The majority of the farmers do not get fair payment despite working hard in the fields. If you’re wondering how you can take part in supporting smallholder farmers, here are some ways on how you can help:
Buying produce directly to farmers
Whether in a farmer’s market or on farms near you, it is always great to buy your food directly from the source. To get the best selection, shop early so you’d get the fresh and best harvests for the day. Otherwise, you can still buy any time of the day and have discounts for the “ugly” produce. Do not fret, buying them doesn’t mean they’re not good or nutritious. Getting them will help not only the farmer or vendor, but also the environment as you prevent the leftover “ugly” produce from ending up in landfills.
Join the Community Supported Agriculture (CSA)
Buying harvests directly from farmers through the CSA system is also a great way to have fresh fruits and vegetables regularly. Through CSA, you are sure that you get to support a local farmer and at the same time, you know that the food you eat is safe and nutritious. This can lessen your tasks as you won’t need to roam the market and just order what you need through the farmer. It can also be delivered or you can pick it up on the farm. Meeting the person who grows your food is a plus.
Eat at farm-to-table restaurants and cafes
From dinner nights to birthday parties, you can opt to eat in restaurants or cafes that serve dishes using ingredients straight from the farm. This way, you are indirectly (or directly) supporting local farmers, too. Visit cafes that buy straight from local farmers and support small, independently-owned businesses as much as you can.
Spread the word for the farmers
If you have visited restos, cafes, farms, or have met local farmers themselves, it’s your turn to encourage your friends and family to try their products. By doing this, you can help local farmers be recognized little by little. Farmers are busy enough working on the farm that some of them prioritize the marketing side of their business. To support them, post an excellent review on social media as it is a great channel to spread the word. If you have a marketing background, you could also offer help by volunteering to sell their products using your skills.
Promote local stores that sell local products
Rather than going to chains, purchase goods at local stores and vendors that sell value-added goods like cheese, jams, or chili sauce. Let the big market players know that you’d prefer more local goods on their shelves than imported products.
Purchase materials in local gardening shops
When it comes to planting materials, visit locally-owned agricultural stores instead of going to sellers that offer products from abroad. It is way better to purchase soil, pots, seeds, fertilizers, and the likes from local brands and stores because you can talk to the gardeners who produce or source the products. Grab the chance to ask for some tips and recommendations in growing crops, especially if you’re a novice.
Supporting our farmers doesn’t have to be big. The next time you buy fruits and veggies or eat out at a restaurant, consider these tips and always prioritize local farmers and enterprises.