Food Philosophy

Our Food Philosophy

Food has always managed to find itself at the epicenter of culture and civilization. No matter where on earth you go, even where agriculture demi-gods are not worshiped, to be "X" is to eat "Y". Food - because of agriculture and literally the creativity of farmers - leads the rise of society, economic power and expansion, and political organization. From the development of corn in South America, yams in Africa, rice in Asia, wheat in Europe, or squash and beans in the America's, staple foods have dominated the emergence of social structures and political stability. If food cannot continue to be developed and grown we will soon descend back to hunter gatherers, as has happened repeatedly around the world with striking regularity.

Coincidentally, the demise of those same cultures has frequently been preceded by the marginalization of the farmer class even as producing food became more difficult due to changing weather patterns, over cultivation, expanding cities built over the most fertile croplands, damming rivers, and over use of resources in general in the environment that fostered the societies in their beginnings. In the search for more land, resources, cheaper labor, or larger influence, food became less about connecting us and more about simply keeping us alive. And every time we've stopped being observant of our impact on our surroundings we have faced rapid and violent declines of everything the very food we've grown has been able to provide. Our modern food system is currently predicated on the same foundations of demise as those who came before us. We think that's both dangerous and wrong.

We believe better living through chemistry isn't all it’s cracked up to be. It’s the same promise as before - we can get life without having to value life. That's the life of the farmer, the seed, the animal, the grain, the worms, the tree, and everything in the web between that connects them all together - all of them have their place, their role, and their value. If you only value the product you get from them then whatever you have to do to "them" to get the "product" becomes acceptable. If you view the role of all the players as merely incidental you can never understand the full value of what you are producing and, in your ignorance, will destroy the whole that gives rise to your product in the first place. There is definitely a better way and at no time in history have we been better positioned to actually succeed at valuing all the players and contributors to our food, and consequently, our lives.

We can't change the entire system as it currently stands all at once or as individuals. In the same way that soil is built today for the future we have to start with our own contributions and make sure those investments are not lost for those who come after. Our contribution at Mont Lamm is multi fold. First, because of our position about all the players, we endeavor to develop awareness of those players at every opportunity. You can expect actual farmers, business owners, beverage craftsmen, and chefs at our farm to table events. These are local men and women who have committed to growing or producing healthy, whole, and organic foods and beverages for others to enjoy. Does that mean only certified organic farmers are represented? No. A label cannot tell me the heart of that farmer. Going out to their farm and walking their field with them will. The label is only going to give me a good baseline when shopping at the grocery store where I cannot possibly expect to know who the farmer is.

Second, we endeavor to expose local people to locally available foods. It is amazing to me how often I hear the words, "that won't grow here." A LOT will grow here! In fact, every major staple seasonal crop will grow here, and by here I mean within 50 miles of where I'm sitting. From dryland rice varieties developed in Western Montana to sweet potatoes developed in Central Canada to the obvious but overlooked tomatoes, peppers, potatoes, corn, squash, bush fruits, tree fruits, and North American native mushroom and nut species. But why don't we hear about them here or intentionally grow them? Because we've been told we getter better or safer "stuff" when we buy them from non-local sources. We really want to change that perspective by growing it ourselves, finding folks who are doing it already, and connecting with local chefs to figure out how to present this bounty with so much appeal we all can't help but start asking for it at our preferred food outlets. Demand will create supply. Seven years ago I had to order Chinese chestnut seed from the East Coast because NO ONE around here even had for sale as a food item. Last Christmas, I saw chestnuts for sale at multiple discount grocers as well as at more expensive organic supermarkets. If enough of us ask for something it will get on the purchase list!

Third, we endeavor to cultivate or connect to a growing community of people, organizations, farms, businesses, and political players, who see food as more than just an end to itself. Wheat, after all, is a very widely grown staple here in Eastern Washington so the development of varieties that feed our community should be important to everyone. It accounts for over $1 Billion of production for this beautiful state alone, roughly 10% of the total agricultural output of the state, and it's not even the biggest player on the field. If wheat stopped being cultivated tomorrow without being replaced it would affect everyone who lives here. We owe it to each other to consider every aspect of how we produce our food, not just how much we produce. Everything from the seed source (which includes testing the benefits and risks of GMO's), to pest management, to water consumption, to storage and processing is directly related to all of us and we should ALL have a voice in how it's done. But if no one's listening to what each of us has to say then we will affect each other by consequence leaving everyone at risk.

Fourth, because of the very nature of food, we believe the best place to engage as many people as possible is at the dinner table. It's difficult to label people when you're sharing a meal with them and hearing their concerns directly instead of through an associations rhetoric. There's something truly honest about realizing the reason I resist a particular change is because I haven't seen the problem from the perspective of the person who now sits in front of me. We may still not agree but now we both know our respective stakes in the game and are more likely to count the cost on both sides the next time we're coming up with solutions. If we all figure out how invested we all really are we will be more likely to demand better from our decision makers to implement policies that keep us all solvent AND healthy. We want to reveal the unknown relationships that already exist and foster the development of relationships where there has been none. That's the beauty of food!

footer food


7501 Enoch Road
Clayton, WA 99110

Contact Us

T: 509.276.7636 

Have a Question?


Subscribe to our newsletter!

Thank you for your subscription