This winter, Ecocentric is interviewing farmers across the country from our Eat Well Guide in an effort to highlight both the challenges and triumphs of sustainable farmers across the country. Join us as we delve in to discover what it means to be a farmer in the 21st century.
Greg Freistadt and Marci Miller have a one acre vegetable farm in Moscow, a city right on the border of Idaho and Washington. What’s their best piece of advice if you want to eat well? Get to know a farmer!
What do you grow/raise on your farm?
Diverse vegetables, small fruits, herbs and flowers.
How many acres do you farm?
Approximately one acre.
What does your farm produce in a year?
We have a 25 member CSA, two thriving farmers markets a week, restaurant and food coop sales.
Describe your local food community in four words.
Thoughtful. Supportive. Hungry. Growing.
What is your favorite aspect of farming?
It depends on the season. We find something at any given point that we love. Overall, that we have autonomy and are doing something good for our local environment by caring for the soil, plants, animals, organisms and people.
How did you decide to get into growing fruit and vegetables? What did you do before you got into farming?
After studying abroad in Southeast Asia during college, we discovered that people were growing food in cities and empty urban lots. When Greg was diagnosed with several food allergies, we had to know what was in all of our food and it just became easier to grow it ourselves and know the people who grew our meat and dairy than to shop at a grocery store. We studied natural resource conservation in college and farming was the best way to have an impact on the environment and make the land better than any other job out there.
How did you get access to your land? Do you own or lease?
We lease all of the land we grow on. We grow on four different plots of land in and around Moscow. We love growing most of our produce in town and taking it to markets within a few blocks of our gardens.
What do you think are the best ways to eat sustainably on a budget?
We work with all kinds of people who are on tight budgets. Low income families,seniors and college students are some of the people we work with by accepting food stamps at farmers’ markets, and for CSA shares as well as doing work shares. If you want your family to eat well, get to know a farmer! Do you have a skill (bookkeeping, web design, massage, mechanic, etc) that you could trade for fresh, local food? We need to start thinking about the economy not just as money, but as trade services. Everyone has something to offer and as farmers, we have food!