Do we know who our Farmer is?

Do we know who our Farmer is?

Farming is a Filipino tradition. It’s part of the reason why previous generations had big families and a strong sense of community – we worked together on our common goal of feeding each other nutritious organically grown food.

Although I am not a farmer, I do know a little about growing food. This spring, I developed an acre of garden in the RM of Portage la Prairie. We are growing a wide variety of vegetables. For my wife, kids and I, tending this garden is a chance to spend quality time together; and has proven to be a relaxing and rejuvinating experience. And of course, we now enjoy great organic produce!

In Canada, farming is dominated by large conventional farming enterprises. When you drive along the highway, you see acres of wheat, canola, and corn for miles and miles. The days of the small family farm are fading fast. We know less and less where our food comes from or who grows it. Shouldn’t we know who our farmer is? Afterall, we know who our doctor is, who our dentist is. We ought to know our farmer as well. Across rural Manitoba, there are a several small scale organic farmers making a living growing nutritious, organic produce, meat, and eggs that are free of pesticides, herbicidies, synthetic fertilizers, and other nasty chemicals. These individuals are passionate about growing organic food, and about making this food accessible to all of us.

When we think about where our food comes from, it opens up conversations of how it gets to us and what that process involves. I encourage you to start a conversation about the real cost of food. If people want access to nutritious food, free from chemicals, please support small scale organic farmers. More effort is required to produce this kind of food, including the cost of production but it’s reasonably priced considering the huge nutritional value and health benefits. This is what food should cost. If the only criteria is price in purchasing our food, we send the farmer one message: grow food using the cheapest possible methods. But what are the collateral effects to the environment, and on our health and the health of our loved ones?

If you would like to know how to contact some great organic farmers near Winnipeg, send me an email to mpagtakhan@winnipeg.ca