, and veal.

The mixed, community supported farm (CSA) is the paradigm of the future. In fact, so critical is the degradation of our food supply that membership in a community farm, supplying not only vegetables but also milk, meat and eggs, is the only way that we can guarantee ourselves access to healthy food, food that will sustain the next generation. The fundamental goal of the Weston A. Price Foundation is to encourage the revival of such farms, supported by members of the local community who understand their worth.

The Guidestone CSA Farm provides such a paradigm. We hope our work will inspire many farmers to adopt this model, and many wise citizens to support their efforts in every way possible.

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