Yesterday I said I wasn’t a farmer. Today I was a farmer; or at the very least I tried to be a farmer. As you can see my hands took quite the beating from only 6 hours in the life of a farmer, not even a full working day. After talking with full time employees of the farm I realized how much goes into managing a farm, particularly an organic farm. Not only are these diligent workers out in the field swinging a blade, removing weeds and watering the plants, but they are coordinating volunteer efforts, managing the finances and promoting their market efforts within the local community. From my limited experience, I’ve quickly realized that generally only one or two people manage the entire farm, which in this day and age where every other industry has employees who completely specialize in marketing efforts or finance for example, leaves farms completely unique and almost behind the times.
Most consumers do not appreciate the sheer volume of effort that goes into producing food found in the grocery store. No longer do we connect the earth with the cucumbers we buy or the farmer with harvesting every item found in the produce section. This is why today I chose the word “engage”. Volunteers who throw themselves into the mix begin to fully appreciate the extraordinary amount of work famers put in every day without fail to produce food that sustains our communities. In turn, the farmers we worked with are constantly engaging with the local community to promote clean, health and local food. Instead of taking for granted our stable food security and ignoring those individuals making this possible, the community should put in the effort to educate themselves about where their food comes from, what it takes to produce this food, practice flexibility with food seasonality, what different certifications actually entail and I would hope how to live the most sustainable lifestyle possible. Because, not even trying to avoid a cliché, you are what you eat. Personally, I’d prefer as healthy of a lifestyle as possible, for me, the environment and those around me.
My hands definitely took the worst beating today.