We are a group of farmers in Bells Bend
(Nashville, TN) who have decided to work together and promote our vision of a sustainable food system. We use ecological soil management techniques, cover crops, crop rotation, biodynamic preparations and compost. We also grow many open-pollinated and heirloom varieties. Synthetic sprays and fertilizers have no place on our farms. We enjoy our work and lifestyle and want to continue to honor the tradition of proudly growing food in Bells Bend!
We hardly ever talk politics, but recently, this issue was brought to our attention through one of our favorite magazines, "Acres: The Voice of Eco-Agriculture". Basically, the FDA has proposed new legislation that sets very specific requirements for growing and harvesting fruits and vegetables, which are actually suited to large scale operations rather than small farms like ours. The article in Acres brings up the point that "the requirements of these proposed rules could drive many sustainable producers out of business and discourage new farmers from even starting." Some folks realized this issue and proposed an amendment which would exempt small farms from the regulations. "The Tester-Hagan amendment was intended to protect those businesses that pose a very low risk of foodborne illnesses and are most vulnerable to burdensome regulations. Unfortunately, in the final negotiations of the Tester-Hagan amendment, Congress included a provision that allows the FDA to revoke the exemption under certain conditions." Anyway, this is troublesome to us and many other farmers regardless of political affiliation, yet it seems like few people are talking about it. Feel free to tell your representatives if you feel as strongly about your locally grown produce as we do! They take comments until early November. Another good article on the issue can be found here.