When did you start farming?
We three have slightly different backgrounds. Andrew and Jacob have been farming for about as long as they have been able to stand up! Bryan is late to the work and he started when the team assembled in 2011 to begin our joint work as Three Spring Farms.
What is your background? How long have you worked on the farm?
Andrew and Jacob grew up on a family farm in Perry County, Missouri and have been participating in that life and work for as long as they can recall. Both have studied agriculture at the University of Missouri and carry on as the 4th generation of family farmers in the region. Bryan had a brief exposure to farming years ago as a student in central Illinois, and now returns to it as a partner with the Bachmann brothers. We have been working together since the inception of Three Spring Farms in 2011.
Why is local food important?
Local food is important to the consumers because they are buying from the producers of the food, not middlemen, and they are directly supporting the agricultural community by doing so. Local food is fresher and has traveled fewer miles to get to the plate. The money of the end consumers stays around longer too- we get paid and then we buy fencing from Muellers down the road or have our well repaired or our septic system rehabbed by local craftsmen. When the money leaves the community, it is gone, but when locals lean on each other, those dollars circulate and provide benefit over and over again.
How do you define ‘sustainable’?
Philosophically and theoretically, we think sustainable describes farming processes that could go on indefinitely without injuring the land, injuring the environment or impoverishing the producer. Practically, we are raising meat, eggs and vegetables without pesticides, hormones, antibiotics or other expensive inputs from off the farm. By practicing a “pasture-based” program, we are building soil rather than depleting it and we are leaving the farms cleaner and better as we use and repair them. Grassfed animal husbandry builds the carbon stores in the soil and converts sunlight to food energy. That is sustainable!
What do you wish people knew about the food system in St. Louis?
We wish more people knew about the various methods to meet and purchase directly from producers from Missouri and Illinois. We take part in two farmers markets (Kirkwood and Tower Grove) and these activities take a lot of time and expense to get to and to be a part of.… Read the rest