Alex from Radical Roots wants to raise awareness on sustainable agriculture
April 3, 2013
“The non-profit institutes like Michael Fields are basic to creating awareness, bringing people to believe in local and sustainable farmers.”
How can organic and biodynamic farms in the Midwest get more customers and market their products?
This is one of the biggest questions that some farmers ask themselves every day. We put the question to Alex, a young farmer who runs ‘Radical Root’, an organic farm in northern Illinois. He and his partner started the business about three years ago. Now they have eight acres of land and two hundred costumers through their CSA (Community-Supported Agriculture). They grow vegetables and sell their products in different markets around Chicago.
Alex is convinced there are not enough organic farms to spread the message about eating local, fresh food without pesticides or GMOs. He encourages more farmers to take the same approach to food production, even if they are in direct competition with him. This young farmer sees non-profit organizations as the key to raising awareness about sustainable agriculture.
“The non-profit institutes like Michael Fields are basic to creating awareness, bringing people to believe in local and sustainable farmers. These kinds of organizations have to work together and create something bigger to change the minds of people and export the idea in other markets”.
For Alex, one example of these good practices is the workshops that people can attend at Michael Fields.
“Here you can learn about a lot of different topics. We have been coming to the institute for a long time, to get more knowledge about crops, fruits and managing weeds for vegetable production. We need to get good ideas to make our business more viable.”
He and his partner moved from Texas and they think that Southern Wisconsin has a farming community where it is easy to meet people who are in the same boat. Alex thinks that the Whole Farm Workshops are great for bringing attention to sustainable agriculture and for encouraging people to keep farming with sustainable practices. For him, non-profit organizations have an important role in promoting sustainable agriculture through workshops, conferences, and other meeting points for farmers.