We love farms. I was joking the other day with a customer that before Chris and I started to farm seriously, we used to take a day here and there and drive to visit farms around New Hampshire and Vermont. Before we had our own meat to consume at mealtimes, we would visit farms in our area to purchase directly from them. The connection that we made to our farmers and the importance of being on the farm where the meat was produced was important to us, and still is. How great is it to sit down to a meal and say "this beef came from the farm down the road?" We believe strongly in the "know your farmer" slogan and recommend visiting the farms where your meat is raised. Buying directly from your farmer takes out the middle man and keeps costs lower for you and for your farmer.
So what are some of the reasons why buying directly from your farmer is best?
1. The same product at the co-op or at the market will be higher in price. When you buy directly from your farmer, the cost is lower for you and the farmer ends up doing better than if he or she sold the product to a grocery store at a wholesale price.
2. You have the opportunity to see, smell, and feel the farm where your food has been raised. Is it clean? Is it neat?
3. You will most likely get to meet and speak with your farmer directly, which enables you to ask questions about how the crops and/or animals were raised.
4. You may be able to buy in bulk which saves money. Ask your farmer about buying a half or a whole animal. Vegetable farmers may be able to sell you a bumper crop in bulk.
5. There may be more availability at the farm. Yummy products like chicken feet may not be available at the grocery store, but you'll find them on the farm!
We've had a farm store for a few years now and we love the days when we are able to chat with our customers about what we do here on the farm, favorite cooking ideas, or even the weather. The community building that takes place at the farm store is important to us. We urge our customers to come on out to the farm, take a tour. The convenience of the supermarket is difficult to beat but the experience of coming to the farm to get your food is a memory worth making.