In the United States, food travels an average of 1,500 miles from where it is grown to where it is eaten. In modern society we are reaping many benefits from the increasingly globalized world of trade. In terms of food, however, this is not always a good thing. In general, the farther food must travel from the farm to the plate, the less fresh food is. Additionally more miles for food to travel means more carbon output from fossil fuel-based transportation.
At Vitruvian Farms most of our food is grown and consumed within a 15 mile radius. Most of the vegetables from our farm are harvested, washed, and delivered in 1 day. This means that the food tastes better and lasts longer simply because it is fresher.
Being local also means more jobs for our community. Rather than buying produce from far away states or foreign countries, more of the money spent on our food stays in our local economy. Being close to the people who eat our food gives our customers the chance to know their farmers. We believe this quality enhances the culture of our food community and aids in the trust people have for their food.
Modern agriculture has become obsessed with artificial chemicals. In addition to the carbon output by transporting food long distances, many of the fertilizers used on large farms are based on fossil fuels, which won’t last forever. At Vitruvian farms we focus on using natural minerals and compost to build healthy soil. By giving the soil what it needs we help nourish the living organisms that make soil alive, and that keep plants naturally strong.
Building a sustainable farm is a long term endeavor that will take many years. In the future we hope to build sources for renewable energy such as wind and solar to power the facilities on the farm. In the short term we are working to eliminate common agricultural wastes such as plastics, and are working to increase the amount of products which are recyclable after use on the farm.
Advances in modern agriculture have helped increase the amount of food produced in the United States, but with many costs. People have become concerned with pesticide residues on their food and what effects they have for human health. Vitruvian Farms has followed organic standards for several years and was recently certified under USDA Organic Standards by MOSA (Midwest Organic Services Association) on June 2nd, 2016.
There is no one type of organic agriculture. Under the umbrella of organic we believe there exists several layers of quality. Our philosophy has always been to follow the best organic practices. Instead of quick fixes and cheap solutions we aim to build soil and nourish plants the most natural way possible.
Lastly, we think its important for people to understand that organic agriculture is not a return to the past. Modern day organic production is not a rejection of technology, but rather an attempt to utilize the best of nature’s processes in a modern fashion. By following these principles we hope to bring down the cost of organic produce, so that more people can afford to eat the best quality foods available.
The Vitruvian Idea
You might be wondering what it means to be Vitruvian. Perhaps you recognize the Vitruvian Man, a drawing by Leonardo Da Vinci. It all goes back to a man named Vitruvius, a 1 Century B.C. Roman architect, engineer, and writer. Vitruvius believed that all human endeavors should aim to encompass the values of balance and beauty in their works. With this in mind we are working to craft our farm as a place of great beauty, with a landscape in balance with nature, so that we can nurture the amazing culture of people and food in our community.