With the growing number of Farmers Markets and Community Supported Agriculture programs (CSA) it is easier to have a farmer or two that you can network with to get quality, fresh, local food. I recently learned that the term CSA originates from the Japanese meaning “food with a farmer’s face on it” I love this! Through food we can build community and connection. Through food we can be a part of building a healthy local agriculture. Through food we can build healthy bodies! Farming is hard work that is usually fueled by a passion. A passion to be a part of the present and the future.

So what are some benefits of networking with a farmer, you ask…….

You will be offered the freshest of product

You may order exactly the quantity you need. This is very helpful if you want to preserve or just stock up on a specific item.

You can request a specific cut of meat or quantity of meat cut and packaged to your liking and needs.

You are keeping your money in the local community

You are helping to keep small agriculture alive and thriving

You are investing in the future by supporting farmers today

There was a recent talk given by a holistic doctor that shared the development of synthetic meats being grown and tested in laboratories right now. This was alarming to listen to and concerning to ponder the long-term effects of such food. I’m not sure where this testing will bring us, but I am very thankful for more holistic options, from pasture to plate! Food quality and food security are both important for our health and wellbeing.

As a small farmer, I have enjoyed the challenge of anticipating the food needs of my customers. We are at the mercy of nature, but also have the opportunity to intentionally plan and develop systems that will help sustain our community of customers. Sometimes through exposure and education we can open new avenues of eating enjoyment. Asking the farmer for recommendations of how to best prepare the specific food item may open a whole new taste palet! Blooming Joy Farm focuses on supplying pasture raised meat and eggs to our community both near and far. The gift of raising food in a sustainable and holistic manner is pure joy! Broadening my customer base is a great goal I am accomplishing with a website and by using economical ways of shipping. There are many farms now offering farm raised foods via the internet, making it much easier to source high quality food. I encourage you to search locally and beyond to find a farm that matches your food needs!

What can you expect from ordering a half or whole side of meat? You may have the option of size of meat packages- 1 pound or 2 pound packages of ground meat, thickness of steaks, size of roast, number of steak or chops to a package and if you would like the lard, soup bones and organ meats. Meeting the needs of the customer is the goal. Most of the time there will also be a cost savings in ordering your meat by the half or whole side. Knowing that you have a year’s worth of meat in the freezer can give such a sense of security.

You can in part be your own farmer. All it takes is a glass jar and some cotton gauze to grow some nutritionally dense sprouts. A pot of soil and a packet of salad green seeds up in a sunny window or on a small patio can supply you with wonderfully fresh greens for months. There are many cities that are allowing for residence to have a few chickens to produce beautiful eggs and rich compost. It does not take much space to generate an ongoing supply of rich food for yourself. There are great tutorials online and in books that give great guidance for nurturing and growing food. I encourage you to see what you can get growing this season for you and your family!

As Joe Salatin says, “Know your food, know your farmers and know your kitchen”!