Sustainable A to Z
In large-scale conventional agriculture, many fruits and vegetables are shipped long distances. They are often picked while still unripe and firm, and then treated with gas to 'ripen' or soften them during transport or distribution. Local small-scale sustainable farmers sell directly to consumers at the farmers market so they can allow fruits and vegetables to ripen on the vine or tree. This means the produce comes to you fresh and delicious, with its nutrients intact, and the best flavor and texture possible.
The term “artisanal” implies that products are made by hand in small batches, but the term is unregulated and sometimes used by large manufacturers.
Biodynamic farming views the farm as a living organism. In addition to organic practices such as crop rotation and composting, biodynamic farmers rely on special plant, animal, and mineral preparations and the rhythmic influences of the sun, moon, planets, and stars. The term is not regulated, but some biodynamic products are certified by Demeter Association.
This unregulated term suggests that eggs are laid by hens permitted to roam in the henhouse (but not necessarily with any access to the outdoors).
Farmers market info, urban homesteading links, and food access organizations. Find it here.
CUESA's Sustainability Frameworks
These documents spell out guiding principles and best practices in sustainable food production.