Are you able to sustain your family on your own garden? If so, then this post may not be for you.
But if you are concerned that you may not be able to grow enough food to happily feed your family, please take time to get to know a farmer. Building a personal relationship with a farmer will help you become more food secure both now and in the long run. And I don’t mean kissing a farmer’s butt – but rather, show them your appreciation in a real way. Farmers work very hard for little return, and they keep us all well-fed with beautiful food.
We are lucky to have them.
Here’s 5 ways to get to know a farmer. I hope this helps you open up a relationship with your farming neighbors:
1. Thank your farmer. Visit their stand during a quieter time (respect busy selling times especially during a Saturday Market) and say “thanks.” Appreciation goes a long way, with all of us. This is a nice article on Farm and Dairy that delves further into thanking a farmer.
2. Give a farmer a token of appreciation. Prepare a special jam or other goodie using produce that you previously bought from them, and include a small note of thanks. Comforting items, such as an all-natural hand salve, would also go far in opening up a friendship. I like Burt’s Bees Res-Q Ointment because it has comfrey in it, which is a wonderful skin healer.
3. Email your farmer. Just because they farm for a living, that doesn’t mean that they don’t have an email address or a website. Drop them an email with a thank-you. You can often find their email address on their business card or on their website.
4. Pre-order seasonal items. By pre-ordering, you’re letting the farmer know that you like their produce the best. Plus, there’s added security because your farmer can plan what to bring next week, and also know that they have some produce already sold. For instance, if it’s tomato season, ask to buy a big box of tomatoes for next week if at all possible. Be sure to pay for it ahead of time if they’ll let you.
5. Visit the farm. Some farmers give tours to small groups, so ask your local farmer. Then take time on the tour to give them a special gift from the heart.
Have you thanked a farmer in a way you’d like to share? Please let us all know! 🙂