Author Margaret Webb Talks about Talking to Farmers
Farmers say the darnest things – wise, perceptive, gritty, funny things. But most of all, they speak about the joys and challenges of growing food from the quirky depths of their hearts. While we eaters debate food issues, farmers work in the muck of them.
Electrifying is how I would describe the many conversations I’ve had with farmers while researching my book, Apples to Oysters: A Food Lover’s Tour of Canadian Farms (www.margaretwebb.com). Just get a farmer talking, in the workshop on a rainy day, in a long truck ride through the prairies, on horseback during a cattle roundup. What you will hear are the passionate, earthy ruminations of people who are trying to do what is right by food and nature, while trying to scratch out a living in our deeply flawed agricultural system.
Sadly, too few of us get to make this connection to the people who grow our food, the chief reason I wrote my book and also why I initiated an interview series called, Talking to Famers, during my book tour across Canada. In an effort to give farmers their rightful place in the food debate, at centre stage, I invited a few local farmers to be interviewed live, before an audience. I hoped the event would introduce local eaters to local food producers and also start a conversation between strangers about the thing they have in common, namely, our food.
From my vantage point on stage with the farmer, I could see that the audience of urban eaters got the same thrill from listening to farmers as me, and so I started taping and videotaping the conversations, trying to bring the voices of farmers to even more people.
Here are a few of those interviews, with farmers near my home in Toronto and in my home country of Simcoe. The video, Farming: What Future? features two new farmers near Creemore, Ontario, speaking about the farm crisis in Canada.
To watch Margaret’s videos, click here.