Every Wednesday and Sunday, Noah Shitama, co-founder and owner of Swallowtail Farm, drives about 25 miles to downtown Gainesville to sell his week’s best organic produce at the farmers’ market and Citizen’s Co-op’s Sunday market. Although Swallowtail Farm isn’t certified organic, Noah refuses to use pesticides or herbicides.
He doesn’t even treat his crops with the few substances permissible under USDA certified organic standards, so he considers Swallowtail “beyond organic.”
“We’re a community farm and, as such, it’s a direct-to-consumer, trust-based relationship that exists between us and all the people we’re feeding,” Noah said.
In June, Florida Organic Growers (FOG), a Gainesville-based nonprofit that works to promote sustainable community farmers like Noah, joined 82 other plaintiffs in a preemptive lawsuit against Monsanto, the world’s leading producer of genetically modified seeds. Plaintiffs claim Monsanto’s predatory patent enforcement tactics threaten the future of organic agriculture. Read more >>
Reporting by Lily Wan. Photos by Ashley Crane.