Dan Miller and Spike Gjerde of Steward
Separately, Dan Miller and Spike Gjerde knew that they needed to find a way to support regenerative farmers and producers using their own natural talents and expertise. Dan’s family had been farming in the Chesapeake Bay since the late 1800s, but he never understood how a region could have what appears to be a thriving agricultural system while also struggling economically. Meanwhile, Spike wanted to start a new restaurant concept that focused on growing seasons and local sourcing. It wasn’t until Dan created Steward, a platform that enables people to fund regenerative agriculture, that the two found each other and realized their shared passion.
Dan and Spike define regenerative agriculture as a system of farming principles and practices that seeks to rehabilitate and enhance the entire ecosystem of the farm by placing a heavy premium on soil health. The benefits of this kind of farming practice seem obvious, but individuals and families running regenerative farms often achieve such small profit margins that they can’t invest in the equipment, training, and labor that allows them to scale. Dan hopes Steward will change that by allowing people to make small or large contributions to regenerative farms in their area. In turn, investors receive all of the environmental benefits while also making a competitive return on their investment.
When your local farms are thriving, you can taste the difference. That's why Spike has broken with traditional restaurant conventions and plans his menu with the seasons. You won't find lemons in your water at Woodberry Kitchen, but what you will get is food that supports everyone in the production chain. He encourages us to ask "How much does this really cost?" when we are tempted to question the high prices of local goods. Join us in this week’s episode of The Good Dirt Podcast to learn more.
Listen to the episode on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Podchaser, Simplecast, Podtail, or on your favorite podcast platform.
- Regenerative Agriculture
- Human Scale Farming
- Community-Supported Agriculture(CSA)
- Sustainable Agriculture
- Grower Lending
- Woodberry Kitchen
- Aggie Bond Program - Business Oregon
- Chesapeake Bay Program
- Fisheye Farms
- Roundup (herbicide) - Wikipedia