The commoditization of agriculture has done great things for product consistency and price stabilization, but has frequently fractured regional food systems in its wake. For every ten bags of all-purpose flour I buy from a producer like Ardent Mills, all ten will taste stale, and yet the same. What the producer gains in sameness and shelf-stability, the farmer loses in revenue and product control; and the consumer loses in flavor, terroir, locality, and traceability.
Today we rely on a label to tell us that the food we are consuming is fresh and natural, and that when we buy ground beef at the store, that the animal that was treated humanely. In most cases, our connection to the food that we consume is through a smattering of labels, certifications, and nutritional facts. How have we, as a species, become so detached from our food, something so deeply fundamental to what it means to be a human?
In 1944, Paul Fagan acquired 14,000 acres of land in Hana and brought cattle from Molokaʻi to start Hana Ranch. Today, Hana Ranch is a working cattle ranch and diversified organic farm. Although some of our pastures are located on green rolling hillsides, other pastures run up the mountains cut with sharp lava rock, and other pastures slide into lush, coastal rainforests. Many of these landscapes are impassable by motorized vehicle and impractical to walk on foot. Here, the horse is a necessary tool and a trusted companion.
In 2018 Bio-Logical Capital grew our team, our projects, and our areas of expertise. We are continuing our work towards healthier landscapes and more vibrant communities in Hawaiʻi, Vermont, California, Colorado and beyond, while fostering the growth of an extraordinary team here at our office in Denver.
Every spring I walk through fields freshly planted with an array of diverse seeds. Every summer I watch those seeds become fruit and vegetables that feed families. And in the fall, as storage crops get put away and what is left becomes jams and pickles, I know that this food experience that I have is a tiny fraction of how most humans on the planet interact with and consume food.
We believe that there is a real opportunity to shift human development models from an “extract and move on” approach to one in which we “enrich, hold, and share” the land’s many resources. In an effort to inspire more individuals and organizations to take this holistic approach towards conservation and development, we’ve written a paper that captures what we mean by Stewardship Development.
The Bio-Logical Capital team had the chance to visit one of the country’s fastest growing indoor farming projects earlier this year on a team trip to New York. Square Roots is a dual urban farming and entrepreneurship program. The early-stage venture uses re-purposed shipping containers to grow leafy greens and other vegetables throughout the year via a 13-month incubator program for individuals interested in learning about urban agriculture.