The Impulse That Started Farmers To You
“If we want to save the land,
we must save the people who belong to the land.”
This was the impulse that started Farmers To You.
Our farmers and food producers are master craftspeople who appreciate your respect, support and regular partnership. At Farmers To You we like to think of this as a mutually beneficial partnership of farmers and families feeding and supporting each other.
I can get embarrassingly passionate—even ranting—about the importance of the work we are doing. It is intrinsic to our children’s future, to their ability to access healing food and a healthy planet.
Lately, we have been looking back at our communications and stories from the beginning of this journey to build a novel food system, and what I am noticing is that we have become timid and afraid of offending people. We have watered down the truth to keep from jarring people, even as we watched so much fall apart over the last year and a half.
But our relationship to our farmers and food producers is a critical part of the solution—our food choices will largely determine the health of our land, our families and our planet. Without health we will be lost.
People take up farming and food as a calling—certainly not for the money or fame. They are truth seekers. They know that their life will be filled with hard work and long hours. But they also know they will go to bed each night fulfilled by knowing that they have made a difference.
As Wendell Berry alludes to, they belong to the land. Ask a farmer if they own their farm, and they will chuckle and probably respond that they are only the stewards and are owned by it.
When I got here to Vermont, I noticed that a number of our luminaries in organic agriculture were beginning to lose faith. They feared that the wisdom and craft that they had learned from their mentors would be lost, and that the quality and vitality of food would be lost with them.
This weekend I will be amongst friends to celebrate the life of Jack Lazor of Butterworks Farm. He passed several months ago and was a dear friend and inspiration for the work I do now. Jack figured out early on how to add value to dairy by making yogurt instead of selling the milk to a processor. He was an innovator, a visionary, and a holistic regenerative farmer who created a truly inspiring farm and business. He was a tireless teacher and mentor to many.
I clearly remember many conversations with him where he expressed deep concern that our current food system would commodify and devalue the true craft and depth of healthy food production. He saw a future where families would not understand or value the difference; that our quest for cheap food would accelerate the decline in health of our land, our families and this planet.
These are the conversations that inspired me to start Farmers To You. We are on a mission to keep this tradition alive by bringing you the best our conscious and masterful farmers and producers have to offer.
Farmers To You is about supporting these people in their work. It is about believing in their work, wisdom and craft, and integrating their food into our everyday lives. Our farmers and food makers need this support to grow and share their wisdom with the passionate and skilled young people who will continue to feed us and heal us.
Wendell Berry continues to be a provocative voice of truth and integrity for me. He is my call to action, and please believe me when I say that time is of the essence. We need to encourage and train our next generation of Jack Lazors now. Let’s support those who truly support us. Let’s honor those who have long been drawn to the work we deemed low value and who persevered anyway. Thank goodness for our farmers and craft food producers.
Please share your passion and what you do to support your farmers and food producers with others in your community. Share the food, the flavor and ultimately the gift of healing that these remarkable people give us each day.
Thank you for listening, and thank you for transforming your family’s relationship to food. This is the work that heals and reconnects.
Yours in gratitude,