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Farming uses natural inputs that enhance soil fertility . That means nothing is used that might prove harmful to the air, the water, or the soil. Conventional farming uses petrochemical-based herbicides and fertilizers. Their use has been linked to water and air pollution and soil decontamination. Consumers concerned about the external costs associated with conventional agriculture—things that may affect their health and the environment—often buy organic products.

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Location: Star Route Farms, Bolinas, CA

Featuring: Warren Weber

Organic is farming using natural systems and inputs with a view toward a sustainable future. Warren Weber has the oldest continuously certified farm in California.

Why buy organic?

Because organic contributes to the health of the soil, the plants, the workers, and the consumers.

Why grow organic?

Apart from not polluting the soil, the aquifers, and ourselves, growing organic ensures that you are building soils for future generations and doing so in a way that maintains a balance of critical natural resources.

Warren Weber says that 35 years ago, most "experts" thought organics couldn't produce so many different crops in so many different regions of the world. They were wrong. In the 1950's, 20% of commerical farms in California were under 10 acres. Many of these farms were successful doing small crops. That model fell apart as mega farms emerged and food became a commodity. The only way for small farms to survive was to go organic. Star Route was the first in California.

Organic Flowers

Organic Flowers

Organic Flowers

Location: Pastures of Plenty, Boulder, Co
Featuring: Lyle, the Accidental Farmer, and Joel, the farmworker

Organic flowers, like the pictured Black-eyed Susans, don't use any artificial or chemically derived nutrients, pesticides or herbicides. Only minimal use of organic approved herbicides and pesticides are applied.

Farmer Lyle was raised in NY’s Hudson Valley. His father subscribed to Organic Garden Magazine in the 50's. When he bought this land in Boulder, he didn’t intend to start a market farm. It just happened. Now they grow over a hundred varieties of flowers and vegetables on 35 acres.

Why should flowers be organically grown if they aren't going to be eaten? Lyle says that conventional flower production requires the same chemical inputs (herbicides, fungicides, and pesticides) used in conventional agriculture. Because flowers aren’t eaten, workers in this industry are subjected to some of the worst human rights violations, not to mention environmental pollution, hence his decision to go organic.



Douglas Gayeton for Lexicon of Sustainability


Location: Stubbs Vineyard, Petaluma, CA

Featuring: Tom & Mary

Grown without the use of herbicides and pesticides.

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