There are plenty of options when it comes to grocery shopping where I live. I can easily run to a store and get what I need but, instead I often choose to support the local farmers in my community. Sure, the grocery store is convenient and has a million different products for me to choose from but it’s not about that. My local farmers are real people, with names and families – and I love having that connection to my food.
1. I know them. I live in a small rural community. The farmers that I buy from are my neighbors, and I know that every purchase I make goes to help their families and ultimately my community. I can feel good about spending my money because I see how important every purchase I make is to them.
2. I trust them. I can go visit their farms, in fact I often do. I know how they treat their animals because I’ve seen the fields they are pastured in. I know how their produce is grown because I’ve walked through the greenhouse. It doesn’t get more real than that. I know the very source of the food I’m going to feed my family and that is comforting.
3. I talk to them. If I want to know what they are feeding their pigs, I can ask. If I am curious as to how much sunlight tomato plants need, they can tell me. All of my questions can be answered right there by the people who raise the animals and grow the produce. I can’t get that kind of information from grocery stores. Each visit to the farm is not only a shopping trip but a learning experience for me and my family.
4. I respect them. Farming is hard work. It’s up before the sun, out in all weather, hard work. My neighbors put so much of their time and energy into the food that they grow and it shows. I have never been disappointed by a purchase I’ve made. You can easily see how much care and effort went into each and every sale.
What do you buy from your local farmers?