Today’s Small Step: Meet a Farmer

By Faran Krentcil, Fact checked by Jessica Ochoa

2 min read

Meet Your Farmer

 

Personal grown ➡️ plant growth.

Today’s small step is to meet someone growing your food, whether it’s a local farmstand worker, an urban farm volunteer, or even your mom’s wacky friend who brings lemons from her backyard. (Hi Auntie Wanda! How’s it going?) 

Here are the benefits of meeting a food grower IRL instead of just seeing them on TikTok:


MORE TASTE

By talking to a farmer, you can ensure what you’re getting tastes the way you want. “As the natural arc of light and heat changes during the seasons, we make different [planting] selections,” explains Jason Grauer, the crops director at Stone Barns Center in Tarrytown, NY. “The lettuce we choose now in June is different from what we chose in March [because] coolness brings out flavor in really unique ways. When we grow a carrot in the winter in the greenhouse, it’s a different experience than growing a carrot out in a field.” 


LESS $$$

The best way to save money is to eat the food you buy, instead of trashing it later. “Farmers like me often work with chefs to optimize seasonal ingredients” and ensure your food tastes amazing, Jason says—and if you tell a farmer some of your favorite flavors or recipes, they can help you select produce you’ll actually eat and love, instead of flying blind on a supermarket shelf. 


MORE KNOWLEDGE

Other things a farmer can tell you: How to best store your food, what to do with leftovers, and what kind of flowers, herbs, or veggies to start with if you want to plant something yourself.


LESS LONELINESS

On average, we meet 15-20 people at a farmers market vs 1-2 at a supermarket. Those small “How’s it going?” moments help create a feeling of belonging that are, according to psychologists like Dr. Karen L. Fingerman, “vital to our well-being as family and close friends.” Dr. Fingerman calls people like farmer’s market employees “consequential strangers” and says they “anchor us in the world and give us a sense of being plugged into something larger… and make life more interesting.”