It was an unbelievable feeling for me when I went to the Santa Rosa Saturday market and Sebastopol Sunday market. As an island man, and a man who is from a country where the informal business represents 90 percent of the national market, I couldn’t imagine that there are some places in the US like Sebastopal and Santa Rosa where people can buy organic foods without needing to go to a super market. It was huge and incredible for me the first time I visited the market.
Thanks to my friend filmmaker, Michael who is currently working on a movie project about food in which I work as one of the actors. For that, I had to meet growers and sellers of organic foods, just to know how they grow their healthy foods, and to share with them my experiences with the Haitian farmers. I have met some good and friendly growers and sellers of organic foods since the beginning of this project. I also visited one field that belongs to one well-known famous salad grower in Sebastopol. I spent a couple of days with him and I watered the crops twice, I remember. Les is his name.
I talked to him about his experiences, and how long he has been growing organic salad in Sebastopol. He said,” I have been here for more than 20 years, It is amazing and I love my life style. I eat what I grow without chemical fertilizers, which can make my life pretty short.” He continued to say, “ When I use the hoe to dig and fix the bed for my plants, I feel good and I also feel a defender of life that exists in the ground. I use the weeds and natural fertilizers made with chicken and wood (a kind of fertilizer made with chicken waste, straw and wood) to grow my crops and they grow well, and I am not a killer of life in the ground.”
I met Paula, a strong woman and the manager of the two markets, she is an amazing woman and strong for her age, she is in her sixty, but she looks like a thirty woman. Without interviewing her, I can see how happy she is in this post. And she is a defender of organic foods because I met her during a conference given by a well-known organic foods defender named Vandana Shiva, who is an Indian woman at Santa Rosa. She was so excited to go and to support Shiva. She has joined some organization in the world that struggle against the chemical fertilizers and for the return to the traditional agriculture.
At least Michael, the filmmaker and one of the defenders of organic foods has also joined and worked with these kinds of organizations joining Paula couple years ago. By the way they are all friends (Les, Paula and Michael) and work pretty close to keep the struggle continued. Michael has undertaken this project to show how he stands for a healthy and natural world. For the respect of little farmers, and to encourage and teach people how important it is to cultivate organic foods and to advocate for a better life for everybody in the world.
I can tell you this experience was the one I never thought before. And the interesting this is, when you go to the Saturday and Sunday market, you don’t only buy organic foods, but you can also meet friends and learn more about America by the relation that you have with the native Americans who live in the Sonoma county. Go and buy organic foods to keep your body healthy and strong.