"Not knowing who's
growing your food
is like being intimate with
a stranger."--Leslie Goldman
Your Enchanted Gardener
Health and Nutrition Industry
question: How can Locally Grown Organic food be integrated within Our Food Distribution System for the good of local Farming, the health of customers, and the betterment of planetary health?
The Problem: This story below was relayed by Joe Rodriguez Jr.
His family are fourth generation farmers in San Diego county. They question how many generations further they will be able to continue farming.
"Years ago, before we settled into just selling our organic food at the Farmers' Market, we would sell our product to distributors as well as directly to stores when they would purchase from us. One of our top-of the-line organic markets would purchase a couple boxes of our chard. I would deliver it. One day, while I was there, an organic distributor who also bought our produce came to make a delivery. They dropped off six boxes
of our very own chard that we had shipped up to LA, and then they had shipped back to San Diego. The chard the store bought from them was four days old. The chard we brought in that day was one day old; It was at the peak of its nutrition and health content. Most of the food in the larger organic markets comes through the warehouse distribution system. It is not the quality of fresh food that nature intended for health. It makes it easier for stores to do business using the warehouses, but it does not help the smaller farmer."
To resolve this problem would allow smaller farms to continue to survive and thrive. To sustain our earth, it is imperative that we find a way to help our local farmers thrive close to our cities, yet the solution will only come with increased customer awareness, shifting shopping patterns, and industry wide incentives or public service on the part of the larger markets.
In San Diego County, once a growing capital of the world for healthy food, water costs are so high that it is cheaper for stores to import from other regions; yet we lose freshness, and eliminate farms and open space from our local land base.
Farmers' Markets have stepped forward to fill the gap between what many customers are discovering that they want. Farmers' Markets reflect a changing shopping pattern, that restores a sense of community wherever they are successfully run; yet it there any alternative that would allow Farmers' Market quality foods to be made available to Supermarket size stores?
"Joe the Farmer," inspiration behind a children's story yet to be published is a third generation farmer growing organic high quality food in San Diego County. His daughter Elyssa may not grow up to see her family stay in farming unless an infusion of Heart and Soul continues to flow toward our smaller farmers. San Diego was once a growing capital for the entire nation.
Rising water costs alone are 4 times higher than food that can be grown in Northern California. Certification has brought even more of a burden to San Diego Farmers. Inspections of certified Farmers' Market foods in Riverside County are $50.00 for the year. Some Age people will come out eight times a year. Each time a farmer ads new food, it must be certified before it can be sold at the Farmers' Market. In San Diego County the Age Department charges $60.00 an hour, including travel time. Wages for farm workers skyrocketed. We must each be a Friend of the Farm if "Joe the Farmer" is to continue to say, "Happiness is Organic!" The Rodriguez family has not been able to say those words in eight years.
"The Enchanted Gardener:
The Mystical and sometimes
mystifying Leslie Goldman
wants to change your world
with chocolate peppermint."
the Seeds of Life Fulfillment grown
Your Enchanted Gardener,
SEES and plants SEEDS of success
for super RIPE people and their DREAMS. An ambassador of heart and soul, his influence is expressed through poetry that inspires intimacy and photo images that record the history of Peace on Earth. Leslie was given a U.N. Peace Medal in 1982 for the work he would do in his life. His mission is growing the Enchanted Garden, a name for our Renewed Earth. Coming off two Hip Revisions in 2001-2002, his project GETTING HIP aims to inspire Health Care to GET HIP to being all it can be. His Poetry Plaques, words men need to know and women want to hear, are called alimony insurance by doctors, health and nutrition Industry executives, and Feng Shui Consultants worldwide. Vitamin "L" is for love is his game. Leslie shares love through introducing fresh fragrant herbs and heirloom organic seeds. "Gardeners make better lovers," he shares.