When you take a bite of that apple or slice up a zucchini, it’s easy to appreciate the food without fully appreciating the work that goes into growing it. Local farmers make it their highest priority to grow and sell fresh, nutritious food – food that wouldn’t make it to our tables without their hard work and dedication.
Any given day, farmers are out in their fields and tunnels working their tails off to grow our food! But it isn’t as easy as planting a seed and watching it grow. Take a look at a day in the life of one of our farmers…
6 AM: Rise and shine! By this time, most farmers are already up and at ‘em. The day often starts by opening up tunnels and greenhouses to make sure that the crops inside don’t overheat.
7 AM: Time to water! Especially in times of drought or extreme heat, irrigation is crucial! Some farmers hand water their fields with a hose, and some use sprinkler systems or drip irrigation.
8 AM: For any farmer that follows organic or natural farming practices, an enormous amount of their time is devoted to weeding. This often involves little more than gloves and a hoe, and can be quite arduous work.
9 AM: Harvesting is the fun part! There’s a great deal of joy and excitement in collecting the fruits of one’s labor – but hard work, too.
10 AM: Once the produce has been harvested, it’s time to wash and/or package it all up for sale, distribution or transport.
11 AM: Chances are, something else needs weeded. Get to work!
12 PM: Many small farmers fertilize their crops by hand. This might mean sprinkling eggshells at the base of some tomato plants (for added nitrogen), or spraying a row of cucumbers with liquefied sea kelp.
1 PM: Now time to make sure those pesky pests don’t get to the crops! This might include erecting new deer fencing or brushing beetle eggs off the leaves of green bean plants by hand.
2 PM: By this time, it’s certainly getting toasty outside! Escape the sun by seeding the next round of crops in the shade!
By mid-afternoon it’s gotten quite hot outside and chances are, your farmer is exhausted. Ultimately, farming is a full-time, extraordinarily consuming job that requires only the most dedicated and passionate people. Most farmers don’t get weekends or holidays off because the crops won’t take care of themselves!
Growing food is no easy task, and we owe a great deal of appreciation to those whose dedication keeps us well fed.