- That hobby farmer question comes up quite a bit in the unconventional farming world I would guess. I have heard it a lot along with the similar quote, "So, you're going to have an acreage and stuff." A common public perception is that if you are don't what is the convention in the area than you are not farming, no matter how full-time or profitable it is.
- One thing that Nature's Harmony does (and many other direct marketing farms) is encourage people to come to their farm. This will help with some of the "hobby farm" quotes, but it is important to remember that if they aren't interested in your farm or the way you farmer they probably will never change.
- When I was working on the post linked above for the Epi-Log I did a little research and found that in 2004 52% of all farmers had off farm employment. So, logic would then ask ... "are 52% of Americas farmers hobby farmers?"
- But, in that same post and others that I have written for Epicurious people have commented on how much the appreciate what the farmers do. This isn't something that I hear very often, but maybe it is more common than I know...? But, what it does tell me is that there are people out there that care about their food and the farmers that produce it.
- Which leads me to my last thought. How do you get more people to care about the food they eat. Of course it is an education thing and that will only happen with some initiative from both the consumers and the farmers.
Friday, June 06, 2008
Thoughts on Farming and Public Perception
Lately a few blog posts have led me to think about farmers and public perception. First of all I wrote a post for the Epi-Log titled, "What You Need to Become a Farmer". The just a few days later I ran across a post titled, "Oh, you're a hobby farmer!", on the Nature's Harmony Farm blog. Both of those posts touched on different aspects of public perception in regards to farmers and also about what other farmers think about new or unconventional farmers. I think this is something (just like farm appearances) that we need to be thinking about, so below are a few of my thoughts.