The new season of GACs hit reality show Farm Kings began last night, and things were busy as usual on Freedom Farms.
Many fans will no doubt be surprised at the work that goes on behind the scenes of running a farm. Too often, we forget just how much work goes into getting our food from field to table. It can seem like those ears of corn just come out of the bin at the grocery store, or our salads just pour out from a bag. But, there is a lot of work that goes into bringing that food from the ground to the dinner table.
Working Harder, Serving More Tables
This year, the King Brothers are hoping to up their production, and are actively working to bring meat to their customers as well as produce, hoping to up their numbers of pigs and chickens as well as adding cows into the mix. It is a lot of work, and a lot can go wrong, so it is a big gamble. With farming, so many variables are out of the farmer’s control, such as last season when the Kings’ crops were ravaged by hail, damaging and destroying much of their produce, lowering their overall production and, therefore, decreasing the farming family’s overall income for the year—a scenario that goes unseen and unrecognized throughout our nation year after year.
This year, the Kings hope to increase their CSA support, quadrupling participation from 100 to 400. The CSA, i.e. Community Supported Agriculture, members pre-pay for produce, receiving their items later in the spring/summer when it becomes available—again, a reminder that producing real food is a long, drawn-out process, not just another box of “food” created on an assembly line. The local support is important to an operation like Freedom Farms, which depends on their local customers for their survival. As Joe explained, “It’s the lifeline of this business. Without it, we’d be out of business. … It gives us seed money in the spring so we can get our operation running.” Of course, increasing CSA support can have its drawbacks—such as having less product for non-CSA customers—but the drawbacks to the program are good problems to have, oldest brother and man-in-charge Joe said.
Predictions from the Kings
“I think as the years go by, it’s just gonna keep getting bigger and better,” predicted “human harvester” Pete. “Hopefully the weather agrees with us, and we’re gonna be pushing hard at it, so it’s gonna be good.”
“Every year things get a little bit better,” Tim said, “so I hope that this will be the best year we've had.”
Next week: Will Dan screw up the new pig program for Freedom Farms? And will Tim be a help or hindrance in the Freedom Farms bakery?
Image: Freedom Farms via Pinterest