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Farmer Love

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I am going to get on a very quick soapbox. You can do with it what you want.

I don’t know where you live but judging from Facebook and Twitter I am going to assume you aren’t getting a whole lot of rain there. We are dry as a bone here and every time they forecast rain it seems to pass us by. I think we have had like 1/2 inch of rain since June. It is crazy. Add the heat in and it hasn’t been the best summer for grass, plants or my makeup.

We are in the third year of our CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) and I am shocked, although not really, by the amount of food we are getting. I am not saying that to slam my CSA. I love the farmers and know from their emails how hard they are working. This is why we join a CSA. To support the farmers for better or worse.

So can I be bold and say

It is wrong to buy your produce in a supermarket and not the farmer’s market.

I understand there are reasons why some people can’t do the farmer’s market. Access being the biggest one. Convenience is another. And cost may be another (although I think that is a major misperception).

But if you can and you aren’t lets remedy that immediately shall we. Not only will your taste buds thank you, but the family of a farmer will too.

Comments

  1. Kristen says:

    I agree! We joined a CSA last year and enjoyed it, however, we were a bit overwhelmed by all the vegetables (only had 2 adults and 1 toddler eating them). This year we decided against the CSA (they took the year off to open a restaurant anyway) but have implemented a Saturday morning tradition of going to the Farmer’s Market. We go as a family and probably do 75% of our grocery shopping there: fruits, veggies, meat, cheese, eggs, and bread. We probably spend a little bit more on certain items but overall I think we spend less on groceries – we’re not tempted by all the impulse buys at the grocery store. Our kids enjoy going and our 3 year old has started asking about how the different items grow. One benefit I see to the market vs. CSA is that I can buy large quantities for canning, freezing, etc. and don’t have to wait a few weeks to build up a stockpile (12 lbs of tomatoes for example).

  2. We have a roadside stand that should have been busy for weeks now. And we have nothing.

    Not able to water, our crops are dead or stagnant.

    Today we got rain, and while wonderful, we are past the point of the rain doing a lot of good.

    We do not depend on our crops to survive, but I also won’t be able to can hardly a thing this year. We have hundreds of dollars IN OUR GROUND that won’t produce a bit.

    But friends of ours? Good, good, good friends of ours. They are looking at loosing EVERYTHING. They have a dairy farm and can’t afford the feed now to feed them because the grass is gone…and that’s not even them preparing for winter. They have farmed ALL THEIR LIFE. They are lost now.

    To give you a small idea what the farmers are facing, last year our strawberries – a tiny little patch – had me working sun up to sun down for three weeks straight. We lost count of how many pounds of berries we pulled off that tiny little patch. This year we scraped and scrounged and were able to make three batches of jam. Just three.

    This drought will effect all our groceries. All our ways of life. ANYTHING you can do to help your local farmer is a HUGE deal. Produce look a little rough? It’s still better than store bought and NO ONE has worked harder or shed more tears over that zucchini you are purchasing at a roadside stand or farmer’s market. What the farmer’s will sacrifice to feed their cows and go back to farming in the spring is no little feat this year.

    Well, I guess I just was on my soap box. But I appreciate you posting this.

  3. We don’t have many open markets in this area, and the ones that we do have are often shipped in anyway (you have to ask to see if the produce is really local- some have grocery stickers on them!) We are moving soon, though, and I’m hoping for more options. I did connect with a friend in the area we are moving to and she shops similarly to us and said that she buys what she can from the farmer’s markets but that also a lot of local farms do sell their food to groceries, too. So it’s important to shop local grocers if you can’t make it to a farmer’s market or veggie stand. Obviously, shop what’s in season and ask the grocer which products are local to your area. They aren’t *all* bad.

    Steph

  4. Really? Wrong? As in, morally wrong? There are much bigger moral fish to fry than where I buy my veggies. For real. I love the Farmer’s Market… we used to go all the time. But it’s good to remember that we all make our decisions based on several factors, rarely just one. (True that many people don’t give a thought to it.) A lot of us are going through extremely difficult times financially and are constantly having to make decisions that we really wish we didn’t have to make, including shopping at the discount grocery store within walking distance because it’s super cheap and saves gas money to boot. Can we encourage people to try to support their local farmers without adding an extra layer of guilt? Parenting is full of enough of that as it is.

  5. I don’t think it’s wrong. A farmer somewhere had to grow that produce, too. Granted Monsanto or some other company is most likely getting a chunk. You’ve got to do what you can. If you’ve got grass in your yard, you can raise some food – if you want to. I love encouraging green, local enterprise, but I also know that this isn’t even on the radar of a lot of folks. Of course, a lot of those same people I know have been canning their green beans, tomatoes and making lots of pickles in this heat, too. I thought you were heading towards a call for praying for rain for the farmland, even though it may be too late for this season’s crops. Love the discussion this has generated!

  6. Yep, we’ve been canning and gardening and growing and watering our lives away this year. Granted we are not really harvesting many veggies just yet as we planted late. Things are finally just starting to take off. And we are very excited to start a new flock of chickens for eggs (they arrive in September). We are discovering more forgotten stockpiles of last year’s canned goods! Always a nice surprise. :)

  7. Kellyn says:

    .We shop mostly at the farmers markets when they are open, May to October here in MN. Many of them have said in the past few weeks that they are having a rougher time, so we make an even bigger effort to shop there. We plan our meals around the fresh produce we purchase, and will buy our tomatoes from a couple different vendors when it comes time to can this fall.

    Yes, not everyone has access to the Farmers Market, or stands like Denise has, but to say that it is more expensive is just not true. We can get almost 3 lbs of fresh just picked yesterday green beans for $3 instead of paying $4+ for some that were picked a week ago and will not last as long. I will go a bit further for things that will last longer and in better quality.

    Becoming friends with someone who has a farm in the past two years has opened my eyes to so many different things I never even thought of in the past. I see things through her eyes, her boys being so excited over sprinkles of rain or her concern over the lack of canning this summer and fall and it makes me so grateful for everything a farmer goes through. Not only will she not have the fruit and vegtables to can, but it will add hundreds of dollars to her grocery bill to feed her 4 boys this winter.

    That drives me to buy from a farmers market

  8. It’s not wrong to buy your produce from a grocery store. I grew up on a farm and in a farming community and we bought from the grocery store as well as from each other. I love supporting local farmers but I’m not going to say that it is wrong to buy food from a grocery store.

  9. amanda says:

    living in a rich farming community in southern california we are lucky to be able to buy fresh locallly grown proudce. But i will have to admit i do buy more produce from the stores than i do at the local stands. I think its a matter of convince.

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