It's as simple as that.
In the past 50 years, Americans' eating habits have changed dramatically. We used to get food from our local grocer, who got it from the local farm; now food delivery has become a complex, industrial operation. We have sacrificed taste and health for convenience and calories.
In our world, a tomato is a tomato and a chicken is a chicken (not a nugget).
Real food is food your great grandmother would recognize, and there is not much akin to it in the stores today — your great grandmother had vegetables; we have gogurt.
Real food has ingredients you can pronounce. It doesn't sound as if it was created in a lab. It hasn't been processed and reprocessed, and then shipped to the shelves of a grocery store to wait in cellophane. To preserve, we use pickling spices, not chemicals.
Real food means no high fructose corn syrup, no harmful pesticides, and no genetically-modified seeds. Once you taste something you've grown, you won't be satisfied by the bland products on supermarket shelves.
Will one garden change the world? No. But it will make a difference, and one garden at a time, we can change the world.
The United States of Food helps you grow healthy, nutritious food at your own home. Whether the garden stretches across your backyard or sits atop your balcony, your growing experience will be simple and enjoyable. To boot, your kids will learn about photosynthesis — one of the bases of life.
One by one, across Virginia and beyond, each United States of Food garden can change the way people eat. We're pushing aside processed foods and replacing them with choices that are healthy and nutritious. Slowly, but surely, we're bringing real food back to the kitchen table.
Our hats are off and our thanks are given to the real food pioneers who began the movement by writing books, recovering food deserts (urban areas that are devoid of grocers selling fresh produce), getting the government involved in food policy in a good way, setting stunning examples, and — perhaps most importantly — cooking great food. People like Michael Pollan, Will Allen, Alice Waters, Kathleen Merrigan, and Michelle Obama.
Ivan Fehrenbach lived in a tent while building his own home on his 20-acre farm. He lived off the land, eating food that came from his garden and from the loud end of his shotgun. He is a writer, a carpenter, a plumber, a contractor, a translator, a college teacher and, perhaps most notably, a gardener.
Shane Emmett also lived in a tent. He worked as an archaeologist on digs in Jamestown, Virginia (James Fort, the first permanent English settlement in the new world) and through greater California. He killed his first basil plant during this time; his first taste of the tribulations (and later, the triumphs) of cultivating. Since law school, he has worked on civil rights and environmental matters and for former Governor Tim Kaine of Virginia.
But we're just a couple of guys who love real food. Give us a call or send us an email, and we'll be happy to answer any questions you might have. We're usually up at the first sliver of dawn.
3950 Homestead Road
Lanexa, VA 23089