by: Elena Karoulina, Executive Director

Our local food system team continues to learn about sustainable local food systems and is moving into the second stage of the Solano small farms feasibility study: interviews with local farmers.

In the next two months, team members will be meeting with farmers face-to-face to have a dialogue about the state of small farming in our county, farmers’ challenges and opportunities, and our collective vision of a resilient, just and sustainable local food system in our home county. One of the absolute requirements for a healthy local food system is its ecological sustainability. The term “organic” is losing its original meaning of deep relationships and care for the soil as a foundation of agriculture (the recent move of our legislative authorities to allow aquaponics and hydroponic methods – the “soilless” agriculture – to carry organic certification is a sure proof of it.) Many large industrial organic farms are using methods and techniques that are focused on yield, not care for the soil, as their primary goal.

What is then,“sustainable agriculture”? Healthy soils must be a foundation of it! Last month Sustainable Solano was invited to join a tour of our local farms participating in the Healthy Soil movement. We need every farm in the county to join this movement!

To learn how healthy soils can halt climate change, click here.

Next time you go to a farmer’s marker, ask your farmer: what are your soil management practices? How do you maintain farm fertility? Do you use cover crop and animal manure? It is a question of interest for the entire community, not just farmers: the health of our soil determines the health and well-being of our entire community!