Upon entering the gates of La Milpa Organica Farm, a beautiful vista unfolded before my eyes–rows of lush, green vegetables in neatly organized plots framed by the rocky hillsides of Escondido, California. I have been to many organic farms and each one reflects the philosophy and personality of the owner.
At La Milpa Organica, the absence of fertilizer tanks and mechanized equipment are only a part of what makes this farm different. Barry Logan, the owner, has modeled his farm practices after Meso-American La Milpa, farming based on crop rotation and preservation of life in the soil. He has created an atmosphere which is meditative, healing and regenerative.
I was at Barry’s farm for his monthly open house. Approximately 150 people gather every month for food, music and movies. This evening, Mel Lions of San Diego Roots Sustainable Food Project was stoking up the wood-fired pizza oven and getting his ingredients organized for an evening of pizza-crafting. Barry explained that his clay-brick oven took eighteen months to build and each brick had to be bevelled in just the right way for it all to come together. Various musicians performed while Mel turned out delicious, vegetarian pizza after pizza. As the sun set, we settled down to watch Fresh, a film which celebrates the farmers, thinkers and business people across America who are re-inventing our food system. It was delightful event and refreshing to see so many like-minded people taking such a keen interest in organic and sustainable foods.