Does it ever freak you out when you stop to think about where your dinner came from? I mean really stop to consider what that animal’s life was like, or what was sprayed on your potatoes, or what kind of a factory machine washed your carrots.

Crazy, right?

In that sense it really gives you peace of mind to say "I shook the hand of the man who raised that chicken," or "I know those potatoes weren’t sprayed because the nice old gentleman who I bought them from doesn’t like spray on his potatoes."

This year I am finding out that it really pays (financially) to know your farmer. When you are regulars at a very cozy weekly farmer’s market you meet and get to know people. We know these gentlemen by name, they give our sons high-fives every week, and when they had a bumper crop they knew that we were looking for food to store for winter.

When these farmers harvested more than they could sell we bought up their excess:

  • Two bushels of organic potatoes – $24. {Into the "root cellar".}
  • Two bushels of organic turnips – $20. {Into the "root cellar".}
  • One bushel of organic onions – $12. {In baskets in our "pantry".}
  • Large cabbages for making sauerkraut – $1/each. {In half-gallon jars in the refrigerator.}
  • A bushel of pick-your-own tomatoes for salsa – $5. {In half-gallon jars in the refrigerator.}
  • Two paper grocery bags full of bell peppers – $10. {Dehydrated in quart jars in our "pantry".}
  • Not having to go to the grocery store for a couple of months – priceless.

If our live storage methods hold up this could be enough food to get us through for a while. In fact, I am going to make it a challenge to see how long I can stay out of the grocery store this winter. Yep, it pays.

How has knowing (or being) your farmer made a difference?