Saturday, August 17, 2013

The value of Farm Stands

Thursday on our way to a play date with a woman who I haven't seen since high School (which by the way was a super fun 3.5 hours of play for our kids and catching up for her and I.) I popped by a family friends farm stand to pick up some yummy's for the kids to enjoy while we were at the park. I spent $10 and this is what I got.
There were originally 8 peaches, but we ate some at our play date.

Now for those of you who do your produce shopping at the grocery store (much like we do in the winter months) Sit down and calculate how much of your shopping receipt is produce......Ours is roughly 30% on average. Since I decided to get healthier back in January, our produce amount has doubled, going from 15% to 30%. When the summer comes around, and to cut costs, we hit the Horse Creek Farm's "fruit shack." I do allot of canning and preserving and this year I ended up picking 20lbs of strawberries, and 70lbs of peaches for jam making. (I admit I was ambitious on the peaches, and they are in my freezer waiting on me to get crack-en!)

Here is the breakdown:
                                                 Apples:           Zucchini:            Onions           Corn              Peaches
Farm stand price                       .69 Lb           $0.20 each          $0.69lb            4/$1              $0.95lb
Grocery store price                  $1.29lb           $0.99 each          $0.88lb            2/$1             $1.49lb

( I had to make the font smaller so it would fit on here *eyeball roll*)

I am pretty sure I have the farm stand prices correct and I know I do on the grocery store prices. The stores have huge overhead costs they have to cover, so everything is so much more expensive. Have you noticed that the healthier something is the more expensive it is? And the crappier something is the cheaper it is? Take a little time, when you can, and go to the store and look at this discrepancy. Its HUGE. Farm stands dont have that overhead and so they are able to SAVE you money, while you SUPPORT your local farmers and economy!

The other thing we have done, despite living in town, is have a small garden with vegetables that we use alot.  Like tomato's, peppers, squash and cucumbers. My husband also TRIES to grow corn. I say TRY because we have never actually gotten any corn off the stalks. This year he may get lucky and actually get a few cobs. LOL.(Here's hoping) (I also have had strawberries and green beans in my front flower beds, I call it veggie-scaping!) I guess the point I am trying to make is support local farmers. With urban sprawl taking up much needed farm land, farmers are having a harder and harder time trying to make a living. FARMERS FEED AMERICA (and most likely the majority of the world.) Without them we would literally be up shit creek without a paddle; and that's somewhere I DON'T want to be. According to some reports we loose 2 acres of farmland every MINUTE to urban sprawl.

The other issue that we are having is that people (who have ZERO idea about what it takes to farm) are dictating what a farmer can use on their fields for pest and weed management. In Oregon, farmers were allowed to field burn. It took place during designated times of the year and it was, at least from all that I have seen and herd, the most effective way to eliminate weeds and pests from crop fields. Because some stuffed shirt somewhere decided it was "environmentally bad and detrimental to our health" it has now become illegal, or you have to jump through a thousand hoops to even attempt it. There are certain times of the year that I look forward to and field burning season was one of them. I love the smell!! Now, farmers are forced to rely on chemicals to do the same job that the field burning did. Quite frankly....I want the field burning back! I am no expert and I don't know everything, but I listen and learn, and what I am learning isn't very pretty.

Sorry if this post is a bit choppy. My thoughts come in spurts so I write what comes to me. It may not flow prettily, but it works!

Added Aug 19, 2013
This is one of my cats, and this is PROOF that the produce you get from a farm stand is far superior (at least in my mind) How many cats would do this otherwise?