The Face of Your Food
As we get ready to harvest for week seven, we are also busy making preparations for our first dinner that is actually on our farm. Cleaning up things that haven’t been touched in years to try and make this place look presentable. Everyone should have a gathering at least once a year to get things into shape. Wow are things getting done! We met with our chef earlier in the week and chose the items for the menu right from our fields. The Idaho Pasture hogs are butchered and curing in preparation for a slow two-day smoking process. Desserts have been sampled, a few times. The pack shed is even getting sinks and counter tops installed at the last minute in an effort to set up a makeshift kitchen for this event. We are planning on making the farm dinner an annual event, so it will only get easier after we get this first one under our belt.
There has been a obvious decline in the local farmers market the last two weeks. We lost two vendors from the Medford markets in large part for lack of produce. Some vendors buy much of their produce at the weekly auction in Withee and resell at the farmers market. With the poor spring, auction prices are high and vendors are not able to resell as they have in the past. Those of us remaining at market are offering less than normal and customers are getting discouraged.
Produce resale has been a point of conflict in years past at the Medford Farmers Market. Most consumers are completely unaware if their items are coming from a different region, lack freshness and contain unwanted inputs. In our experience, consumers shopping at a farmers market make the general assumption that those farmers grew the food they are selling.
This is a form of deceit, particularly if products go unlabeled as such. Our best advice is to talk with the farmer and ask them straight out if they grew what you are buying. Most aren’t afraid to tell you where it is from. Obvious things like melons or sweet corn in mid-July are cause for question. Others aren’t so obvious. Just ask when in doubt. Or better yet, join them for dinner and visit your food in their fields.
Excited to share our farm,