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Let me introduce myself. My name is Mark Sisson. I’m 63 years young. I live and work in Malibu, California. In a past life I was a professional marathoner and triathlete. Now my life goal is to help 100 million people get healthy. I started this blog in 2006 to empower people to take full responsibility for their own health and enjoyment of life by investigating, discussing, and critically rethinking everything we’ve assumed to be true about health and wellness...

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October 05, 2010

Contest Results: Meet a Farmer

By Mark Sisson
59 Comments

It turns out that when I announced the “Meet a Farmer” contest and encouraged people to make a connection with their local food suppliers I overlooked the fact that many of the farmers themselves read Mark’s Daily Apple. So whether you took a picture of yourself and sent it in, or made the pilgrimage to a local farm or your town’s farmers’ market to grab a photo, you were entered to win the Primal prize.

Thanks to everyone that submitted a photo. I hope the experience was well worth the effort whether you won this contest or not. Speaking of…

The winner of this contest, chosen randomly, is MDA reader Luigi. Luigi is the one who snapped a photo with his free-range egg supplier, Tricia (the blonde woman with the bird).

The contest may be over but you can still meet and greet your local food suppliers. Make the effort if you haven’t already. I’m sure you’ll be glad you did.

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59 Comments on "Contest Results: Meet a Farmer"

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ElizaGrok
ElizaGrok
5 years 11 months ago

This is so great! I wanted to take a pic but didn’t get a chance to, family visiting. πŸ™ It is so neat to see other people connecting with their local farmers. Does anyone else to CSA co-ops?

ElizaGrok
ElizaGrok
5 years 11 months ago

I’m sorry, grammar correction, it should read “does any one else participate in CSA?”

Rachael
Rachael
5 years 11 months ago

I’ve been involved in CSAs off and on for the past few years. It’s an excellent way to really support local farmers and to actually have a say in the food you eat! It’s often a big investment up front, but usually saves you lots of money over time.

Christine M.
Christine M.
5 years 11 months ago

We have a lovely CSA program in Austin, where an intermediary company works with dozens of farmers, ranchers, and other local food companies in Central Texas, bundles things together, then delivers to your door! We’ve been ordering from them for two years.

We also spent last Saturday morning at one of Austin’s farmer’s markets. First time, but we’ll probably be making that a regular thing. πŸ™‚

moonablaze
moonablaze
5 years 11 months ago

I love my CSA! The only downside is that my schedule makes it so that I can only get to the drop-off point in the middle of the pickup period, when it’s on the honor system and I don’t get to meet the farmers.

but on the upside I kinda feel like I know them, because my farm is the South Central Farmers, the subject of the documentary “the farm”

Ryan
Ryan
5 years 11 months ago

Look at all the healthy smiling faces! I love my local farmers!

Lisa
Lisa
5 years 11 months ago

This truly is an important aspect of food acquisition, I believe. In the modern world, we often don’t know who handled our food or raised it, and we therefore have only a minimal connection to the food itself. By meeting farmers, ranchers, and the like, we get a sense of that connection and develop a sense of investment in those people as well as in ourselves and our families.

It’s like extending the cave tribe a little bit without having to worry about sharing the bathroom. πŸ˜‰

Audry
Audry
5 years 11 months ago
I liked this contest idea, even though I didn’t enter it. I think people these days are too disconnected from their food. I mean really, if people thought about what it takes to make turkey look and taste (sort of) like bacon, they wouldn’t eat it! Same goes for most of what you buy in a package at the grocery store. Plus, health reasons aside, it’s always nice to support the local economy by buying direct from farmers. I thought about taking a photo of myself with my chickens when I didn’t have time to get to the farmer’s market… Read more »
Melody
Melody
5 years 11 months ago

I love that in so many pictures, the people are holding their animals.
Especially the goats.
I think it shows a healthy relationship that the animals trusted the farmers enough to not claw and scratch and kick, but be held long enough for a photo op.

MamaSofi
MamaSofi
5 years 11 months ago

These pictures give me a glimmer of hope that the future of our food industry might change toward more natural and healthier ways due to people seeking out farmers and farmer’s markets. The power of change is in your wallet.

kepo
kepo
5 years 11 months ago

It’s great to put faces with Farmers and other MDA readers! It helps to feel connected and to see that they are regular people who care about their health and where their food comes from!

Emerson
Emerson
5 years 11 months ago

I think this contest idea was fantastic. If we really want to see a change in how people in general consider the quality of their food it needs to start at a grass roots level with patronizing local farmers who farm in ways that are ethical environmentally and nutritionally. See here for more: http://www.honestmeat.com/honest_meat/2010/09/so-you-say-you-want-a-food-revolution.html

VelocityRD
VelocityRD
5 years 11 months ago

I would have enjoyed taking part in this contest if I…

1) had access to my own vehicle,
2) knew of any local farm or farmer’s market in Miami, and
3) had the opportunity to get to said farm/farmer’s market.

That said, I am definitely happy to see just how many small farms (not subsidized by Big Sista government to grow GMO junk) are out there. And now I want to get outta Miami and live near one… πŸ˜€

Maya
5 years 11 months ago

I did a quick google for grassfed miami and found millers organic farm delivers to miami. They are an amish farm and I am sure there are others that deliver to other locations. I’m carless as well and it’s a total PITA sometimes.

Mike Wootini
5 years 11 months ago

You do live near one, in fact you live near several. πŸ™‚ Good luck on foraging, you really can find good local food and farmers most places.

http://www.florida-agriculture.com/consumers/farmers_markets.htm

Peggy
Peggy
5 years 11 months ago

I think I recognized an MDAer in a picture, yay!
I wanted to meet my CSA delivery guy, but our schedules weren’t condusive to that happening…

Justine
Justine
5 years 11 months ago

It’s great to see more people getting to know the folks that produce their foods! I’m sure the farmers appreciated the recognition as well.

Another way to get to know a farmer or to become one yourself is to volunteer with a local community garden or CSA. Many of them need help with watering, planting and lots of the work in between.

Keeley
Keeley
5 years 11 months ago
Okay so living in a typical Southern Californian suburban neighborhood I only considered the health food stores, local farmer’s markets, and ordering grass fed beef online as options for acquiring the foods we wanted. Imagine my surprise when my husband thought to search for grass-fed beef on craigslist and found a small ranch within an hours drive which raises pastured beef! WOW! I, following my very clever husband’s lead, then searched for free-range eggs and found a lady who raises happy, stress-free (I picture them relaxing poolside..lol), free range chickens for eggs 5 minutes from our house! I am so… Read more »
Maya
5 years 11 months ago

It’s really amazing what is out there under the radar. BTW: those fresh eggs are gonna spoil you. When the chickens stop laying and you have to eat organic free range in the winter you’re gonna hate like LMAO

Keeley
Keeley
5 years 11 months ago

I know very little about the laying habits of chickens…do they stop laying in the winter? even in warmer climates like SoCal? I guess I will find out…lol

moonablaze
moonablaze
5 years 11 months ago

that’s awesome! I’m a LA resident but dispute a lot of searching haven’t found these places yet, care to share your finds? comment here or email me at moonablazeATgmailDOTcom (replace caps with @ and .)

Liz Chalmers
5 years 11 months ago

This is one that I have every intention of still doing. It wasn’t possible for me the weekend of the contest, but it’s such an awesome idea.

Karyn (Calvin's wife)
Karyn (Calvin's wife)
5 years 11 months ago

Growing up in a big city, I remember laughing hysterically at my best friend who always said that she wanted to be a farmer when she grew up. I don’t think that she is a farmer now, but if she DID become one, the joke would be on me. For the farmers who are keepin’ it real, what a noble profession! ~Karyn

Seamus
Seamus
5 years 11 months ago

Who needs health care when your eating towards a disease free life. My pharmacy is a living, breathing, growing farm. My pharmacist is the farmer.

Ely
Ely
5 years 11 months ago
Love it! We get produce home-delivered. I should have thought to get a picture; I was home last Monday and they have the cutest truck! But even better is visiting the farmers’ market or local butcher, where they can tell you everything from how to grow an item to how to cook it. And fresh local produce is just ridiculously tasty! Last month I found late harvest strawberries at the farmers’ market, which were among the best I have ever ever tasted. This week I caved to a sale and bought conventional strawberries from California at the regular grocery store.… Read more »
NS
NS
5 years 11 months ago

My favorite part about meeting my farmers is tapping into their seriously underestimated (and too often overlooked) knowledge base. If you have the chance to meet the person who grew/raised your dinner, take advantage and ask questions! Everything from explaining the origin and flavor profile of a “new” (to me) veggie to the optimal recipe for cooking a “new” cut of meat is not only enlightening but also encourages me to try new things with gusto. Moreover, I find that few can more convincingly justify the premium charged for his goods than the guy whose sweat produced them.

Joe The Toad
5 years 11 months ago

I meet several local farmers at our town’s farmer’s market (which sadly ended for the season). I even found a butcher who specializes in free range animals and is a local ‘clearhouse’ for a few egg farmers who raise free range, organic fed, healthy chickens to produce some very tasty eggs.

Jenn
Jenn
5 years 11 months ago

This is one of the most important things I’ve learned from MDA – being connected to your food. I did a CSA a few years ago and thought it was too much work so I canceled it. This year I joined a CSA and a meat CSA and love them both! Yes, it’s more work to plan and cook, but the food is amazing, it’s so much healthier, and I’m supporting my local farmers. Win, win, win!

Ben
Ben
5 years 11 months ago

CSAs, and really any local food providers, are great. I just got into a CSA this year and I get to try new things all the time. I now love okra and mustard greens and eggplant, all things I never would have thought to buy in a grocery store. Each new box from the CSA is like a challenge to create something new and delicious with things you may have never tried before

Luigi
Luigi
5 years 11 months ago

WOW! I was looking through the pictures and didn’t even realize I won until after the slideshow went through. This made my day πŸ™‚ Thanks Mark and the MDA Crew!

Benjamin
Benjamin
5 years 11 months ago
primal stuff aside, I am seeing a real rise in buying locally produced food, and I think it’s just fantastic. I live in Boulder, CO, a town that has been very progressive when it comes to attitudes about food. sure, there are plenty of veggies and vegans around here, but there’s a lot of focus on fresh, local ingredients, even in local restaurants. recently, a food truck called Streat Chefs started making round around the city, and one of their menu items is a “farmers market salad,” where they take different veggies on different days from different farmers markets, and… Read more »
Cajun Grok Girl
Cajun Grok Girl
5 years 11 months ago

Is it just me or are Primal people the happiest looking people in the country? I think that eating good and taking pride in your health, body, and mind makes the life just so much more enjoyable!

I never want to go back to life where chemicals and carbs rule my day and my emotions!

Bob Sher
Bob Sher
5 years 11 months ago

Hmmm…. the thought of MDA readers meeting farmers (SO thoughtful of you, Mark) has me thinking many thoughtful thoughts, thoughtfully.

Vicky
Vicky
5 years 11 months ago

Met my local farmers last yr. This yr met a rancher and got half a grass fed cow while I was there. πŸ™‚

Primal Toad
5 years 11 months ago

This is how our connection with food should be. All of these photos of smiling people say it perfectly. Know where you food comes from by going to your local farmers market and meeting a farmer! There is nothing like building a relationship with the people who grow or raise your food as these photos show.

Laura
Laura
5 years 11 months ago

It’s awesome to see the variety of people that are out there meeting farmers and refreshing to know that there are local farmers that are accessible to so many of us. I am looking forward to spending more time with my local farmer and am hoping that my local famer’s market continues through the winter months!

Amanda
Amanda
5 years 11 months ago

I love that you did this contest. I think it is critical that we support our local farmers. My ‘beef-lady’ wasn’t at the market this week and I had to work – so I didn’t get to enter this one. But you bet I will be there bright and early on Saturday to reap the benefits…and I will keep reaping benefits all week long as I eat that grass-fed wonder.

Kris
Kris
5 years 11 months ago

I’m not sure that it’s very insightful for me to just point out that the girl in the black dress is cute, so I’ll also add that I love talking with the farmers at our market. Particularly the meat guy – when you get to know him, he will set stuff aside for you, you can email him to order things (if he has it), and you can get great tips on how to prepare odd cuts!

Sara
Sara
5 years 11 months ago
I really like seeing where your food comes from and who is handling it. When I was a kid we went to a turkey farm, and I was really scared of all the turkeys in the tent. There were thousands of them. It’s no wonder I didn’t care for turkey meat until I was an adult. Perhaps even at 6 I knew that them being crammed in that tent was unethical. What’s worse, is that they could have been sold as “cage free”. I have no problem eating an animal that has had a good life and been properly fed.… Read more »
Tyler B.
Tyler B.
5 years 11 months ago

I have always wanted to meet the farmers and ranchers who provide me with my food. Unfortunately, with my work schedule that hasn’t happened yet. I definitely intend to set some time away this spring to do some farm tours, it seems like an incredible experience to meet the farmers face to face.

Elle
5 years 11 months ago

I adore my farmer’s market here in Germany, talking to the farmers and getting to take home just-picked produce and just-layed eggs.

Ryan
Ryan
5 years 11 months ago

This is the most frustrating aspect of Primal living for me because, in my experience, the food at these farmer’s markets is more expensive. My wife isn’t Primal and I can’t convince to let us shop here and it’s very frustrating. I know that this is the best food I can but we just can’t afford it. Hopefully one day we can because there is one right near our house every weekend.

Shawn
Shawn
5 years 11 months ago
In the Lower Midwest, we have a number of CSA’s, coops and small farmers. What I find interesting is that several of them have been around for a while (7+ years) and they can make a living! It would seem that not just Grok’s are partaking in the wonders of fresh, organically grown vegetables and pastured meats. One farm in particular has about 350 varieties of vegetables. Variety I think is a key to adapting your lifestyle to eating Primal as most big box stores only offer one or two varieties of a handful of vegetables. They may have some… Read more »
Lori
Lori
5 years 11 months ago

Great photos!! I love buying local and supporting the local farms and also knowing I am doing me and my family right by eating good healthy fresh food. I sure will miss the ‘summer’ farmers markets that happen around here, got myself some good acorn and spaghetti squash last week.

BoyPrimal
BoyPrimal
5 years 11 months ago
I missed this contest, but I think I’ve won a prize anyway. My favorite ( of my many ) local farmer’s market is on Sunday morning. For the past three weeks I’ve made it a habit to finish my shopping by stopping at the TLC Farms booth. ( Tastes Like Chicken Farms =p ) The first week I was new to Primal. Unfamiliar as I was with the world of meat I asked for some suggestions on cuts and deals. The next week the woman at the booth remembered me. She’s an effortlessly friendly sort and we got to talking… Read more »
Maya
5 years 11 months ago
There is so much beauty in knowing where our food comes from. I raised my twins vegan for the first 7 years of their life and even after the past 6 years of eating meat my daughter only liked bacon. She would eat meat but only after staring at it for a long time. Since meeting our farmer, Tara Firma Farms, she doesn’t stare anymore. She feels more connected to the food and is happy that the cows were happy. Kids are sensitive, they are wise in a lot of ways and looking back at the last 6 years… she… Read more »
September
5 years 11 months ago

We met a farmer last week, although we didn’t post a picture. One thing I would like to share is that all of these farmers (including the one we met) seem to really like their jobs. They make it seem like physically demanding (in a good way), rewarding work. Contrast this with some of the factory chicken or corn farmers you see on Food Inc. or King Corn. Let’s just say the factory farmed animals aren’t the only ones suffering on the farm!

Mike Wootini
5 years 11 months ago

yay, I’m the 2nd picture with Brinkley Farms. I love my CSA and Brinkley Farms in North Carolina have been there for me over the past 2 years serving up pork, chicken, and heaps of veggies – I just made pumpkin soup with the pumpkin in that box.

Page
Page
5 years 11 months ago

Our community started holding a farmers market this summer, and it became the highlight of my week. The beef farmer remembered us after one week. She and my husband swapped recipes while I eyed up the neighboring vendor’s jars of local honey. The vegetables were so tasty, and in this case, they were much less expensive than the big box. I’m sad that it’s over for the season.

Krys
5 years 11 months ago
I didn’t get a chance to enter the contest, but I did get out and meet some new farmers recently. This past weekend was Harvest Fest in Pierce County WA, and I met the farmers who I use for a home delivered CSA, and a potential new pork supplier (totally happy with the one I have, but this farm offers some different options). I have to admit, it was kind of hard to oh and ahhh over the piglets, then turn around and buy a package of bacon. I didn’t want the piggies to hear me so I whisphered! Grok… Read more »
Mike
Mike
5 years 11 months ago

Great contest! What better way to know where you food is coming from than actually meeting the farmers themselves. Small farms are a dying breed and need our support. Many times the small farmers are in it for the passion of farming and produce higher quality crops and meat. There are less likely to cut corners and take pride in their work. My uncle is a dairy farmer, so thankfully I have access to raw grass fed milk. Hopefully this contest will help to encourage people to make connections with their local farmers.

Glenn
Glenn
5 years 11 months ago

The contest got me thinking about the whole soil/cycle of life thing, and I chanced upon this quotation by Isaac Watts:
“Earth, thou great footstool of our God, who reigns on high;
thou fruitful source of all our raiment, life, and food;
our house, our parent, and our nurse.”
Watts was one of England’s great writers of hymns in the 18th century, although his career as a churchman got off to a rocky start. He was denied admission into both Oxford and Cambridge because he was a non-conformist. I think we can relate to that!

Megan
Megan
5 years 11 months ago

It’s great to see the different settings in which people interact with their farmers. I hope the masses realize and begin to appreciate that every one of us owes them so much.

Sharon
Sharon
5 years 11 months ago
All through my life I have heard disparaging remarks about farmers. Like it was some lowly profession. I always find these remarks amazingly ignorant. Now here comes this simple contest that has prompted many of those commenting here to find a local farmer themselves or express their appreciation of the people who grow our food. I’m sure that expressed appreciation is felt by the farmers with each encounter. All of us who feel appreciated for the work we do have a greater incentive to keep producing high quality goods and/or service. The many comments above have certainly warmed my heart… Read more »
Karen G
Karen G
5 years 11 months ago

For the past two years, we’ve enjoyed a weekly farm-fresh assortment of fruits and veggie from Abundant Harvest Organics in the California Central Valley, delivered to our neighborhood for a Saturday morning pickup. It took a while to learn how to consume the “big box” each week, but now we’d be so sad if we moved away from AHO. I also got a half-beef from a small Central Valley grass-fed cattle rancher this spring, and we’re loving it. Eggs come from one of several neighbors weekly. Grok on!

Brian Prochaska
Brian Prochaska
5 years 11 months ago

I failed to do this contest…our farmer’s market is not the greatest. But I do occationally get farm fresh eggs from a friend at work.

runningjay
runningjay
5 years 11 months ago

It’s nice to see all those smiling faces of farmers. They seem to be ‘down to earth’ and have perhaps one of the most intimate relations with our foods…since they raise them from the soil on up πŸ™‚

ScottMGS
ScottMGS
5 years 11 months ago

I wish our CSA (Be Wise Ranch) still held annual farm tours. It was a great way to meet the people who grew our food and meet some of the other families who ate all that wonderful produce.

Victoria
Victoria
5 years 11 months ago

I loved these photos- I think it’s great for people to be involved with where their food comes from, and think it’s something everyone should do if possible, Primal or not!

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