Green String Institute (and its physical manifestation, Green String Farm) was founded in 2000 by Fred Cline and Bob Cannard. The Institute, and the idea of green string farming, was born when Cline and Cannard noticed that the concept of organic agriculture, as it rose in popularity, became bleached of its meaning. To Cannard, one of the instigators of the organic movement in California, the term organic meant that produce should be locally grown, with respect for the environment and the planet. It meant that food should not travel across countries or continents from farm to table. It meant the use of compost and cover cropping and crop rotation and other practices that enrich the soil so that the fields become richer and more fertile year after year. Now, however, with the advent of USDA Organic certification, organic production is beyond the means of many small farmers who do not have the means or cannot afford the time and trouble required to obtain certification. Moreover, once obtained, the certification means very little. When factory farms are adapting conventional farming methods to fit organic certification, and then shipping their produce around the world, the spirit of 'organic' agriculture is gone. The purpose of Green String Institute is to renew that spirit under a new name. Farmers who are certified green string may or may not be certified organic, but they exceed the requirements put forth by organic certifying agencies. They grow food that is vital and vibrant and healthful, and they do it with respect for their surroundings. The goals of Green String Institute may be summarized as follows:
Through Green String Farm, Cline and Cannard intend to provide good food at affordable prices to all in the local community who need it. All that is grown at the farm is available at the farm store, open for visitors daily. Directions can be found here.
The aim of Green String Institute's educational program is to educate a new generation of farmers who respect the earth and respond to the needs of their surroundings as they raise food that brings health to their local populations; who strive to improve the biology of the lands that they steward while at the same time growing healthy, vibrant food that is pleasurable to eat. Green String Institute's internship program is a step in this direction.
The aim of Green String Institute's certification program is to promote farming practices that are sustainable, that produce food that improves the health of those who eat it, and that improve the biodiversity of the land. To this end, farmers and other producers who share our farming philosophies are encouraged to join Green String Institute. Our goal is to compile an online list of producers whose food is not only free of chemicals, but is grown with respect for humanity and the environment. If you are interested in obtaining green string certification, please take a look at our membership page.