First of all we'd like to put in a word for all of people in our area who have lost property and crops due to the extensive flooding in our area this past weekend. As farmers, our hearts are going out to those who had stranded livestock, flooding, and tree damage.
The other day our five-year-old Sam went to the garden and brought in some carrots. He placed them in the sink and proceeded to remove the tops and wash them clean of earth. He looked at me and said "Mom, we have to save these for winter so we'll have something to eat." I looked back at him and smiled feeling a deep appreciation for the sheer fact that at five, he knows that we should be putting our fresh food by so we will have something wholesome to eat when the cold weather sets in.
Of course he has seen us do this and has helped his grandmother pick and freeze berries, we've made jam and the whole nine yards but to hear him really make the connection made me feel so good. Our kids know where their food comes from (for the most part) and it makes a big difference in the way it feels when it comes to the table. It is so refreshing to be able to say that "this steak came from one of our cows" or "thanks for helping me pick the green beans, aren't they yummy?!"
This connection to our food is so important and knowing your farmer and where your food comes from helps strengthen that connection. There are some things that we don't produce ourselves that we buy locally such as cheese, corn, bread, and milk. It is so nice to hear the kids say "Mom, can I have some of Bill's milk?" There is a face behind the white liquid that our son Henry can't get enough of. We know what the cows at Flying Cloud Dairy look like, what they eat, and above all,we know the farmer.
We want our customers to know us like we know our farmers. We deal with a lot of other farmers such as our grain grower. We know him, trust him and see him on a regular basis. We have relationships with our customers too. We take the time to talk to them and ask how their lives are going. We invite our customers into the fields and often times, into our house. We hope that when people sit down to a chicken dinner or a barbeque, they are thinking of the animals and people behind their meal. There is nothing like knowing the history of exactly what the cow you are eating was eating before it was on your table. When you know your farmer, you can ask these questions. So we hope that you will come get to know us and get to know your other farmers so we can all strengthen our connection to the food and to the land together.