As pandemic restrictions loosen, Candy Farm in Half Moon Bay is providing up-close excursions for folks to satisfy rescued cattle like goats, cows, chickens and sheep to teach folks about animal welfare points.
Candy Farm encourages folks to work together with the animals and tour its sustainable fields to consider their agriculture choices, lowering their carbon footprint and animal impacts within the meals business.
“So it’s bringing them out and speaking to folks about what their each day selections are and the affect these selections have and let folks make their very own choices about how they need to transfer ahead,” Penny Cistaro, affiliate government director for Candy Farms, stated.
The 20-acre farm and nonprofit sanctuary on Tunitas Creek Highway is addressing the worldwide impacts of manufacturing unit farming on animals and the planet. Candy Farm is a powerful advocate for a plant-based food regimen that reduces the variety of animals used within the meals business whereas additionally working to assist develop new applied sciences to make it occur.
Cistaro stated they foster progress over perfection as a result of issue it takes to alter life, specializing in empowering folks to reside a extra humane and sustainable way of life.
The tour begins with a go to of various crops, adopted by going to numerous farm sections to satisfy rescued cattle, referred to as animal ambassadors, that come from across the space and nation. Assembly the animals helps educate guests about manufacturing unit farming and sustainability points and the way the human meals system impacts animals. The farm reopened up for personal excursions in April, whereas public excursions will start in June. Member days begin in July and embrace an academic element program like beekeeping, seed saving and fermentation. Cistaro labored in animal welfare for greater than 40 years earlier than she retired and began working with Candy Farms. She famous many individuals who go on the tour are shocked to find out how younger animals are killed for animal consumption, with chickens killed at round 16 weeks and 4 months for a pig, whereas a dairy farm doesn’t preserve bulls and sends them to be killed.
“It’s these varieties of issues that we are able to educate folks and has an affect on them, they usually cease and assume,” Cistaro stated.
The hourlong in-person non-public tour is for as much as six folks at $200, with many excursions booked by an individual attempting to get family and friends to grasp why they began a plant-based food regimen. Cistaro stated the animals come to them for varied causes, with some uncared for and handled poorly. Others had been strays, misplaced their moms, had been not in a position to be taken care of or got here from dermatology labs.
“Right here, they’re blissful, and they’re doing what they do. That is what they had been speculated to be doing, simply grazing all day, interacting with others inside their herd,” Cistaro stated.
The crop part of the tour exhibits Candy Farm’s hydro-zoning farming, which places collectively totally different crops based mostly on water wants. For instance, strawberries take essentially the most water and get a piece closest to water sources, whereas different sections are seasonal and additional away. Candy Farms is at present rising squash, potatoes, lettuce, kale, leeks and Swiss chard used for its Group Supported Agriculture program, or CSA, which permits the general public to purchase native meals immediately from a farmer. Greater than 60 volunteers assist with the gardening, together with offering animal care and cleansing up.
Nate Salpeter, the co-founder of Candy Farm along with his spouse, Anna Candy, began Candy Farm to finish inhumane manufacturing unit farming practices. Salpeter stated altering practices begins with educating folks and galvanizing motion that results in altering practices and techniques. He advocates for supporting revolutionary applied sciences, merchandise and processes that remodel the way in which the world feeds itself. Salpeter and his spouse offered funding to assist begin Shiok Meats, a Singapore-located cell-based meat and seafood firm. The mobile agriculture firm grows meat from cells as an alternative of utilizing animals. Salpeter’s aim is to assist expertise and folks worldwide to assist make a plant-based food regimen adaptable and related for everybody.
“If you wish to drive systemic change, you must have a look at it from a techniques standpoint,” Salpeter stated.
Whereas the pandemic hit and affected funding, Candy Farm obtained artistic and supplied digital barn excursions with the animals of round 10-Half-hour throughout Zoom conferences so folks may hear their tales, referred to as Goat-2-Assembly. The conferences assorted from birthday events, enterprise conferences and conferences, with greater than 8,000 digital excursions previously yr, in line with Cistaro.
“That enabled us to nonetheless have a gentle stream of income final yr, and it has continued by this yr. And it has gotten greater. It goes forwards and backwards between being actually busy and busy,” Cistaro stated.
The digital excursions enabled Candy Farms to broaden its train areas and stalls and assist different sanctuaries survive throughout the pandemic.
“Goat-2-Assembly was a windfall for us. It actually helped us construct a number of the infrastructures that the group was missing,” Cistaro stated.
The demand final yr led to Candy Farms combining with round eight animal sanctuaries throughout the nation to take part in Zoom conferences to make sure everybody obtained to satisfy animals. The demand has dropped off sufficient that Candy Farms is doing it by itself.
Candy Farm is seasonal and is closed from November to March. After they closed in March 2020 as a result of pandemic, the farm was gearing up for the CSA program, resulting in employees taking additional duty of dealing with harvesting, boxing and getting ready the CSA meals bins.
Candy Farm has performed the CSA program for the previous 4 years, and Cistaro encourages households to take part to indicate youngsters from the place their meals comes.
“It’s superb the sheer delight on the child’s faces once they get to choose the strawberry and simply put it of their mouth,” Cistaro stated. “It’s numerous enjoyable for them.”