Why we are building a Micro Farm
"Just dream big. Go for it"- Geraint Thomas
When we went to a land auction a few months ago to try and buy a piece of land, it was with almost this exact same intent. We'd long discussed the notion of being able to lead a more sustainable way of living.
When G made the above statement he was making an appeal to the next generation of bike riders, of potential athletes across the board that regardless of what hurdles you perceive might be in your way and the distance you might have to traverse to arrive at some version of a realised dream - the only thing holding you back from making positive steps forward was your own mindset.
No one starts out on a journey and performs potential world beating results month one, year one, year three of chasing a dream. G wasn't delivering 6 watts per kilo for an hour up the local hills in Wales aged 14.
But he was just going for it. He was dreaming big and he was taking it one step at a time to see how far he could take it.
When JAM upped sticks and moved from London to the Peak District National Park, one of our core visions was to keep increasing the sustainability of our brand. We wanted to plant trees, we wanted to work with UK manufacturers, we wanted to encourage more people out of cars and on to bikes for simple local journeys.
But we also wanted to consume local produce. Having lived in the big city for so long, with access to anything and everything. You could entirely be existing off of imported vegetables from Portugal and Spain all year round, Columbian coffee, Californian avocados, Peruvian asparagus and any and all meats you could dream of flown in from far and wide at all hours of the day.
As a cyclist, or any athlete your calorific consumption is generally greater than the bulk of the population. That is something we elect to do. We ride 100's of hours a year and we need the calories to back that up.
It is obvious to anyone that looks with open eyes that the food systems globally will have to change in the coming decades. There are simply too many mouths to feed whilst maintaining the status quo of food production and indeed the particular appetite that seems to prevail in many western countries.
Myriad documentaries and books will profess to show you a path to change this on a personal level. A path free from either meat, or dairy, or both. A path without oil based plastics, petrol in the car or flights to your start of season training camp.
But people can and should be forgiven for not knowing which way to turn. With such a weight of information available how is someone to choose "the right" path? Especially when most of the alternatives offered come at a financial premium to the consumer and the amount of money spent trying to both promote or denounce those alternatives is measured in the Billions. That is to say nothing of the lack of government advice on such things.
It is here and from within that understandable confusion that our brand has waded headlong into Micro Farming. We wanted to take a look at what is possible on a small scale.
Can a little parcel of land be turned into a healthy sustainable year round source of calories? What limitations would that place on our diet? How many hours a week will that take to manage? What financial costs? What impact on our bike riding time?
These are all questions that we have decided to dream big about. Go for it and see what happens.
Want to hear more about this journey - check out our latest Vlog: The Bun & Beard Vlog