Where Did All the Farmers Go?

We spent the morning at a local farmer’s market. It is actually one of the biggest in our state. They provide live music and we were there watching our boys perform. They do an unplugged set at the entrance of the market, and another band performs in the middle of it all, usually a full fledged band. Our boys were there every other Saturday last year too. We met some interesting people, and tasted some really good food last year, and it looks like we have the same to look forward to this year as well.

Although it is a decent size farmer’s market with over 65 vendor’s booths, I have noticed that not all vendors sell farm products. There was a jewelery booth there, a ceramics booth, a local coffee vendor and various other non-farm related booths, which is typical, I’m sure, but it just makes me wonder, where have all the farmer’s gone?

My grandfather was a farmer. Both sets of grandparents actually. My parents were raised on farms. My two brothers, and my husband worked on a farm as teens. Our youngest son worked on a farm for a few months milking the cows and goats, gathering eggs, tending the livestock. We had an interesting conversation with the woman he worked for not too long ago. She was talking about how many dairy farms there were in a 15 mile radius some 30 years ago compared to now. The number has greatly decreased.

I noticed as I walked by the vendor booths today that most of the farms represented were from other counties, some over an hours drive away. This gives me a bit of concern. There seems to be a trend where people are having self-sustaining farms, which is great, but where does the produce and dairy products that are in our stores come from? How many miles do they travel? How fresh are these items? Where have all the farmers gone and will the trend of the big-time farm continue it’s downward spiral? Will the trend of small family farms continue to grow as we are seeing in our neck of the woods?

Maybe I’m wrong and it’s not a big deal but then again, maybe it is…

life…just saying

5 thoughts on “Where Did All the Farmers Go?”

  1. I think you are so onto something. I think that not only has the interest left, but also the knowledge. That is scary that we are having to import so much of our food. I think it is because you can’t afford to raise a family farming because you can’t afford to buy the ground to farm.

    On a brighter note, I love that your boys are playing there. My son is a beginning guitarist. Did yours take lessons or teach themselves? I would love to know more about that.

  2. It is sad to see our farmers decrease in numbers. I do think with the cost of food more and more people are creating their own produce gardens. We are in the process of getting ours ready and to add some chickens for the eggs. I love fresh eggs. The yolks are so much darker than the store bought. My dream is to get alpacas too. Thanks for sharing pictures of your boys!

    Following you from VoiceBoks!~Lisa
    I am all a twitter about life

  3. It is a big deal. I’m very into localism, and I live in a rural area with an extremely long growing season. I teach people how to grow enough heirloom products that they will have enough for their own families AND enough to trade for whatever they cannot grow. We put up enough for the year and we have to live this way because the local farmer has been gobbled up by big farming government subsidies. That’s just the way it is. ;(. I found you through Voice Boks. Hope you’ll visit me soon!

  4. @Melanie, my boys taught themselves enough to know they needed lessons and they’ve been them ever since. My favorite sound in the world…my boys playing there instruments as their voices blend in harmony.

    @Lisa, I love fresh eggs! They are so colorful and they do seem to taste better. I buy them from a friend. Sounds like you’re doing the farming thing. I love it!

    @coupons make sense, heirloom is definitely the thing to do. I think it is sad that most people don’t know the difference between heirloom and a hybrid and how not knowing can cause so many problems down the road. Dare I mention monsanto?


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