We hear a lot of talk about sustainable farming, but what does that really mean? In the most basic of terms, sustainable farming is the production of food or other plants using methods and techniques that work to protect the environment, community and welfare of the general public. Sustainable farming in New England works to produce healthy food and local farm flowers without causing harm to the natural environment that could compromise the ability of future generations to continue farming in the region.
What Are the Benefits of Sustainable Farming?
There are three primary benefits associated with sustainable farming that benefit just about every type of Rhode Island farm and local community. Understanding these benefits and how they can protect every type of agriculture, from Rhode Island apple picking to growing wholesale potatoes to even the smallest roadside fruit stand, can really make a difference in the way that we view our food.
- Preserving the Environment – Sustainable farming in Rhode Island helps to ensure that crops are grown without relying on products or practices that would degrade soil, water or other natural resources. It also relies on using proven techniques, such as crop rotation and conservation tillage to help increase production naturally while maintaining a healthy local environment. Many farms in the northeastern states foster sustainable practices, including both the large production farm and the smaller pick your own farm in RI.
- Protecting Public Health – Sustainable farming in New England understands that the primary objecting of farming is to provide people with fresh and healthy foods. As a result, many farmers employ practices that work to protect public health in many ways. Creating a safe work environment and avoiding the use of hazardous chemicals can help to create a safer environment for workers, consumers and farming communities. Most farmers work where they live, so protecting the local environment while producing local farm flowers, plants, fruits and vegetables is both a personal and a professional priority.
- Sustaining the Local Community – Another hallmark of sustainable farming at the typical Rhode Island farm is a focus on supporting the local community. Farms provide jobs and opportunities for local residents and visitors to the area. Wholesale production benefits local grocery stores, farmers markets, restaurants, catering companies, local school systems and other businesses. Contributions to local food banks are another way that sustainable farming in New England gives back to their local community in a way that everyone benefits.
Growing for Our Future
The more that people become aware of responsible, sustainable farming in New England and take the time to visit and support their local fruit stand and pick your own farm in RI, the more important this approach will become. Right now there is a huge market for sustainable foods and local farm flowers, fruits and vegetables nationwide. Continuing down a path of increasing consumer awareness and inspiring an increasing demand for fresh, sustainable produce will help to greatly improve the future of farming in America.
Another aspect of sustainable farming is to provide education to consumers about the benefits of purchasing fruit from sustainable Rhode Island apple picking farms and responsible wholesale farms. Education is also important to provide farmers with the resources they need to ensure that their Rhode Island farm remains sustainable and viable to the community. Together we can work to create a better opportunity for truly sustainable farming in New England that will benefit everyone involved.
Young Family Farm: Our Sustainable Growing Practice
As farmers, our mission is to provide our customers with the safest, freshest and healthiest grown food at our Rhode Island farm. We are proud to provide healthy, sustainable farm fresh food to so many people and in so many ways. From our local retail stand and pick your own farm in RI to our wholesale potato business, we feed hundreds of thousands of people each year. We also support our local community through donations of literally tons of food to the local Rhode Island Food Bank. We understand and appreciate the duty that we have, not just to our customers and supporters of our local farm flowers, fruits and vegetables, but to the local community and region as well.
To find out more about the Young Family Farm and our views on sustainable farming in New England, come visit our retail store between May and November on West Main Road in Little Compton or by giving us a call at 401-635-0110. Visit our farm and enjoy old-fashioned Rhode Island apple picking, pick your own produce and shop for farm fresh products, local farm flowers and much more. Mark your calendars for our annual Apple Festival in October and don’t miss out on our pumpkin patch and pumpkin picking near the end of our harvest season.