Video: Caring for Each Other Is Essential

December 25, 2020

More than ever before, 2020 has brought home what is essential. Humane farming is essential. Caring for people, animals, and the earth is essential. Living your values is essential. And you are essential. When you donate to CUESA, you are uplifting these essential community needs and contributing to a local food system rooted in care.

This month, we’re focusing on local food heroes who are essential to building the sustainable and equitable food future we all need. In this new video from CUESA, meet Dede Boies, her wife Melissa Morris, and little Eddy Knox of Root Down Farm in Pescadero, along with the pigs, chickens, ducks, turkeys, and dogs they care for. Amid the pandemic and devastating wildfire season this year, Dede shares what has kept her and her family going.

In 2014, Dede started her own pastured-based ranch to do her part in combating the negative impacts of industrial animal agriculture. Root Down’s mission is to humanely raise the healthiest animals possible, while working within the ecosystem to responsibly steward the land. “We value the animals and the animals’ health, the health of the land, and the health of the humans who are working with that land,” says Dede, holding all of those values equally. 

In August, Root Down Farm was put in peril when the CZU Lightning Complex fire tore through the Central Coast, displacing families and destroying homes and farms. Dede, Melissa, and Eddy were forced to evacuate and find temporary homes for hundreds of animals, while still trying to maintain the business and hold their lives together.

The farm was fortunately spared, though many neighbors were not so lucky. In the face of the pandemic and an unpredictable climate future, resilience has taken on a new and resounding meaning for Dede: “To me, resilience is not stopping, it’s not backing down, even though we’ve been thrown so many challenges to overcome. It’s still getting up each day. We have thousands of reasons, literally…a lot of lives that we take care of every day, that get us up and get us going.”

You are one of those reasons, along with the thousands of lives that Dede cares for on the ranch. Dede and her family rely on farmers markets to sustain their farm, and community support has been a lifeline, allowing them to be the change that is deeply needed in animal agriculture. 

“So much of what fuels what we’re doing is getting people as close to their food as they can be,” Dede says. “It’s the stories and the relationships that you can build. That is a unique experience.”


Grow Resilient Communities and Family Farms 

Humane and sustainable farmers like Dede depend on farmers markets to have a community support system to keep farming despite any challenges. Support resilient family farms and communities 2021 and beyond by donating to CUESA today.

Video by Fox Nakai.

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