(Recap) Sustainable Saturdays: Family Farms

Reported by, the online wholesale food marketplace-

The tranquil, idyllic image that likely comes to mind when you picture a farm (think Old McDonald) is becoming increasingly rare.  Family farms can be defined as farms in which a family owns all of the land, carries out the majority of labor and decision-making, and receives most of the economic profits.

They vary in size and style, but they all have this in common: environmental and economic sustainability.  If you are interested in eating sustainably and locally produced foods, you should start by supporting family farms.

How are family farms beneficial?

The food produced by a family farm will always be fresh, nutritious, and high quality. You can be sure that the produce is local and in season, which makes for delicious fruits and vegetables.

Family farms are beneficial to their local communities because they often provide job opportunities to local workers. Furthermore, they support other local businesses by soliciting them for supplies and machinery.

Family farms protect the environment as well. Because they use sustainable methods that minimize environmental destruction and pollution, the land continues to be viable. Growing multiple types of plants in one area also promotes a healthy ecosystem.

What difficulties do family farm face?

Large-scale, industrial agriculture is tough to compete with. Many family farms are forced out of business by these agro-giants. As this happens, more of the environment becomes damaged and unusable, inhibiting any future sustainable use.

The career of a farmer has seen a decline in popularity among younger generations. Currently, only 6% of farmers in the US are under age thirty-five.

How can you support family farms?

Look for farmer’s markets in your area. These markets often feature produce being sold by the farmers themselves, and you can usually get a better deal than at your local supermarket.

Research family farms that offer pick-your-own opportunities. Fruit never tastes more refreshing than when you have just picked a bucket of it yourself.

By supporting these farmers, you allow them to continue their livelihood and encourage others to follow suit.

(Photo Source: Emma Waugh)

Additional Sources 1, 2, 3

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