The importance of knowing your farmer, from a former forker

Brett Hauck holds up a turnip from Lazy T's multi-species cover crop.

Brett Hauck holds up a turnip from Lazy T's multi-species cover crop.

Written by Brett Hauck

I didn't grow up on a farm. In fact, when I was young, I didn't even like going to farms. I thought they were gross. I didn't like the smells, the sounds, the work. In reality, I didn't understand what the hell was going on. Because I never wondered where my food came from, or how it got onto my plate. I just knew I liked my steaks rare and my potatoes in the late summer.

It wasn't until I moved to the city that I started to wonder why many of these people were so concerned with where there food was coming from. Who would have thought that moving away from a farming community and to a city would make me understand the importance of what I was surrounded by in my small hometown.

After living in Calgary for a few years, my girlfriend Jenna and I decided it was time for a change. The community and people we met there truly changed our lives. Food had become a major priority for us, and we began to have the burning desire to know our farmer. The missing connection, the one from farm to fork, is actually knowing the farmer. So we took off and headed south through the USA to figure out how farmers are feeding their local communities.

After visiting some amazing people, and learning so much, it struck me: We could become the Farmer, instead of the Forker, and build a connection between the two.

Jenna's parents have owned and managed a family farming operation in East Central Alberta for over 30 years. Through Holistic Management, they have grown a true appreciation for the land and for the animals. It didn't take much convincing to get them on board with us coming back to the farm.

We've now been back on the land for two years. We have the ability to produce this beautiful and nutritious food, and bring it directly to the consumer. NO MIDDLE MAN. We are always eager and excited to answer questions about what we are doing, and why. The beautiful thing about knowing your farmer is that he or she can tell you exactly what went into producing that product, and do so passionately. They can tell you whether or not it has seen chemicals, sunshine, herbicide, grass, grain, antibiotics, you name it, and they can be honest with you WHY it was produced the way that it was.

Through The Prarie Farm Project we hope to reach out to our community, and be as informative and transparent in what we are doing as possible. We want to bridge that gap between farm and fork, and this is your chance to be part of it.