8 December, 2021, 08:21

Farmers Market Profile: Anne Loftfield of High Energy Agriculture

Growing out of an interest in healthy food and a changing economy, High Energy Agriculture has blossomed into a key component of the Tucson community and farmers markets during the last six years.

Anne Loftfield works with her son, Greg McGoffin, in a true act of teamwork to make the business thrive. Based in Marana, High Energy Agriculture grows fruit and vegetables year round. During the winter, it’s leafy greens like bok choy, kale, chard, and lettuce, while warmer months yield summer squash, tomato, leek, and heirloom cantaloupe.

Loftfield places a high importance on the benefits of healthy soil.

“If the nutrients are absent from the soil they simply won’t be in the produce,” Loftfield says. “The bacteria, enzymes, and microbes all communicate to work together to make it all happen.”

A huge advocate of small farms, Loftfield talks of the dangers in monocropping.

“Monocropping is when a farm just grows a single crop all year, instead of rotating with the seasons. It isn’t a natural way for fruits and vegetables to grow.” Small farms cost more, she says, but the health of the people and the land make it worth it. “Just like at the farmers market, everyone serves a necessary function. You need diversity to grow good vegetables and to maintain a quality market.”

That diversity is apparent in High Energy Agriculture’s fermented products, which include traditional sauerkraut, kimchi and tsukemono (Japanese style that includes soy sauce and lemon juice). Another specialty is beet kvasf.

“It (beet kvasf) starts with fermented beets and the juice is separated. You then drink it like a tonic,” Loftfield instructs. “It’s a probiotic and liver cleanser that is also known to lower your blood pressure.”

Fermented products from High Energy Agriculture include sauerkraut and beet kvass (Credit: Jennifer Rothschild)

Fermented products from High Energy Agriculture include sauerkraut and beet kvass (Credit: Jennifer Rothschild)

“It’s hard to always sell fresh vegetables, so I started to explore fermentation,” Loftfield says, adding that there are significant health benefits gained from consuming fermented vegetables. “Probiotics are a form of good bacteria produced during the fermentation process that help to push out and control bad bacteria in your body.”

Loftfield credits fermented vegetables with helping her feel better and notes significant health benefits.

“I was struggling with eczema and was put on several different medications,” she says with a sigh, “but nothing was really helping. I changed my diet to include more fermented vegetables, and after a year, I am feeling much better. I am also completely off the medication. It is why I am so passionate about fermentation. Plus, it’s delicious.”

Loftfield brings a wealth of knowledge to the market and an excitement for what she does. From the bountiful piles of fresh farm produce, to the rows of mason jars filled to the brim with fermented vegetables, High Energy Agriculture leaves its customers feeling inspired.

You can find all that High Energy Agriculture has to offer at Santa Cruz River on Thursday, Oro Valley at Steam Pump Ranch on Saturday and Rillito Park on Sunday. Follow along with their adventures.

Keep up with High Energy Agriculture on Facebook.

Jennifer Rothschild is an aspiring freelance food writer by night.