Is sustainable farming the key to restoring our planet? On this episode of Add Passion and Stir, American Farmland Trust President and CEO John Piotti and Chef John Mooney (Bell Book & Candle, NYC; Bidwell, DC) talk with host Billy Shore and producer Paul Woodhull about the far-reaching impact of building a more sustainable food system. “If we don’t get farming right, we can’t have a sustainable future,” says Piotti. Chef Mooney’s restaurants use aeroponic rooftop gardens, which combine hydroponics with vertical growing techniques to grow fresh, pesticide-free produce. “It really suits us well to be able to do what I want to do as a chef and have it on location. [Staff] also get to learn and maintain, which gives them a little better sense of where our food comes from, which translates into the guest experience,” he notes.
Preserving farmland is one of the most important functions of American Farmland Trust. “Farmland itself plays a huge role in environmental protection,” explains Piotti. “But you can’t think about only the farm. You have to think about the farming practices that occur on that land and you have to think about the farmers who are stewards of that land,” he says. Well-known for his commitment to sustainability, Chef Mooney also owns Kakele House, an organic farm and event space on the North Shore of Oahu. “For me it’s a lifestyle and not a job,” he says. Piotti touts the benefits that small, diversified farms like Kakele House have on communities.
Listen in as these two guests discuss the meaning of sustainability and its impact on environmental, social and economic vitality.