5676 Faircrest ST SW, Canton, OH 44708   |    330-412-2544   |   info@zoefarms.com
Open Monday – Saturday 9AM-6PM | Closed Sunday

Changing the world one bite at a time - A call to all revolutionary eaters

July 08, 2016 at 4:42 AM

Here at the farm we receive quite a few messages from folks asking if they can come work with us. I guess they see videos, pictures, articles or something we post on social media about how we strive to operate an ecologically sustainable farming system. There is no doubt that what we are doing is not mainstream. Most people recognize the many differences between our operation versus what they’re seeing in documentaries. They see what we’re up to and want to be a part of it. I can understand their desire to a certain extent. The picture of “eco-farming” and animal husbandry is painted with a fairly romantic brush.
There has to be something more to it. Something beyond the romanticism of just working on a farm. What is driving people to want to volunteer their time here? When we first started getting these requests through our website and social media, I would show my wife the messages in amazement. I would wonder out loud - why in the world would someone want to spend their day off work doing manual farm work... for free??!! Did anyone tell these people just how hard a day of this work is? Did they not get enough poison ivy this season? Do they want a little more dirty sweat in their eyes this week? There has to be something else, something deep that’s driving these people to want to volunteer like this.
I believe most of us are getting a feeling deep inside that there’s something wrong with how our culture is operating. Everything around us has been transformed into a commodity to be bought, sold and manipulated. Land is merely a substrate from which we extract one commodity or another. It may be timber, coal, iron, oil or corn. If we own “it”, we are “its” master. This domination mindset is also at the heart of our current industrialized food system. Animals are bred, fed and slaughtered with only one measure of value – money. Millions of acres are tilled, planted, fertilized, sprayed and mechanically harvested with one goal in mind – profit. Topping it all off, that profit is being shared by fewer and fewer. Just ask a contract chicken farmer how they feel about the fair distribution of profits from their labor. The propaganda from those in charge of this system, and benefiting the most from it, tells us that this current system is the only way to feed the world. If we believe this industrialized, techno-genius story, then we should be getting healthier, happier and ditching the all pharmaceuticals in our “medicine” chests – correct?
I think the people calling us to volunteer their hard work have likely become aware of this logical disconnect and want to do something about it. They see that our pursuit toward ecological sustainability and humane animal husbandry is happening for real. We are in the business of healing land and raising happy animals. These folks want to be a part of it. The first thing that comes to their mind is to pick up a shovel and hit the fields with revolutionary fervor to do some good’ole back-breaking work. Of course we enjoy the company and the helping hand. We’re always appreciative of those who show up to get dirty. There are, however, better ways to participate in this movement that are far more impactful.
If we’re going to really make a substantial change in the way things are done, we have to beat the system at its own game. Money talks, folks. Say that again - out loud. That’s right. Every penny going to the multi-billion-dollar, multi-national food conglomerate is a vote in favor of the status-quo. We have to stop giving them our money. Hang tight, because I’m going to come right down to where the rubber hits the road, and call it like it is.
If you want to help us in our pursuit for ecologically sustainable farming and humane animal husbandry, buy our stuff. There - I said it. After you’ve bought our stuff, tell your friends and family to buy our stuff. Nobody has ever accused me of beating around the bush or sugar coating the manner in which I communicate my thoughts. It’s abrasive to some, but refreshing to others. My hope is that you’re in the “others” category. Now that we’re fully into “being blunt” mode, let’s tell some truth. According to the United Nations study on current global agricultural practices:
  1. Industrial agriculture is the leading cause of deforestation in the world
  2. Industrial agriculture causes more water pollution than any other industry
  3. Industrial agriculture is the #1 emitter of CO2
  4. Industrial agriculture treats animals as if they have no other value than money (The UN didn’t say that – I did)
Our family has made the decision to dedicate our lives not just to stopping, but actively reversing every one of the above realities. Every facet of our land and animal management system is scalable. We can heal thousands of acres to support plant and animal biodiversity, purify water and sequester carbon. We can raise thousands of animals humanely. We don’t need a Kickstarter campaign or a donation drive to make this a reality. All we need are revolutionary eaters. We need more people who realize that buying our chicken is not just a healthier food choice, but a vote for a different future. A customer stocking their freezer with our grass-finished beef has an impact far beyond their family’s dinner table. Every one of our free-range eggs scrambled in the morning is an act of subversion against a system of destruction and dehumanization.
We are farmers, yes. But if I am really honest deep down, we are revolutionaries in every fiber of our souls. Maybe it’s that revolutionary vibe that’s attracting folks to volunteer with us? Our farm is producing more than just great tasting, healthy food. We are part of a movement and every person who supports our farm is part of it too. Think of it this way – you’re changing the world one bite at a time.

Category: Building a Sustainable Farm


5676 Faircrest ST SW, Canton, OH 44708    |    330-412-2544    |    info@zoefarms.com
Open Monday – Saturday 9AM-6PM | Closed Sunday