Supporting Small Farms

How to Bless a Farmer

Typing this up made me cry….For us, and the fact that our “farm dream” didn’t work out….and for other farmers who are struggling. They work SO hard. Trust me, I know.  Treat them well. Do you want to see a change in our food system? BE THE CHANGE.

How to Bless a Farmer

1. Visit the farm and buy something

Most farmers will welcome visitors, unless it is a really busy season. We had to limit visitors to one day per week because we needed to get work done on the farm. Ask your local farmer when it might be a good time to stop by. Some farms will have a “farm store” with goods in them. Some farms will be taking orders for their CSA, or meat that will be ready in a few months, etc. Ask for any information the farmer might be able to give you about the food that he or she sells. Buy something that day or make a deposit on a future purchase. Make your visit profitable, and hopeful for the farmer.

2. Go to the farmer’s market

The farmer’s market is a lot of work for the farmer. It’s where they get to show off the fruits of the labor, in hope that you and others in your town will re-direct your grocery money to support their farm. It is so depressing for the farmer to go to all of that work, and have a “slow” day at the market. Go to the farmer’s market often, even in poor weather. Your farmers will be there, rain or shine, trying to make a living. Go!

3. Become a regular customer

Visit their booth or farm frequently. Let the farmers know your face is familiar, friendly, supportive, and that you want their farm to be in business a year from now. Sign up for the farm’s email list. Go to the same booths at the farmer’s market over and over. When you find a good farm, support them!

4. Spend a Saturday helping on the farm

Giving up ONE Saturday won’t hurt you. Chances are good that your farmer is spending every Saturday working the farm and rarely gets a break. Are you spending your Saturdays vacationing, doing fun activities, enjoying hobbies, or working on house projects? Think of all of these things that farmers have to sacrifice, in order to provide good food. Ask your farmer what he or she needs help with, and do it with a cheerful heart.

5. Recommend the farm to others

Your recommendation to your friends and family is powerful. Spread the word that you’ve found a good farm! Help the farm thrive.

6. Don’t complain about the prices

Don’t expect farm-fresh food to cost the same as grocery-store, government-subsidized food. Farmers are not rich. Think of how many $4 heads of lettuce they’d have to sell to really be bringing in the dough. Now think about how many hours it would take them to grow all of that lettuce, weed, and work at the market. It comes down to simple math–growing food does not make people rich. Support your farmer and pay the price without grumbling.

7. Tip the farmer

YES! Farmers don’t get tips, bonuses, health insurance, paid time off, bank holidays off, hourly pay, or even consistent pay. Tip your farmer and tip them WELL!

Can you think of other ways to bless a farmer? Share here!


  • Nora

    How would you go about tipping a farmer? How much should you tip if you do a CSA?

    I’ve thought about tipping but our farmers don’t have a tip jar and money is an awkward thing to bring up.

    • OBPI Mama

      Most farmers will say, “Oh you don’t have to!” Most farmer’s wives will secretly say, “Thank yoU!” and use it for something needed! haha. Mailing it to them would be wonderful because they can’t give it back to you right then. 🙂

      • Nora

        Good idea, but how much should you tip? We are not wealthy but I don’t want to give so little that it’s insulting…

  • OBPI Mama

    Pray for us. Family farming is very tough and tricky. For some, it’s the transition period or the learning how to run it by oneself or figuring out how to make it work with two families (and the Joel Salatin way of passing it down is the EXCEPTION, not how it typically is). For us, right now it’s incredibly frustrating/tiring/joystealing with a very aging father-in-law (it’s like having a 3 year old in a destructive 76 year old’s body). He’s hotwiring and wrecking tractors, verbally abusive to my husband, clinging to anything he can to hold onto the reigns while my husband does all the work and makes the decisions. My husband is working on the farm full-time and factory full-time (he’ll go to part time there in a few months, praise the Lord) and we rarely see him. It’s not always ideal and the stress is rough.

    Anyway, sending up prayers for family farmers is appreciated!

  • Cherie

    Thank you so much for sharing your recent home and farm experiences. I enjoy reading your detailed, heartfelt posts, and seeing you on the Real Food for Busy People video series. I’m
    so sorry your farm dream didn’t work out as you had planned, but thank you for your great attitude, how your desire is to help other farmers succeed. This attitude is a blessing to my family who
    about 3 years ago made a huge lifestyle shift and moved from our 1/4th acre city lot to begin a grass-based “Salatin style” farm business just north of Vancouver, WA. It would be great to get together with you sometime as I know we could learn a lot from you. We surely can identify with all the joys and frustrations of farming that you have expressed on your blog!!

    If you are able, we’d be honored to have your family attend one of our upcoming “field days,” the first of which is scheduled this coming Saturday. You’ll find more info. here:
    Whether or not we ever meet personally, I would like to encourage you to not give up on farming in the future with your precious children. Continue to invest in them and their education/ home discipleship and when they are older, you will be amazed at how much they will be able to contribute towards the success of your endeavors. God bless you!

  • Jenny

    I love this! We have begun frequenting our farmer’s market weekly, if not biweekly. We have a regular meat guy with the best grassfed beef and delicious pork. We also are part of a herdshare that costs $75/month for 2 gallons raw milk/week plus 20 volunteer hours on the farm. I’d like to know more about what you think about tipping. I know our herdshare farmer openly shares about the income being a problem and concerns about having to shut down. Many herdshare members share goods from their gardens, kombucha, home grown meats, or other goods with our farmer to thank her.

  • Carol

    This post brought tears to my eyes as well. My husband and I farm and it is such hard work. My husband works full time and travels a lot, so the poor guy never stops. We are going broke trying to do things the right way, but we refuse to compromise. It seems like more and more people just turn a blind eye to what they are eating because they see how expensive it is to eat the healthy route. It is sad, but I get it. Meanwhile, I raise my animals and don’t even break even usually. Good thing we love it!

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