Describe your farming practices
We take a systems approach to farming. People (farmers, seasonal help, processors, suppliers, and customers/members), plants, soil, and animals need to be integrated so that each can help sustain the other. Are we all the way there, yet? The short answer is no. We drive hundreds of miles (a seven hour round-trip) for each processing run to be able to put pasture-raised chickens in our shares. We do this because it is the closest processor that accepts birds from independent producers like Cedar Valley Sustainable Farm. Is this sustainable over the long-term? Again, no. So why do it? Over the past four or five decades, the intricate web of our local food infrastructure with overlapping supports, connections, and resiliencies(including producers, processors, aggregators, suppliers, sellers and buyers) has been lost. Either it's been actively dismantled, starved by neglect or proscribed by regulation. It's been replaced by corporate structures more beholden to quarterly returns than long-term sustainability. This short-term outlook has been to the detriment of our soils, our farmers, our animals, and our health. Rebuilding something that took decades to take apart doesn't happen overnight. At Cedar Valley Sustainable Farm, we take the long-view, and hopefully our work will be a solid brick in the foundation of new, local food system. Providing well-raised meats to our CSA members creates demand for more. As demand grows, more farmers will step in to meet it, and new processors will build plants to make our work more sustainable.