An organic farmer says his hydroponic-vegetable farm helps him fulfill his religious faith. And he's not alone: Religious communities in the U.S. are growing increasingly concerned about the food system.
Last week I wrote a blog about a sheriff's deputy in Florida who started up a home delivery service for organic groceries. Here’s another story from Florida about an entrepreneur putting a new twist on the organic food business: “Organic farmer Richard Kann says his hydroponic-vegetable farm helps him fulfill his Seventh-day Adventist faith.”
Kann believes he's on a mission from God to farm and sell produce that is free of chemical pesticides, herbicides or soil. He operates Heart of Christmas Farms in Central Florida with the help of six of his children.
As a Seventh-day Adventist, Kann tells the Florida Sentinal "We regard this as a health ministry," said Kann, owner of hydroponic vegetables in east Orange County. "Everything is natural and God-given. We call it God's diet plan."
It’s a diet plan that Kann says is written right there in the bible:
Our body is God’s temple, it says so in scripture. Well, we wouldn’t put bad things in the temple. I wouldn’t spray paint the temple. I wouldn’t throw poisons in a temple. So [that’s] the same reason I wouldn’t want pesticides, herbicides and all that in my body.
What started as his son’s 4H science project presentation of a hydroponic system in 2007 has grown into a farm with 100,000 plants producing organic squash, beets, tomatoes, lettuce and herbs to local restaurants and farmers markets.
Kann’s farm is part of a growing movement among religious communities in the U.S. who are concerned about industrialized farming and the health of the nation’s food system. Members of a mega-church in Michigan established a 21,000-square foot garden to supply food for local food pantries. And mega-church pastor Rick Warren is increasingly bringing topics of physical health and organic foods to the pulpit. Now his Saddleback Church has an official organic farm.