Fresh Food From Farm To Table—Hindy Weber Champions Holistic Farming
“When you take care of the Earth a little bit, it always gives back so much in return,” Hindy Weber says. That was her realization when she moved from Manila to the province of Laguna with her husband and kids. They settled there, built a farmhouse, and started growing their own food in their backyard. And because they made sure their land is well taken care of, it provided them vegetables too many it reached a point of oversupply.
“We couldn’t eat them all. We started sharing them with friends,” Hindy recalls. “And then the next harvest, they were like, ‘Oh, we like your kangkong and squash. Can we order some more?’ At first, it was just friends and family. And then I got my first call from a Quezon City customer who I didn’t know. He said, ‘I got your number from so and so, and I want to order.’ I was like, ‘Really? We’ll deliver it to you for free, no minimum!’”
It wasn’t her intention to put up a business; the core concept of Holy Carabao Holistic Farms, which was established in 2007, simply sprung from Hindy being a mindful mother who wanted to give her family better food.
With Holy Carabao grounded on the farm-to-family idea, Hindy says, “For me, the value that I think I gave the industry at that time was really bridging the gap directly to the consumer, to the family, to the mothers, to the people who are buying the food—as opposed to just growing food as a business and then just delivering tons and tons to a supermarket where you’re disconnected to who is really buying your food.”
Know your farmers
The conscious effort to eat mindfully should stem from knowing where your food comes from. You deserve to know how the vegetables were grown or how the animals were raised. But ultimately, you deserve to know who exactly grows your food and what their intentions are. “I want to know who I’m dealing with because it matters to me what I give to myself and to my family, and also now, what we sell to other families,” Hindy shares.
Holy Carabao prides itself in supporting farmers’ livelihood and in paying them more than fair wages, because theirs are the hands that bring food to our tables. “Why should farmers get less than doctors, right? They’re helping you from getting sick, the doctors come after the fact already,” Hindy points out.
Farmers play such a big role in ecology, and one way by which this fashion designer and city girl—who ditched stilettos for the comfort of farm boots—brings people closer to the farmers is through their educational farm tours. “We have field trips. We have families coming over. We teach them about where real food comes from,” Hindy shares. “We don’t just talk about ‘you don’t use chemicals, this is how you grow lettuce or whatever.’ We start from the basics which is always, first and foremost, soil health, soil regeneration, earth stewardship. You can’t want to eat clean, you can’t think of being healthy without that.”
A field trip on the surface, but it’s actually a mission to plant a seed in the minds of the parents and the kids about making better choices.
Not everyone can be farmers, yes, but each one of us living on this planet can help make a difference and become stewards of the Earth by being more aware of the things we buy or the food we consume. We are dependent on the planet and its resources, and the planet depends on us to stay healthy
This interconnectedness also relates to building communities geared towards the greater good. Realizing they could offer families much more by building a small network of farms, Hindy and her partner invested in small farms around the country; Holy Carabao has the task of bringing their goods to the market, because they don’t have the means for that.
Having consumers taste and experience the freshness of their produce is a top priority for Holy Carabao. They deliver vegetables on the day they harvested it, so as Hindy says, “Imagine the vitality of whatever you’re getting.”
If you consider the long and arduous journey food has to go through to get to your family's table, it makes you think how more respect should be accorded to it. Making sure you make the most of it just makes sense. Refrigeration brand Sub-Zero understands the importance of fresh food, and how it impacts lives. It prides itself in being at the forefront of food preservation. It is manufactured with advanced technologies such as its NASA-inspired Air Purification System that can filter not just viruses, odor, and bacteria from the refrigerator, but ethylene gas as well. Ethylene is a gas naturally emitted by food that causes other types of food to easily spoil. Apples, for example, produce high amounts of ethylene gas. When you put it in a paper bag with spinach, which is naturally sensitive to ethylene gas, you’ll notice the spinach spoil faster because of the ethylene gas emitted by the apples.
Hindy acknowledges the fact that modern-day conveniences are great innovations, but she also stresses the importance of being reminded that “human beings are dependent on a healthy living planet.” Keeping this fact in mind should make us “more conscious, more compassionate, and more responsible” with our decisions.
Attesting to why fresh food matters exactly, Hindy says, “We can change the world if we just eat clean and eat from the land, and that involves fresh food. It begins with our approach to eating.”
One small act can create ripples of change that could eventually start a wave towards sustainable living. To get started with a healthy lifestyle change, Hindy shares her learning from author Michael Pollan: “He said that if there’s one diet we should all do now more than any diet, it’s to cook at home. The moment you start cooking at home, automatically, you’ll choose better food. Cooking at home even just once a week can make a difference.”
Hindy Weber is one of the featured ambassadors in Sub-Zero’s “Fresh Food Matters” campaign, alongside Nikki Herrera-Bharwani and Margarita Forés. Aimed to help boost awareness on the fresh food movement, the refrigeration brand tapped these fresh thinkers who champion the quality of life through nurturing fresh innovations that protect the integrity and promote the quality of food. Sub-Zero’s campaign not only puts the spotlight on the importance of preserving food properly so they can stay fresher for longer, but also highlights these women’s life-changing switch towards a healthier, more delicious, and more mindful lifestyle.