THE RAD STORY
RADgrowers is the dream of Erin O'Callaghan - a first generation farmers who grew up in the city of Albury, NSW.
My childhood holidays were mostly spent on my grandparents farm, playing in the red clay channels, feeding orphan lambs and being cheif gate opener. After schooling I studied at university and traveled Australia, working in healthcare, but the soil was in my blood. Before returning to my roots to find my place in a more holistic form or health care, I spent time working with and for some of the most generous for food producers. Farmers all stewarding land of different scales, all diverse, some conventional and some certified organic but all feeding their local communities. This experience give me the skills and confidence to heed the pull to return to my home community and follow my passion of growing REAL AND DELICIOUS food in 2015.
Unfortunately the industrialization of our current food system has a lot to answer for. Its high dependence on fossil fuels and synthetic chemicals, all of which are reaching their peak, contributes to 33% of global greenhouse gas emissions. Obesity and diabetes now affects 400 million people, while 1 billion people, mostly rural women and children, are starving and malnourished but still 40% of food purchased is wasted. We have social, economic, and environmental instability like we've never seen before.
The term RAD (short for REAL AND DELICIOUS) was coined from my exasperation at this industrilaised food system and my desire to be involved in change. I want to grow real food, as nature intended, for friends and family, and for my local community. Food that actually has the nutrients food should have, to nourish our minds, our heats and our future.
RADgrowers used regenerative farming methodology to grow food as nature intended. We use integrated pest management using beneficial insects, plant deterrents and diversity + crop rotations to control pasts instead of insecticides, pesticides or herbicides. We use cover cropping, composting, and animal integration to return fertility to the soil and sequester carbon rather than using synthetic fertilizers and increasing atmospheric carbon. By investing in our soil to increase our organic matter, we have the nutrients plants need to grow strong and produce nutrient dense fruit. This is food. Its not 'super-food'. It's not 'wholefood'. It's food.
Change is happening. First generation farmers stewarding small parcels of land to feed local communities using these regenerative growing practices are growing in numbers all over the world. The benefits are not just for the land that we as are custodians of, but for all of us, as eaters and together, as communities. The future is bright. Go forth and eat right!
NB :: If distance is a barrier to supporting us, have no fear :: Flavour Crusader has you covered. They are an online directory for of all things healthy, fair and delicious in your local food system so be sure to check them out.