October 2019 Interview with Tucker, Lucky Elk farmer/founder
1. Why is sustainable farming so important to you?
Well, I think it’s our only choice in the long-run. ”Conventional farming" isn't working. Across the country, soil is being depleted by destructive practices: over-tillage, monocropping, over-application of fertilizer and pesticides. Our waterways are being poisoned. Our distribution systems are sadly wasteful and ineffective at getting real food and medicine to people. Sustainable farming is how we fix this! We must become stewards of the land and learn how to regenerate our most valuable resources. And I think that in turn, this kind of farming crafts independent, innovative, and resilient farmers--exactly the type of people we need in the food system.
Ten years ago I rode an old motorcycle across the country. I took the back roads, stopping in small towns where most of the land was farmland. Again and again, I met generous and good-hearted people who remembered a better time. Many of them had been farmers, or they had grown up on a farm. They talked about a time when agriculture was the driving force behind the health and richness of their communities. But things were different after decades of buyouts, farmland consolidation, and the spread of mono-cropping. It seemed like chemical, petroleum, and equipment industries flourished, but the land and its people had been left in poor condition.
I spent a few months on a homestead in the Appalachians. I learned the “old-fashioned” way of farming. It was hard work, but the results were amazing. I witnessed how sustainable farming could regenerate the land, and its people and communities. With that knowledge, I became a farmer.
2. What's next for Lucky Elk?
I've been trying to answer this question for myself lately! We've improved our infrastructure so much and grown such an amazing crop this year. And now it's time to sell that crop in a very competitive market! So we’re creating a small line of products that really bring out the best healing qualities of the CBD we've grown. We're really focused on getting our product and our message out ... and of course I'm already planning the fields for next year!