Farmers Are My Heroes

I’ve never met a farmer who wasn’t the hardest working person I’ve ever met.

In the days before skippy chefs said “We are farm-to-table,” it was always farm-to-table when things were growin’. Pickin’ in the morning at a farm and going into work with the goods was called gettin shit to cook tonight on the way into work. The early farmers I knew selling to restaurants had a hard go of it. We were unreliable, our needs changed often and some of us didn’t pay our bills. A farmer would get asked to grow something very specific, which they’d commit to, and then the chef would leave or the menu would change and there was a field full of something that was hard to sell.

But through it all, our regional farmers have put their heads down and worked harder. Our local farmers’ markets are a thriving opportunity to sell, and today’s shopper by-and-large appreciates and understands what it takes and costs to bring produce, especially organic produce, to market. From the early, early days when a grip of local growers were bringing things to our back doors that didn’t sell at market on Saturday afternoons, I’ve been in complete awe of the ferociousness and pioneer spirit of every farmer I’ve ever met.

Some of the most amazing of this group in Boulder County—unicorns actually—are Eric and Jill Skokan of Black Cat Farm and Bistro. Forget the challenges of being a chef and running a busy kitchen or two. Never mind the full-time enormity of running multiple fields with animals and produce. Don’t forget to add kids and marriage and family commitments. These two do it all and make the rest of us look like complete slackers.

So thank you, you pirates of farm and field. You are fierce and fearless. We all secretly want your lives, but only a fool would think they were easy. You battle weather and insects and animals and bureaucrats, and as a result of your fantasticalness, we all enjoy such kick-ass farm communities. We tip our hats and dip a deep curtsy to all of you hard-working neighbors and friends, to you farmers who make it so.

Looking forward to the best of what summer has yet to harvest.

Dave Query