Community Philosphy Blog and Library

HOMEGROWN Road Trip Part 2: Green String Farm

On the road out of Petaluma, amidst tasting rooms and grape vines of Sonoma County, is Green String Farm. As you pull in, you’ll see nothing fancy, a rustic farm stand with a bunch of talkative chickens in the coop out back, but their philosophy is dazzling:

Green String is a 140 acre farm, with 50-60 acres in cultivation, in Petaluma, CA. The farm produces vegetables and fruits for a number of restaurants in the Bay Area, and maintains a farm store year-round. While the farm is not certified organic, we hold ourselves to sustainability standards that we believe well exceed organic standards.

Green String is the act of farming sustainably and naturally so that we provide a healthy future for generations to enjoy. Sustainability in the farming context is defined as healthy, local, socially responsible, simple living and control. We make every effort to reduce soil erosion, pesticide dependency, loss of biodiversity, resistance to natural predators, and other harmful ecological impact. We create a self-nourishing system where less human intervention yields better quality crops.

The Green String Institute is a “beyond organic” advocacy organization founded in 2000 by Fred Cline and Bob Cannard. They also provide a certification to participating farmers called “Green String Certified”.

The Institute, and the idea of green string farming, was born when Cline and Cannard noticed that the concept of organic agriculture, as it rose in popularity, became bleached of its meaning. To Cannard, one of the instigators of the organic movement in California, the term organic meant that produce should be locally grown, with respect for the environment and the planet. It meant that food should not travel across countries or continents from farm to table. It meant the use of compost and cover cropping and crop rotation and other practices that enrich the soil so that the fields become richer and more fertile year after year. Now, however, with the advent of USDA Organic certification, organic production is beyond the means of many small farmers who do not have the means or cannot afford the time and trouble required to obtain certification. Moreover, once obtained, the certification means very little.

It’s so good to see boundaries being pushed and definitions being questioned – keeps us all honest and on our toes! There is so much to learn from these careful, thoughtful farmers, and with statements like “Green String farms do not recognize adversity with nature”, how can you go wrong?

Next up: Organic, super-premium ice cream in Humbolt County.


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2 Responses to “HOMEGROWN Road Trip Part 2: Green String Farm”

  1. Several years ago when I was looking for a wedding venue I emailed them. I guess I put a bug in their ear because the following year they started offering their barn for weddings and events.

  2. Mally Grimshaw Says:

    Hello, I saw an ad in the Good News Florida Broward Edition advertising “Beyond Organic”. Please e-mail me information about local farmers/network in the Greater Fort Lauderdale, FL area. I am interested in forming a neighborhood food co op and would like to use local growers and seasonal foods.

    Thank you, I look forward to your information.

    Mally Grimshaw

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