Know your farmer, know your food.
From Facebook to flyers, advertising to apparel, this admonition is everywhere. You’ve seen and heard it, or maybe—as we have—even said it. It’s simple enough to say, but not as simple to do.
We live in a time of constant connectivity, but not of connection. A media-centric world in which knowledge is a key-tap away, but truth is subjective.
The problem of how we get to what’s real plagues us. Politics, pharmaceuticals, economics, history: what we think we know is constantly called into question by fake news and expertly curated messaging.
Try this small experiment next time you’re shopping at your favorite grocery store. Wander down the vegetable or frozen foods aisle and count the number of product packages containing the phrase “farm fresh” or “all natural.” Or count the cans that feature bucolic farmhouses and rising suns. The farm-to-table messaging is so prevalent that it’s become essentially meaningless. Pretty packaging aside, what do we really know about many of these foods?
Small farms (like us) try hard to help our customers understand why we’re so passionate about growing and raising clean, healthy, unaltered foods, but we’re often lost in an ocean of hashtags and pins and Facebook posts. We squeak from our tiny market share corner, “We’re the REAL farmers!” But the unfortunate truth is that small farms spend increasing time and resources on our websites, social media stories, and marketing budget allocations, in an effort to compete.
And you see the problem, right? When all farms and foods look the same on the outside, how do you know who you can trust?
The solution requires a little time and effort, but if you really want to KNOW YOUR FOOD, your only option is to KNOW YOUR FARMER. Visit the farms and farmers’ markets in our community. Talk with the tired, sweaty (or wet or freezing) farmers standing in our market stalls, or in our fields and gardens and greenhouses. Let us tell you just a little about why do what we do. You might be surprised to learn that you and your families are at the heart of every story we tell.