As we gather to celebrate a bountiful Thanksgiving with family and friends, this farm-wife would like to give you a insight on who the Anderson Farm family is, so as you sit down for your dinner, you might feel a connection to those of us who grew the wheat for your rolls, breads and baked goods. Plus you might be interested to know that if you are serving hummus for an appetizer, there is a very good chance it came from this area & maybe even our farm, and lastly, if you are spreading mustard on anything, it could have come from our farm too. We are 1 farm family out of roughly 259,000 more full-time farm families who, just like us, grow the food we all eat. And as you are saying your prayers, and if you think of it, please include a special blessing for all of these hard working farm families. =)
|Me, Farmer Joe & Josie - the spoiled dog|
Farming has come a long way from the days of Farmer Joe's grandpa and dad as shown below
to being able to provide more food with less ground and less of a carbon footprint
Below is a short Flickr photo sideshow of our farm family. Although our girls chose different careers and no longer work on the farm as they once did, none-the-less they are proud to have been raised with an Agriculture background. So far, the 2 oldest grand-angels have told their grandpa that they want to drive the tractors and combines. Zack, our nephew and son of Farmer Jay and Lisa is a great worker when he goes out to work on the farm and he likes to hang out with his dad and uncle Farmer Joe. So who knows, we may have Zack, Brinley and Natalie running the farm in a few years.
And lastly, as the Thanksgiving holiday is a focus on food, I wanted to know what consumers thought and what questions they would ask a farmer.... so last Sunday afternoon, Farmer Joe and I went out and posed that question to random folks. We went to several different grocery stores from national chain stores to the local organic food co-op to ask the question, "if you could ask a farmer a question, what would you ask?"..... and here is what I found out.
Here are the answers to the questions asked:
• 97% of U.S. farms are run by families, farmer partnerships or co-ops, per Farm Facts. If a family farm is incorporated (i.e. Corporate Farm) it simply refers to the organizational tax structure of that farm operation.
• The crops grown by the farmers are based on what can be grown in their particular area as well as what is profitable to grow. For instance, we grow garbanzo beans vs peas as the market price is much better for garbanzos than dried peas.
• The use of herbicides or pesticide on crops is only used when needed and the products we use are highly regulated and tested by the Food & Drug Administration. The rules that govern what can be used are far more stringent in the U.S. than in foreign countries. When we use products on our crops, it could be compared to when a person gets sick and goes to the doctor for medicine to help them get healthy; it’s the same for plants- we are trying to keep the plants healthy for optimum yield results. We eat the same foods we produce as the consumer eats and as a practice, I try to only buy products grown in the U.S.A.
• We have not noticed an increase in conventional farmers converting to organic methods, but a few farms may do small organic sections as a speciality. We feel the consumer should have a choice of conventional vs organic. Typically organic is more expensive, for example one grocery store had a dozen eggs for $1.39 produced in a conventional way vs the $4.59 for organic, free range eggs. It simply depends on what the consumer wants to pay for their food. Americans spend just 9.5% of their income on food- less than any other country, plus it is the safest as well, per Farm Facts.
• As for the question about baby animals from dairies, it depends on the sex of the animal and the operation of that dairy. As we have friends in the dairy business, the females may be kept and added to the herd for milk production, and as for the males, they may stay for breeding or get sold.
• And lastly the women who talks about Ireland’s practice of telling you who raised that product… well it goes back to what I am trying to do, connect the consumer to the farmer. Let them see the regular American Farm Family who raises the food that they eat.
And I can't let you go until I share my latest cake find located on the Cake of the Month page...
Again, Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours. Please make sure to check the At Home on the Farm as I'll be posting more on what a farm engagement party looks like. We have invited our family and farm friends to meet Kaitlyn's financee, Andrew on the Saturday after Thanksgiving, so quality time in the kitchen is definately in store for me. As always, thanks for stopping by and let me know if you have any quesitons by either posting a comment or emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org. All my best, Gayle