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Saturday, July 18, 2009 

For mixed salad in Santa Barbara

go no further than Shephard Farms booth at the Farmer's Market. I think the Santa Barbara Independent agrees, and has shown a literary spotlight on Tom Shepard and Shepard Farms.
A fifth-generation Santa Barbaran, Shepherd has been farming organically since 1973. The owner of Shepherd Farms started his first garden, which he intended for use as a community garden for members of All Saints by the Sea, on a plot of land near the church. Unfortunately, no one from the church community expressed interest, so Shepherd developed the space into his own personal garden. Over the next few years, he continued establish small farms all over Santa Barbara.

Tom Shepard also knows, very well, the truth to the catch phrase "No Farms. No Food" and the benefits of being "organic."

Shepherd is passionate about promoting the idea of protecting Santa Barbara’s precious farmland. “What are we going to do when we have no farms left and all we have is houses and malls covering the most fertile land in our country, maybe even world?” he demanded.

Shepherd has always been very conscious about health issues, and started farming on his own out of concern over the abundance of chemicals on the majority of mass-produced foods. He swears by the high nutritional value of local produce, which retains more of its content when eaten fresh.

“The food loses vitality when it sits around for a few days,” Shepherd said. “And when it comes from Mexico or Argentina, it’s just dead. It’s filler. It’s like chips.”

It's Saturday morning...and it's Farmer's Market day. I'm off to get some of Tom Shepard's mix of greeny goodness. How 'bout you?

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