Knowing Your Local Farmers

Nellie and Stephen Kaus of Whistling Thistle Farmstead

Welcome back! Can we just take a moment to say thank you? We really appreciate the support you give us, and the time you take to stop in, read our blog, and get to know us a little better. But our relationship is more than just special. It’s also really important.

For one thing, knowing your local farmers can be empowering. Do you know the differences between heirloom and slicer tomatoes? How about the tastiest ways to cook chard, or the health benefits of echinacea? No worries—lots of people don’t. But a quick chat with your local farmer can teach you all this and more.

It’s tough finding that kind of help at a supermarket. And sure, we have the Internet these days, but it can’t beat the back-and-forth feedback of a real conversation.

Knowing your farmers also gives you the opportunity to learn how your food is grown. The artificial techniques used by commercial farms are great for putting large quantities of low-cost produce on the shelves, but sometimes these techniques are questionable. They might have negative health effects, or lead to chemical runoff and pollution down the line.

A small-scale farm like ours stays far away from all of that. Instead of synthetic fertilizers, we stick to natural products, such as compost and cover crops, to enrich our soil. In fact, we’re so committed to staying green that we’re taking a break from CSA deliveries this year, so that we can focus more on rebuilding the soil in gentle and responsible ways. Sales are nice, but sticking to our values is always more important.

Speaking of soil, have you ever thought about just how much we depend on the earth? Everything we eat, even meat and dairy, is made possible by plants and the soil they grow from. (Cows have to eat something, right?)

In our technological world, it’s easy to get disconnected from this truth. But it doesn’t have to be that way. By knowing your farmers, you can start to rebuild that connection, and develop a greater appreciation for everything our planet does for us.

Last, but certainly not least, is the community impact. If you ask us, there’s something really special about local farms and other businesses. They have time for their customers, they produce so many great things, and they bring us all a little closer together. And that’s something we can all be proud of!

Thanks for stopping by today. You can learn more about us here. Farming is tough work, and we’re so grateful for your support. Check in on Monday for another update on farm happenings!