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!