We are excited to share with you the next iEco Buz small talk with Scott Ridout from Farm Among Us.
Bringing healthy foods to his community is at the heart of Scott’s mission with Farm Among Us. Experience has taught Scott that healthy soil grows healthy plants and that healthy plants grow healthy food. Though it all begins with wonderful plants and produce, Scott’s long term vision for Farm Among Us also includes gardening classes, hands-on experiences, and community events. Learn more about Farm Among us and what you can do from the interview below with Scott at the “Issaquah Highlands Eco-market ”.
pic: Scott from Farm Among Us at Issaquah Highlands eco-market, Blakely Hall says " I want to inspire others too to grow their own food"
What is the idea behind Farm Among Us?
Scott: Well my idea is I'm farming and I'm taking care of the soil, so if I'm taking care of the soil then you end up with a carrot that is very sweet. In taking care of the soil, that's how the plant becomes very nutritious. If we use synthetic fertilizers and pesticides and herbicides and that kind of stuff, the soil is dead and so there is not a lot of life. I take care of the life in the soil and then the soil feeds the plant and the plant's nutrition feeds me. So I'm trying to help people understand the importance of taking care of the soil because it uses less water, and it doesn't pollute our Earth and it gives us healthy food so we can do our best. I want people to do their best. I want the soil to do it's best. I want nature to do it's best so Farm among us is really about everything around me. What's under my feet, what's above me, and you and I and nature. So we all live in symbiotic harmony, so that's my goal.
How did you come up with this idea?
Scott: Well I've been growing things for a long time and I've always had a desire to be connected with the Earth. I grew into wanting to take care of my body. I used to eat a lot of sugar and then discovered that the natural sugars that our nature provides are the best for me and so I started following that thread, and that thread led me to this. I listened to podcasts and read books about small organic farming. I just retired from working at UPS as a delivery driver for 31 years and this has been my passion. So I have a lot to learn, in fact I'm taking a class called Master Lettuce Growing Class and it's a hundred hours of study just to grow lettuce. So I'm very passionate about it because I want to inspire others too to grow their own food.
If you were going to give one piece of advice to a family who is considering going down the Eco-friendly path, what would that be?
Scott: The advice I would give to them is that the brand new plot that I made, I started developing it a little over a year ago, and I was cleaning it up, and I was shocked at how much plastic garbage that I found there, that had been there for, some of it for decades. So a lot of garbage. I have pictures of things that I pulled out, first it was all blackberries, then I got the blackberries off and I started working with the soil, and I just kept getting garbage of plastic and metal and tin and stuff like that, and so years ago, people had a habit of just burying their garbage, and they didn't understand or if they lived close to a creek bank, they would throw it over the bank and stuff. So the neighborhood where my farm is, it's really old, and my son, he has a property by mine, and we make pathways down to the river and we keep finding all these things like broken glass and bottles and so I would say that it's really important to recycle, use as little man-made products as possible, things that nature provides, that will biodegrade over time. Things that can be recycled, like paper, cardboard, and those kinds of things. It's very important, because we create a lot of our own problems as humans.
What else do you think humanity needs to do in order to make our world truly clean?
Scott: I think we shouldn't worry about what our neighbors are doing. We should worry about ourselves. If I do the next right thing, if I pick up the piece of trash, if I make a choice that is a little more eco-friendly, then I have done something. I can't control what my neighbor does, but I can control myself, so if I'm doing something, then if I move it forward and participate in things like trash clean ups on highways, then I feel like I'm doing something beneficial to the environment and just by my example, I'm helping people learn.