Written by Nicholas Burtner, published by permaculturenews.org
Many farmers and growers are in massive amounts of debt. Many still want to go organic but the time and red tape needed to do so will deliver them into bankruptcy. I have outlined a few steps a farmer/grower can take to move around the red tape and speed up the process of producing and selling high quality, in demand, profitable, beyond organic food called Nutrient Dense Food (the next phase of food).
1) The most time-consuming part of this process will be the first couple of steps, which are to learn as much as you can on how to build microbiological life in your soil (because this is where nutrition actually comes from) and then start to move away from current agriculture practices into a life-building, soil-regenerating growing model.
A permaculture design consultant can be hired to speed up your process of learning and implementing both steps above. Check www.permacultureglobal.com to find an experienced permaculture design consultant near you.
2) Purchase a refractometer and use is profusely. A refractometer is a hand held tool that can be taken anywhere that will show the nutrient density in food. This is called a brix reading. Any brix reading above 15 means the plant is going to be high in nutrients, thus making higher quality food. The good news is that this cannot be faked and shows a true reading of how much nutrition is in the food. This will also make for a great marketing tool. Your permaculture design consultant should be able to show you how to use this. More can be read about conventional food vs. organics vs. nutrient dense food here, and brix reading info can be found in the video here.
3) Start selling direct to customers at farmers’ markets, preferably in larger metropolitan areas if possible.
4) Use the refractometer at your point of sale at the markets and show customers that your produce is beyond organic and of much higher quality. Don’t just say it — prove it to them by showing other produce with their brix readings next to yours. You may want/need to print out a a promotional piece that explains what a brix reading is and tell them what this means to their nutrition and health. Also a higher brix reading will yield a superior flavor that will speak for itself.
5) Make a testimonial of your success and share it online to others.
These steps have been stripped down as a guide to show how to quickly become a reputable grower and seller of highly profitable and quality nutrient dense food. If nothing is known about brix readings or how nutrition is the true cornerstone of health then education is going to be the first step. However, know that customers are yearning for higher quality top-of-the-line food for their families. And the “in the know” customers are wanting to make relationships with their local farmers and are very vocal on social media sites to get the word out quickly. We are at a point in history where we will go beyond the organic phase and into the next phase of food which is the nutrient dense phase of food. Another point to consider is to keep it simple. Just show the proof of the nutrition and invite customers to see your farm or growing site for themselves. This way it stays “open source” and deregulated. The opportunity is now.