Here Darren Peters, Islander and Banker, talks about the value that Raymond Loo is brining to us all here on PEI.
In part 2 – The Value of Eating Real Food – Darren talks about what eating real food has meant to him and his health
More on Raymond’s Web Site here http://pastureraisedmeat.wordpress.com/
Raymond is one of the most captivating organic farmers in Canada, with a vision for farming in PEI like no other. Raymond’s family has farmed Springwillow Farms since the early 1800′s. His father came from Holland and after marrying, farmed and operated a custom spray business–fully embracing the “Green Revolution”. Not until late in his life, did Mr. Gerrit Loo become an important organic leader for Atlantic Canada, inspiring three of his children to become certified organic farmers in PEI too. ACORN has also named its annual organic award for Gerrit Loo (http://www.acornorganic.org/gerritloo.html). An interesting story, as told by Raymond, and one to inspire those who think chemical agriculture could never “go organic”.
Lloyd Alexander, a famous American author, once said “We learn more by looking for the answer to a question and not finding it than we do from learning the answer itself.” I thought how true of this Nuffield experience I’ve been so richly blessed with. In fact, how many of us have found answers to questions we weren’t even searching for? Did you come home with a better understanding of what really matters to you? I did. I went out in search of answers to precision farming technologies. I came home with a greater understanding of the world around me, my role as a father, husband and the direction of our business. You know, I don’t ever recall writing down the questions to the answers I discovered. I’d like to share some of those answers with you now.
I think I still hold the record of being the only scholar that had to win the award twice before going. I had been preparing to head to the UK in Feb 1970. Six weeks before the date, our dairy barn burned along with our entire milking herd. Needless to say, I had to contact Nuffield Lodge and cancel. Howard Cornwell went on very short notice in my place and the Nuffield Foundation said that if I wished to reapply they would probably look at my application with favor”. So, one dairy barn and one new herd later, I went on Feb 28, 1971, along with the late Woody Lambe. My wife had gone back to teaching to help keep the home fires burning (or at least partly pay for the fuel). We had a 1 yr old and as I look back, Gayle was long-suffering and more than supportive, as were my parents. No one ever told me that I should just forget the whole Nuffield dream.