Farming with Nature – Reflections from an Urban Farm

In the heart of the Silicon Valley urban area, on the bank of the San Francisco Bay, there is a historic farm where vegetables are cultivated and livestock are raised in traditional farming ways. Here, we see organic vegetables that have the garden-fresh look you cannot find on the shelves of large-chain grocery stores. Here, we find grazing livestock happily roaming on natural pastures. Here, we witness crops being harvested and freshly supplied to our local community year round. And here, we feel closer to nature and to our community.

Located in Fremont, California, Ardenwood Historic Farm is home to more than 20 picture2different fruits and vegetables as well as over 10 different farm animals, serving the much-appreciated local farmers’ markets for more than 360,000 residents in the Tri-Valley area.

On a recent visit to the farm, I asked a worker why he has worked on the farm for 15 long years. 

“I wouldn’t trade it for any other job,” said the proud farmer. “It gives everyone what they want: it gives the city a nice environment, it gives you fresh and healthy food, and it gives me a steady job. That’s what small-scale farming is about.”

Indeed, the farm is an epitome of small-scale farming – a traditional way of farming where farmers grow produce and raise livestock without employing streamlined, factory-style commercial agricultural production and processing methods. As the farmer mentioned, the benefits of small-scaling farming are abundant: in addition to providing fresh, convenient, and healthy organic foods to locals, it preserves the local environment, contributes to the local economy, and strengthens community ties.

Environmentally, as small-scale farming does not systematically use fuel-driven machines to clear fields, less pollution is emitted into the air; as small-scale farming does not destroy endless fields of lands for cultivation purposes, more natural resources are preserved; as small-scale farming does not involve packaging and transporting foods across a long distance, less chemical is discharged into the environment.

Environmentally, as small-scale farming does not systematically use fuel-driven machines to clear fields, less pollution is emitted into the air; as small-scale farming does not destroy endless fields of lands for cultivation purposes, more natural resources are preserved; as small-scale farming does not involve packaging and transporting foods across a long distance, less chemicals are discharged into the environment.

Economically, as the market of small-scale farming is predominantly localized, it contributes to local economy and at the same time, providing local employment opportunities.

Economically, as the market of small-scale farming is predominantly localized, it contributes to the local economy and, at the same time, provides local employment opportunities.

Nutritionally, small-scale farming produces freshly-harvested, unpolluted, natural foods, providing wholesome health benefits to consumers.

Nutritionally, small-scale farming produces freshly harvested, unpolluted, natural foods, providing wholesome health benefits to consumers. 

Inspired by the bountiful benefits and opportunities the farm has created, I wrote down the following poem:

Beyond the hustle and bustle of the urban center
A historic farm flourishes with glamour
Tendrils of green beans twirl with the sunflower
Leaves of snow peas dance across the acre

The pumpkin grins alongside the cucumber
The mockingbird chants together with the sandpiper
The rooster crows at the crack of dawn in splendor
The sheep roams the land in exuberant ardor

Her gorgeous green dress shines with alluring vigor
Making the air cleaner
Her vibrant brown skin glows with a rich structure                                            Strengthening the soil under

No chemical, no commercial fertilizer
Tomatoes and carrots taste as sweet as sugar
No preservative, no vacuum sealer
Berries and beets smell as fresh as a morning flower

Many a day we are drawn to her
Enthralled by her lush verdure
We relish in her invigorating odor
And for the day ahead, we become happier

Farming with nature, farming with pleasure
Small-scale farming keeps us healthier
Farming with nature, farming for the future
Small-scale farming preserves Mother Nature 

The farmers market also draws our community closer
When we help ourselves, we help the neighbor
For every cent we spend on a local supplier
Will go to support a local farmer

In our heart we say a prayer
We pray for the farmland to thrive forever
For she is a legend who makes our world better
Beyond the hustle and bustle of the urban center

I titled the poem “Farming with Nature” because small-scale urban farming is natural, healthy, and sustainable. I invite you to look around yourself to see if you can find a community farm near you. Ask yourself how you can help preserve, protect, and promote small-scale urban farming. By doing so, you’ll become a good steward of the earth, a valuable contributor of your community, and a reliable guardian of your own health.

21 thoughts on “Farming with Nature – Reflections from an Urban Farm

  1. Hello! Dropped by from dentistchef…and I sure glad I did. I’m from Sarawak, Malaysia.

    How very true – the small scale farmers, no pesticides, natural fertilisers…in other words, organic farming, minus the prices they charge for all those organically-produced, supposedly healthy stuff. One thing here is they burn the soil to fertilise it and with the never-ending perrenial haze problem from the massive oil palm plantations in Indonesia, that is frowned upon. Pity.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for dropping by. Agree. There are many problems associated with large-scale commercial farming that need to be heeded, discussed, and resolved. We all need to make our own share of efforts to this end.

      Like

  2. Pingback: Snapshots from the San Francisco Ferry Plaza Farmers Market | Youth Food – Meals Under Pressure Cooker

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