Face-Certification or Organic-Certification

Press Release – Roebuck Farm

Canada’s Curtis Stone, aka ” The Urban Farmer “, will arrive in NZ in February to present a four day masterclass at Roebuck Farm in Taranaki.Face-Certification or Organic-Certification

Canada’s Curtis Stone, aka “The Urban Farmer“, will arrive in NZ in February to present a four day masterclass at Roebuck Farm in Taranaki.

Curtis is something of a rockstar in the field of profitable small scale farming, producing high quality fresh produce on his acre suburban farm and selling it to restaurants and supermarkets around Kelowna BC.

He is tapping into the increasing demand for local food, the desire to know where the food has come from, and who grew it.

While Curtis grows using organic methods he has not needed to apply for organic certification, as his customers enjoy Face-Certification. This term, from the lexiconofsustainability.com, elegantly points to an increasing desire for a direct contact between farmer and consumer, which creates an environment for trust and a channel for communication, which is where the ‘certification’ kicks in.

“Customers want to meet the farmers, and know how the food is being grown. They want assurance that their farmers are using best practices and are grateful when their farmers communicate back to them. This might be through a conversation or a flyer on a market stall, their story on a website, or an invitation to come to one of the our Open Farm days.” says Stone.

Could it be that the assurances, we have traditionally looked for from organisations is transitioning to the people directly, with social media giving communities the ability to shine a light on both the good and the bad. The impact can be dramatic with businesses rising or falling ‘overnight’.

Over time though, those producers working hard to build relationships and provide care of their customers with nutritious food while taking care of the local land base, will float to the top and build themselves a long term and solid customer base. This is something Curtis has excelled at, having made a good living off his farm for many years.

There’s a hunger for knowledge about how to make a good living growing food, and Curtis has been sharing his experiences freely via his YouTube channel, through his book and the talks and workshops he is offering for existing and would-be farmers around the world.

The exciting part is that the approach taken by Curtis doesn’t require massive investment to get started, or even need ownership of the land. For years, Curtis ran his farm on various and multiple plots of suburban backyards he didn’t own.

Curtis Stone’s visit provides a great opportunity for people who want to learn from international innovators, how to profitably farm small plots of land.

The February workshop will be held at Roebuck Farm, a well established bio-intensive farm run by Jodi Roebuck. Jodi has been travelling the globe for years, learning from the best and is now world renown and in demand for his innovative approaches. He visited Curtis and Jean-Martin Fortier (The Market Gardener) earlier this year, and is now busy expanding his market gardens and building infrastructure in preparation for the four-day field workshop from February 7-10.

For more information visit www.roebuckfarm.com

Disclaimer: I want to make it clear that I honour and respect the work of the organic movement and the many certification bodies upholding organic principles in food production. I do not wish to undermine or downplay the value they bring to the work of rebuilding a healthy local food system that can regenerate the very ecosystems we all depend upon, but which have been degraded by an industrial monoculture mindset.

Author: James Samuel supports the local food movement through enterprise and education. He led the Transition Towns movement in Aotearoa, co-founded Ooooby, and has been hosting national tours by exceptional overseas farmers, to promote innovative methods of production.

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