It’s a rainy afternoon, giving me time to do a little planning for next year. Figuring out what to grow and where to grow it is hard enough. Figuring out how to “market” is much harder. Should we have a website? A logo? Business cards? A sign? A banner for the farmer’s market?
At the small farm conference we just attended the folks from Virginia State kept pressing on an important point. If small farms are to survive in this country they must be economically viable and sustainable. And we can grow the best food on the planet, but if no one buys it, then the farm will fail.
Of course it is impossible for small farms, doing things right, to compete with the food prices at the giant supermarkets. The stuff they’re selling comes from giant factory farms, often in other countries. They don’t raise food the traditional way. It doesn’t taste as good as real food, and it isn’t as nutritious. But it is cheap. In a nation that prefers quantity over quality, that gives industrial food a great advantage over the rest of us.
But thankfully there are more and more folks insisting on the best quality food for their families. They want the best tasting food. They want to know that no poison has been sprayed on it. They want to know that the farmers who grew it care for and love the land they grow it on.
The response we’ve been getting is very encouraging. We’ve floated the idea of starting up a CSA and already we have more folks asking to be members than we can support. That’s a good feeling.