5 Questions to Ask your Farmer
I believe it is extremely important to know your Farmer. Being able to sit at the dinner table and explain to your family who grew or raised your food is something people should take great pride in. Putting a face to your plate is a beautiful image. In order to get to know your farmer and your food better, here are 5 Questions to Ask:
- How did you get into farming?
- What crops are coming up next, seasonally? Are they growing on schedule? Any complications?
- When did you pick this fruit or vegetable? Is it ready to eat today? How do I store it?
- How do you deal with pests and disease?
- Do you follow a specific method or philosophy of farming? Permaculture farming, organically grown, sustainably grown, bio-dynamically grown?
- What do the animals eat and where do they live? If they use feed, you can ask “Did the grain contain GMO’s?”
- Do you use any antibiotics or hormones?
- What breeds do you raise and why?
- What are you favorite cuts of meat?
- Do you process on site, or use a processing plant?
Local Food Vendors:
- What made you decide to start making this product?
- Where are you located, where is your product made?
- Do you use local ingredients for your product? If not, where do your ingredients come from?
- Do you sell anywhere else besides this Farmers Market?
- Where do you get your packaging from? Is it recyclable, biodegradable etc?
5 Things NOT to say to your Farmer:
- “It says 5 for $5, can I get 10 for $5?”. This is not the place to bargain, unless you come in the last 15mins of the Market and it looks like they are trying to get rid of stuff.
- “Can you break a $100?” Small bills are best at a Farmers Market. Stop by your bank and make change there.
- “I could get this cheaper at Kroger”
- “Do you use Monsanto seeds?” Figure out a better way to word this, where you actually get to know their practices.
- “It says your animals are grass fed, isn’t that redundant?”
Above all else, BE POLITE. These people are making it possible for you to eat, and to have great local food. Make sure to thank them for their hard work.