2016 Annual Report and Letter from Our Board President
- posted on: January 29, 2017
- posted by: Robin Crowder
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It’s a pleasure to share with you, our 2016 Annual Report. If I’ve learned anything from this past year, I’d have to say I am more inclined to take nothing for granted and believe we are now more interdependent than ever. We really must join together and forge cooperative ventures, especially those demonstrating sustainability at each opportunity. The 21 Acres staff has an aspiration of realizing a sustainable world and it fuels our efforts to act locally and demonstrate to our visitors where and how we source and prepare pesticide-, hormone- and antibiotic-free food; how we manage our waste systems aiming for zero waste; water systems that conserve water; and the many ways we can go about saving energy.
We pledge to make our passion clear to you, a passion we all have for a better life, caring for the Earth and its people along the way. We are an organization that respects and applies intentional processes to everything we do. For example, think about a beautiful head of freshly harvested cabbage grown on our farm: First the cabbage gets rinsed sparingly—removing nutrient-containing soil particles so they can return to where they came from—then transported in an emission-free electric cart to our LEED Platinum-certified building. The cabbage enters the kitchen where the staff will use every bit of the head and compost only the inedible parts, turning them into rich, useable soil inputs in 60 days. Next, diligently slicing the cabbage requires not only good knife skills, but also a space with ample natural light cast via daylighting technology designed to reduce energy consumption. Once the cabbage is incorporated with other farm ingredients into a wholesome salad, it gets delivered to its destination, the 21 Acres Market deli, via an elevator that uses 70% less electricity than conventional elevators, and where it will be placed into an Energy Star-certified refrigerator. Or maybe it will travel in a fully electric refrigerated truck to a pre-school, day care, small food business or a chef with the highest quality food standards. The entire journey from the seed to the eater relies on using the least amount of water and energy in order to obtain the greatest nutritional outcome and least environmental damage. This process not only exemplifies how we think our food system should operate, it’s also how we get it done.
And still, there is considerable work to get done if we are going to be successful with carving out space for a viable local food system. Making the necessary headway takes time developing relationships, locating farmers with a mindset of sustainability, and connecting them with conscientious eaters. In 2017 we will do more to connect eaters with farmers. We will continue to provide opportunities to learn more about eating locally grown food and reducing our reliance on fossil fuels to do so. As we look ahead, we see your continued involvement, too, and acknowledge your confidence in our work.
Cheers to you in 2017!