The profound wisdom of organic farmers is to embrace the complexity of natural systems. Organic farmers choose to support these intricate webs of life. They know they can’t possibly replicate the interactions of the soil food web in a feedlot or in a container.

Our featured pilot farm this week is Full Belly Farm outside Sacramento, CA. They are one of the great pioneering organic farms in America. Full Belly embraces the organic approach to farming in partnership with the diverse systems of a living soil community. I’m sure there is something their farm doesn’t produce, but it will take me a while to think of what it is!

Paul Muller of Full Belly is a member of the Real Organic Project Standards Board. In addition to producing veggies, almonds, and eggs, Full Belly has a reputation for producing organic farmers as well. Other members of the ROP have even started their organic careers there! Full Belly is famous for growing real food, great farmers, and for putting on an awesome annual celebration known as the Hoes Down.

Full Belly is a beautiful example of organic farming as described by the USDA in 2007.

Organic Agriculture Overview, USDA, Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service (CSREES), 2007.
“Organic production is not simply the avoidance of conventional chemical inputs, nor is it the substitution of natural inputs for synthetic ones. Organic farmers apply techniques first used thousands of years ago, such as crop rotations and the use of composted animal manures and green manure crops, in ways that are economically sustainable in today’s world. In organic production, overall system health is emphasized, and the interaction of management practices is the primary concern. Organic producers implement a wide range of strategies to develop and maintain biological diversity and replenish soil fertility.”

Will the USDA return to its own statement? The wisdom of this statement has been long embraced by the organic community. Will the USDA enforce the current standards that require farming within complex natural systems? If not, what will the organic farmers and eaters do?

Please enjoy the Full Belly Farm video and share widely. Our “Know Your Farmer” videos give organic farmers a greater voice behind the important work they do. Support The Real Organic Project to increase their messages and create greater transparency under the organic seal!

Thank you! I am grateful for your support of this essential project at this crucial moment in time.

Yours in the dirt,