Talk Radio With Heart & Soul
WRNP 1320 AM Radio Providence, RI
Cardinal Points is privileged to welcome Michael Giroux, organic farmer, food cooperative owner and visionary. He shares how he got involved in farming at the age of 18 or 19. When Michael began to eat local organic produce he immediately noticed a difference in his body. He experienced more energy and required less sleep. “It was like being superman.” He then explains the meaning of a CSA; Community Supported Agriculture. This is a way for farmers to effectively distribute their produce. A farmer will sell shares up front usually in the winter and this will allow them to buy seed and what ever they may need for the following growing season. The share holder will then get a share of the harvest throughout the growing season. Michael apprenticed on two different farms in Oregon. “This deepened my knowledge on the type of practices that will be beneficial both for the land but also for our own bodies.” Michael stated that the average apple that you buy at most large grocery stores has been picked 1 year prior to showing up at the store. Produce looses 50% of it’s nutrition within the first couple of days after they are picked. Michael educates us about how the commercial farming practices using genetically modified organism, pesticides and over use of the soil has drastically depleted the soil’s nutrients. The land is basically “lifeless.” Michael’s passion for farming and food is evident, “I love eating. I love food, the cooking and the being together.” “The common sharing of a bounty.” We learned from Michael that a “hefty” portion of the land in Rhode Island is being preserved and conserved as farm land. Rhode Island recently had the largest number of newly registered farms in the country. “People are looking for a livelihood that is satisfying, that heals the planet.” Ironically even with the increase number of farms in Rhode Island today currently less than 1% the food that we eat as a state is grown here in Rhode Island. Michael envisions a way to link the products from the farms that is efficient, financially fair for the farmer. A way to connect the local farmer to the consumer. He established Fertile Underground Food Cooperative in Providence 3 years ago to assist in this connection. Michael reports that nationally the average amount a household spends on food each year is around $20,000. He asks, why not shift some of that money to buying locally, supporting our local economy, farmers and creating jobs. What’s satisfying to Michael when farming is “the feeling of having everything I require in a given moment.” Michael believes we’ve become domesticated as a people. We rely on others for our own food. “We’ve lost the ability to feed ourselves.” He reminds us we live in a universe of love and abundance. Michael has a vision of creating “The Rogers Williams Trading Post, a “Buyers Club” using the internet to connect farmers, fishermen, artisans, bakeries and natural care products to consumers here in Rhode Island. This would include home delivery or to be picked up at distribution centers.
Michael Giroux is a natural farmer, son of Canadian Immigrants and a father of two. He has been involved with Fertile Underground for five years, which has developed two communal gardens and a worker cooperative natural grocery store in Providence.