Publisher’s Corner: Give Thanks To The Farmers Who Provide Our Food

When you think of November you naturally think of Thanksgiving and the bounty Mother Earth provides. I can’t help but be in awe of those people who still live off the land as farmers and growers. We work with some of these wonderful people during the year like Denise and Chris Boeckmann at Boeckmann Family Farm in Loose Creek Missouri. The Boeckmanns raise grass fed beef and poultry and are committed to providing the healthiest meat possible for their customers. Mike and Carol Brabo own and operate Vesterbrook Farm in Clarksville, Missouri and offer year-round CSA programs. Both of these families work their farms with the help of their children and pride themselves in the tradition of family farming. And then there is La Vista CSA Farm in Godfrey, Illinois, operated by Crystal and Eric Stevens. They also work the land for a living and help provide the bounty we all have come to enjoy. They offer seasonal CSA memberships. Crystal is regular contributor to The Healthy Planet and has written a new book titled Grow Create Inspire, an earth stewardship manifesto. All of these farmers work the land and get dirt under their fingernails. They are dependent on the often fickle fate of weather and growing conditions which are often beyond their control. The Spring was very, very wet. And then weeks without rain. Some tough times for farmers, but they continue on because they love what they do. They all need more customers, CSA members and people who believe that what they do is still very important to all of us. These are not factory farms owned by big corporations. They are modern pioneers who plant seeds and hope they grow. Many of them have to take second jobs to make ends meet while keeping the family farm tradition going. I often think of them when I plant my little raised garden in the backyard and wonder how they do it. I come out every day and look at my plants and wonder why that one did not provide fruit or why that one is turning brown. Now imagine that feeling a thousand times over. I can only wonder what goes through the minds and hearts of the Boeckmanns when they tend the herd and the Brabos and Stevens when they work the fields and harvest the crops. How much love, sweat and tears goes into working the land. I work at a computer and often my eyes become tired and my brain fuzzy from all the starring at the screen on deadline. I take a minute and think of the farmers in the fields. I envy them for a moment and then realize they physically work so much harder than I do. I know, it’s all relevant. But I am just so darn proud to even know some “real farmers and ranchers.” And I want them to know how much we all appreciate their hard work so we can have healthier food on our tables this Thanksgiving and all through the year. I suggest all of you visit them online to read their stories. Sign up for their CSAs or purchase their products as a show of support. Each family has a wonderfully compelling story. I know you will find them as fascinating and heartwarming as I do.

Boeckmann Family Farm – www.Boeckmannfamilyfarmllc.com
Vesterbrook Farm – Vesterbrookfarm.com
LaVista CSA Farm – www.lavistacsa.org

Happy Thanksgiving! J.B. Lester; Publisher