Fighting the Good Fight
When The Root Cellar was in the beginning creation stages, we knew we had strict values that we wanted to uphold, but we weren't entirely sure how to uphold them with the food system being as toxic as it is.
We realized how hard it is and more expensive it would be to do things right. The bureaucracy and un- ethical nature the food supply chain was just the beginning. We listened and learned a Iot in a short period of time, and made it our mission to discover the truth about the food and agricultural industry down to every detail. We learned a bit about certifications. That organic, along with a lot of other certifications, ONLY meant no use of pesticides. Thats it. If you could conjure up the most disturbing images of animal handling and conditions that directly effect the food as we consume it- it is not a pretty picture. Organic doesn't mean sustainable either. Some of the practices around "certified organic" are extremely harmful to local environments and economies just as much as any other farm spraying pesticides, just in more insidious ways.
The reality is that the mass production of food is dangerous to our health, the well being of cultures, communities, nature/the land, and small local economies. As large factory farms and food vendors create, and keep a monopoly on the system and food supply chain- small farms that are desperately just trying to do the right things, instead of succumbing to practices that they don't believe in, are barley staying alive.
Our promise as stewards of the earth, and nurturers to you, is that you will know what you are eating, and you can entrust that our food chain is short, sweet, and culturally/environmentally relevant. You can put your full trust in us, as our number one passion is serving mindful meals, and charging our community with love and awareness.
Cherokee Valley Bison Ranch
YOUR LOCAL BISON RANCH
The importance of regenerative agriculture:
Healing isn't linear, and our environment has changed drastically through colonization, and capitalism. To some, the term "Regenerative Agriculture, is another buzz word to intellectualize a concept of holistic ideology that many other cultures have intuited and practiced in their way of life for centuries. In a larger sense, it refers to the resiliency and diversity of eco-systems, cultures, communities, and soil. The truth is, our modern day extractive agricultural practices are incredibly degrading and harmful to our environment and health in many ways, and it needs to be mitigated immediately. There are farms across the country that are adopting various regenerative practices such as: The regeneration of species lost such as the Buffalo, prairie flora/fauna, indigenous wild species, and TRUE heirloom crop species, such as corn, and wheat, livestock handling and protocols, and cultural relevance in agriculture. Re-creating these practices for some, and recognizing and honoring them in others are extremely important for food sovereignty and positive change of the system. This is why empowering/supporting regeneration of bison in our food system, and eco system, by communities that are directly connected, and most concerned for the well being of the Bison, their preservation, and reintegration into nature, is of paramount importance both agriculturally, and culturally.
The indigenous people of this country understood the benefits the Bison had to the eco-system. Their manure is paramount for a thriving soil and crop health as they can digest almost any native weed, unlike cows who have a harder time eating local plants because they aren't native to these lands. What happened is that we started growing GMO mono crops to feed the livestock across the west of species that weren't native to the land, which started degenerating soil and our large water reservoirs over time and now we are in a compromised situation eco-logically. The reintegration of Bison on the land has proved to benefit many systems in various ways. Bison are natural, and are TRIPLE the nutrient density of cow beef. It is lean, tender, and melt in your mouth beef that we are just meant to be eating. Join us in the Bison revolution!
Carie is the owner of Cherokee Valley Bison Ranch, a female-owned ranch nestled in the rolling hills of Thornville, Ohio. Their farm land has been family owned for over 50 years. "On the ranch we believe in the sacred connection between Mother Earth and ourselves." Carie’s grandmother spent countless hours sharing tales of her Cherokee heritage, her love for nature, and philosophy of living a life the ‘natural way’ without herbicides, but most importantly, how it is their duty to act as stewards of the earth. Grandma Crandell’s wisdom stuck with Carie and she continues her grandmother’s sustainable practices today.
Ayers Valley Farm
MEATS AS NATURE INTENDED
What does "pasture raised" actually mean?
In the poultry farming industry, due to the manufacturing of mass amounts of poultry all sustainability, organic, healthy, or ethical practices have been diminished. Mass production of poultry may be one of the worst agricultural practices. One way to begin counteracting this industry is finding your local chicken farm! If you are put off by large factories with thousands of chickens piled on top of each other in cages, in horrendous and unclean conditions, leading you to purchase cage free eggs or chicken, I want you to know that that label that has helped your consciousness- isn't what is seems. Cage free doesn't mean they are outisde, or living a natural life. They are still in the factories just on top of each other as opposed to in cages. All organic or non GMO means is that they are fed organic feed. Organic wouldn't really matter as much if they are exposed to unsanitary, unnatural and unsafe lives. Remember- we are consuming that!
Meet the Ayers:
Josh and Taylor Ayers were both young, active and seemingly healthy individuals before they started the farm, but they had aches, pains, and Taylor had some health issues that no doctor could pinpoint. After spending so much time in pain, Taylor started researching her health issues and how what she was eating could be the contributing factor. This opened the door for what is now, Ayers Valley Farm. Taylor had researched about how much the food that we fuel our bodies with effects us and how we should work with nature instead of against her. She tried finding good quality pasture raised meat at the grocery stores but the label claims and what the product actually was were two different things. After getting fed up with the way they were feeling, the two of them decided that even with working full time jobs they were going to raise high quality pasture raised meats, themselves. Through the years, they have partnered with nature to practice regenerative agriculture. This means their animals are constantly on the move to better forage while depositing manure to provide better soil health. They use rotational grazing methods to ensure that their farm land is continuously improving for the livestock to feed your family!
Ramona's American Indian Foods
SUPPORTING TRUE HEIRLOOM
I feel it bears reiterating the cultural importance and benefits of regenerating heirloom species, and supporting indigenous farming practices. Ramona's farm will educate us further on the topic.
My father, Francisco ‘Chiigo’ Smith, an O’dham farmer, grew many traditional crops on my mother Margaret’s ten acre allotment located near Sacaton, on the Gila River Indian Reservation in Arizona. My mother was an herbalist and traditional healer. My father grew corn, chiles, tepary beans, various types of squash, gourds, Pima wheat, melons and sugar cane. Together, they taught me the value of our traditional foods to our daily nutrition and way of life. In the late 1970’s, some community elders asked us to grow the Bafv (tepary bean), which had nearly become extinct due to the lack of water that put many of the local subsistence farmers out of business. We discovered that my father had left a few seeds of the white and brown tepary beans in glass jars in a trunk in the old adobe house that I grew up in. It became clear to us, especially with the urging of our community elders, that it was to become our mission to ‘bring the bafv back’ to the community. We were able to get started with those few seeds of each color and learned how to produce the beans on a small scale. Once we perfected our production techniques, we were able to develop our bean project into a larger enterprise and now market our beans in the local community and surrounding areas, in different colors and package sizes. We also offer other wholesome American Indian grown traditional, heirloom and non-traditional food products.
Why Tepary Bean?
Selected from the wild species growing in the Sonoran Desert and cultivated for at least a thousand years by the Natives of the Sonoran desert, the Akimel O’odham and Tohono O’odham, who continue to grow them on their reservation lands with summer rainfall in arroyos and limited irrigation along the Gila River, the Tepary bean is believed to be the world’s most drought tolerant bean, and higher in fiber and protein than most other beans with a low glycemic index and superior taste! The Root Cellar Co. will only be serving this delicious ancient superfood in place of any legume in any dish.
Why Heirloom corn?
Why are corn, soy, and wheat one of the top three allergens in the western diet? Because we have genetically modified them out of their natural DNA so much that they have become toxic to our bodies and the eco-system. The reason why Brazil is dozing a lot of the rainforest is for mono crops to feed our livestock. This is natures way of teaching us. Let's be good students and listen. The Root Cellar Co. will be serving up delicious succotash, polenta and grits on various entrees, as seasonal crops allow. Thank you Ramona for sharing your wisdom!
ANCIENT GRAINS FOR MODERN NUTRITION
Meet Ancient Grains Farm:
"Earth's FIRST wheat, Einkorn, is incredibly more nutritious than wheat products you are buying at the store, and it contains a different type of gluten that is EASIER TO DIGEST."
Why Heirloom Wheat?
"Wild" is regenerative in nature because it is INTENTIONAL. It is how our ecosystem naturally adapts in an environment that has been supported, and not taken from. This is how wheat should be. When the genetic structure of wheat soy corn, etc. was modified in the 70's to amplify yields (mostly to feed livestock that also cant digest it properly) this original "amber waves of grain" was cast away as less efficient. The modified wheat that is used world wide now is a dwarf variety that has a different chemical and gluten make up. Notice how gut health wasn't a thing until more recent times. It wasn't always like this. Let's truly heal our gut by eating the grains we were meant to eat! The Root Cellar Co. will strictly be using Einkorn wheat in various recipes such as pot pies, breads, and homemade pastas!
TRULY Local Produce
CSA MEMBERSHIPS TO SUPPORT SMALL LOCAL FARMS
The mass production of mono crops, and vegetable factory farming is entirely unsustainable. You are not truly getting nutritional benefits of a lot of this food. Also these large corporations are notorious for their monopolies and control over the supply chain that actually strangles out small vegetable farmers that are desperately trying to stay afloat. We aim to directly support local economies, this creates jobs, and empowers communities through food sovereignty. At The Root Cellar we are bringing the farmers market directly to you!
This stands for community shared agriculture. These programs are designed for people to have a direct relationship with local farms. Akron alone has multiple beautiful organic vegetable farms. Why ever go through a grocery store that isn't supporting local? At The Root Cellar Co. we have multiple CSA memberships in which we are literally picking farm, fresh seasonal and organic produce directly and cooking with it in your meals immediately. Nothing is fresher than this.
Meet some of our Ohio farms:
Front 9 Farm in Lodi, OH-
Our farm is a market-garden farm in which we sell direct to local customers and all produce is sold within a 30-mile radius. Our farm’s strengths include our closeness to market, which reduces distribution costs and maximizes crop nutrient retention, our crop diversity, which minimizes pest and disease pressure, and our closeness to our community, which shortens the feedback loop between our customers and us, allowing us cater our production to our communities’ preferences.
Stone Garden Farm in Richfield, OH-
Stone Garden is a nearly self-sufficient farm. We have five different organic and permaculture vegetable gardens. They include 100 year old asparagus and rhubarb patches, many "wild" edibles, a wide variety of heritage and heirloom vegetables and delicious and rare berries and fruits. The woods, fields and pastures add to the fun of plenty to do and see.
Wild is Wonderful
RED LAKE NATION FOODS
The Role of "Wild" in Regenerative Agriculture:
There is only one TRULY heirloom species of any plant and that is what grows wild. Cultivation of all crops, including rice has been a necessity in many cases throughout the green revolution, and through population increase but the fact remains that a lot of common used rice in our diets were only just created between the 40's and 70's. The overly processed and glutinous rice that we love to cook with is simply not as the natural world intended. I am not making a case against white or brown rice, I am simply stating that support, and consumption of wild species, such as wild rice is more responsible and regenerative in an environmental and healthful way as it improves resiliency of ecosystem, and the cultures that care for it. The Root Cellar Co. will proudly serve wild rice from culturally relevant providers.
Meet Red Lake Nation Foods:
"The Red Lake Band of Chippewa Indians logo is the symbol of our nation; our sovereign nation. The design represents many things. The shape of the upper and lower Red Lake has been our trademark due to its unique shape and what it means to us: fresh water and food (walleye). The circle represents the powerful circle of life for ours and countless other tribes. Unity without end. The trees mark our dependence on them for shelter, transportation, warmth and many feelings of belonging to the land. The feather of the eagle is also a powerful symbol to our tribe. The eagle's heartbeat is echoed in the drum beat of practically all tribes. The clan symbols from left to right are the bear, turtle, bullhead (fish), mink, eagle, pine martin (sable) and the kingfisher."
Check out Red Lake Nation's website for more information on their tribe, and facts about wild rice.