What is “Morganic?”
I keep meaning to get into a big breakdown of what “Morganic” means and how our farm came to choose that name. I hope to do that soon. Typically, the first words or statement out of my mouth when someone asks this question is “more than organic.” I’ll elaborate further on that in a future post.
But at this moment I am interested in sharing some words about one of the key attributes that word/non-word has for us and why we chose it. Simply stated, when you buy or support “organic” (or “certified organic”) foods that can still be food that is transported from hundreds if not thousands of miles away. There is nothing within organic that captures what is to me an overwhelmingly necessary ethic and path toward an enduring (NOT “sustainable”) present and future–that being the need to engage in and support local purchasing. Nor does “organic” necessary imply anything about the nutritional content of that food. It can be organic seed raised up using organic methods but it can still leave you malnourished and diseased. More of that too in future posts–but the reason I mention that is that in the context of the “3000-mile Caesar salad” (thank you, James Howard Kunstler) that organic food that comes from 3000 miles away is all the more likely to be nutritionally deficient by the time it makes it to your table. Let alone–what community is built or invested in by making that purchase?
So part of the Morganic ethic for us is to engage in and support local relationships. Simple stated, I would rather buy an $18 goat block from a locally-owned farm supply store than an $11 goat block from Tractor Supply Company. Will I pass that expense on to you? I have to–as it is an input of my farming equation. However–two things: 1. if you are buying our products you are already leaning in the direction of if not having already thrown yourself over the cliff with us and are good with that if not “getting” that. You are not looking for the best deal a la cheapest, most exploitative product you can find (no judgement there–I understand the evolutionary dilemma presented by “greatest gain for least effort”–however, are you getting the greatest gain for the least amount of effort?). You are looking for a product that builds community–be it the community of your gut, the community of your family, of your neighbors (including us), or the community of your bioregion. You are buying products based on their investment potential, their ability to keep on giving–not products that provide short-term (literally) gain and really, in the great scheme of things, benefit no one and no system.
And 2. in addition to having to consider the expense of that $18 goat block that also compels me to find waste (or “uncompromised savings”) elsewhere in our farming model so that I do not necessarily have to pass that expense on to you. Using local sources and local ingredients forces me to farm and shape our business differently than most. Akin to the documented experience that some local foodie authors have put themselves through (Barbara Kingsolver’s ANIMAL, VEGETABLE, MIRACLE or the otherwise XXX-mile diet) we at Morganic Farm also consider ourselves on that local diet and have from the get-go. Thus, again, Morganic.
So what local relationships have you invested in lately? Here are some of ours from the past few weeks:
- The Kitchen for a rare dining out (before our daughter’s scholastic awards event)
- Hall Farms for animal feed
- Brilliant Books for the latest edition of THE NEW FARMER’S ALMANAC published by The Greenhorns
- Oryana, Oleson’s Supermarket, Northland Foods–the we prefer and try to buy/barter from neighbors and grow our own
- Square Deal Country Store for onion starts and mineral blocks for livestock
- Forest Area Federal Credit Union (we recently began the process of no only refinancing our home with them but also moving all of our accounts over the them–from Chase)
- Grand Traverse Pet Supply for dog food–though we try to make as much of our own dog food as we can
- And we continue to take advantage of the goldmine which is our Traverse Area District Library and also their MelCat service (Michigan Electronic Library CATalog)
Please share some of yours.
Thanks for reading!