Connecting Consumers and Producers
I'm Lacy Gray with Washington Ag Today.
Garden Gate Lavender Farms is a working lavender farm in Medical Lake that is open to the public on Saturdays, as well as open by appointment for private functions or educational tours.
Owner Vivian Nielsen talks about why she and numerous other farmers are opening their farms to the public.
NIELSEN: For them to show the public what they're doing, and how important farming is. Whether you're a traditional farmer or an organic farmer it really doesn't matter; consumers are so far from the farm experience they just don't get it, and so both traditional and organic farmers are finding that just having people come and visit allows their consumers to be a little closer to what they're consuming, and to understand the political climate that farmers have to live in and the trials that they go through.
Nielsen says that more consumers themselves are reaching out to producers.
NIELSEN: More and more consumers are saying "I want to visit your farm. I want to know what you do. I want to see what it's all about". So you've got farmers who need to do it - they need to educate their own consumers, and then you've got consumers who want to be educated; they are almost in some instances demanding to be educated.
Another great way for producers and consumers to connect is at their local farmers market.
NIELSEN: We love our farmers markets, our farmers markets love us; it's a fun way for the producers to meet the consumers and the consumers to ask really good critical questions about where their products come from.
That's Washington Ag Today.
I'm Lacy Gray with the Ag Information Network of the West.