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Sweet Farm: A New Kind of Sanctuary, Part 1 of 2



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“Sweet Farm is an animal sanctuary, an heirloom vegetable farm, and a tech haven dedicated to creating a more humane and sustainable world.” Sweet Farm is located in Northern California, USA, near the city of Half Moon Bay. It is such a unique animal sanctuary that it is sometimes referred to as Sanctuary 2.0! Sweet Farm’s philosophy is “Educate. Inspire. Innovate. Driving change to create a more sustainable and compassionate planet.” That is a very large goal that is expressed in many ways on the farm. Its primary mission is to rescue and care for farm animals. There are more than 150 animal friends on the property.

Everything at Sweet Farm has multiple purposes and effects. While the non-profit is saving and protecting animals because it is the right thing to do, these animals also do something else - they help to inform people and prompt them to think about the animal-human relationship. “We don't want people to see our sanctuary as a petting zoo. We don't want people to have these beautiful interactions with animals and then go home and eat a burger or a steak and some bacon without making the connection. So, we hope that we can plant the seed if they have a beautiful, positive interaction with our animals; when they leave, they might pause or hesitate when they're about to bite into that burger and think, ‘Hey, there's Argyle the steer, or there's Gizmo.’”

In addition to saving animals and informing the public, another part of Sweet Farm’s mission is protecting and promoting biodiversity. “We determined that if we were going to start a sanctuary, we also needed it to be a sanctuary for people and a sanctuary for the soil and a sanctuary for the fruits and vegetables that we're growing. And when I refer to a sanctuary for those, I'm talking about the fact that we are growing a lot of open-pollinated produce and heirloom vegetables. So, really harboring a place for biodiversity and things like that.”

The community-supported agriculture program at Sweet Farm allows people to come and pick produce. Dr. Nate Salpeter hopes that they will take away more than just fresh vegetables. “So when we get people out here and they engage in it, and they realize just how much work it is, that's another piece of the education, they start to gain that appreciation for the people that are involved in producing food for the world.”

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