While organic is becoming more and more of a household term, it hasn’t always been that way. Back in 1985, when Guinda, CA-based Full Belly Farm started, very few people were even talking about organic. But times have changed, and with a combination of passion and innovation, Full Belly Farm has not only kept up with them, but continued to lead the way in organic agriculture.
Located in Trumansburg, NY, Farmer Ground Flour fills a market niche by selling locally grown organic flour to local restaurants, bakeries and residents that are clamoring for it.
The organic grain for the flour is grown by farmers Erick Smith (Cayuga Pure Organics) and Thor Oeschner (Oeschner Farms) who along with Mol are also co-owners of Farmer Ground Flour. The grain is milled in a small plant known as a micro mill. It is then sold to area customers and a few regional distributors.
In the documentary, The Real Dirt on Farmer John, John Peterson says that he “began to see the farm as a living organism.” Upon further reflection Peterson, the founder of Rockford, Illinois-based biodynamic farm, Angelic Organics, says that he’s always seen the farm that way. He says that the works of Austrian scientist and philosopher Rudolf Steiner helped to crystallize his thoughts around this idea.
Based on rapid market growth in the organic sector as well as a belief that organic agriculture positively impacts the health and sustainability of our food system and environment, Illinois-based Working Farms Capital was incorporated in 2007 to generate new capital from investors to purchase and transition farmland from conventional to organic practices.
“We are not a fund, partnership, network of investors or a non-profit,” explained David Miller, President and CEO of Working Farms Capital.
According to a 2010 nationwide survey conducted by the Organic Seed Alliance (OSA), organic farmers are faced with a seed market that neither possesses sufficient available quantities of certified organic seed to meet demand nor the specific varieties of organic seed that they desire. As a result, many organic farmers have had to compensate by using conventionally bred seed varieties selected for use in high-input chemical farming systems in lieu of those specifically adapted to organic farming systems.