Open Letter to those who eat

An open letter to those who eat.

Those who might cuss a farmer

with their mouth full of food.

Those who might buy into the

hype and the terror tactics.

Those who would, perhaps,

think that broad brushes

paint the best strokes

for changing the world.


To those who who eat

not what they grow

but what others toil

to bring to the table.


To those who make

the old ways the ‘new’

new in the face of

science gone mad

with too much change

and not enough choice.


To those who would

decide that ‘someone’ should

‘do something’ and then

sit back and wait. Wait.

Forgetting that there is

‘no one’ for ‘someone’ who

isn’t willing to speak. To say.

To try. Be someone.


To those who would call

me the fringe, the crazy,

the hippie chick farmer.

I may be. Maybe you

can learn what I know.

If you care for the animals

and the land then

more than food will

come. It is life you grow.


Buzz words are tossed around

loose as pin-less grenades.

Ban this! Stop that!

GMO, sustainable, organic,

no need to be all crazy

chemicals are not

all bad. Are they? Or no?


I will defend your right

to believe what you need.

I will defend your right

to speak what you need.

I only ask that you

respect that I know

what I know. That you

leave the broad brush

strokes to house painting.


An open letter to

those who eat.

You can make

choices. You

can make change.

The old saying

goes: If you eat

you are involved.


Sadly most farmers who are doing a good job of farming spend their time farming – not telling the world they are doing a good job. Or how they do a good job. Or how many generations their family has been doing that job. The culture of agriculture gets lost in the noise from all sides.  If it wasn’t for farming, the prairies would be empty. A vast plain crossed only to reach one coast or another.  We can do better, and many do more than their share. Sadly, the ones who do our culture ill, from within or without, are seen more often in the news.  Farmers are outstanding people, but many are too busy out standing in their fields to tell you about it.  Farmers around the world have made a choice for a way of life that is often more filled with challenges than with rewards and yet we still do it.  Family farms, generation after generation, need to be recognized in a sea of urban sprawl and a fog of media and misinformation about corporations, government and industry.  No one does anything perfectly, but some respect is due to those who keep trying, and in that trying, respect is due to those who keep trying to do better. To be better. To keep us in  food locally and globally. Those who keep the farmers across the globe informed and equipped. Those who quietly share their bounty from field and garden. Those who encourage you to eat well, to know where your food comes from and who raises, grows and processes it.  Knowledge is power, and there is nothing more powerful than food. Food for the body, food for the mind and food for the soul. No one can live on one alone.  Forgive the rant, if you have gotten this far.  I appreciate you coming by.


Sharing with the wonderful folks at With Real Toads, on the Wednesday challenge to write an open letter.



  1. March 1, 2013 at 7:36 am

    I so appreciate those who dedicate their lives to farming. I eat thus I am involved! Awesome piece!

  2. March 1, 2013 at 1:52 pm

    It is always a good thing to hear from the farmers. I feel they are often taken for granted, yet provide one of the most valuable services to their communities.

  3. March 1, 2013 at 3:51 pm

    Those of us lucky enough to have fresh food on our tables are usually the most unappreciative of our blessings. Farmers don’t earn nearly as much money or appreciation as they deserve for the amount of sweat and blood and love that they pour into their fields. You’ve done a beautiful job of writing for them, and for making us think about what we are so so fortunate to have when millions around the world don’t.

  4. hedgewitch said,

    March 1, 2013 at 3:53 pm

    I enjoyed this, Shanyn–it tells it like it is. There is a lot of bad corporate crap going on on *all* levels of our society–the family farmer deserves our support.

  5. Helen Dehner said,

    March 1, 2013 at 5:23 pm

    A TOAST ~~ to all the hippie chick farmers of the world! CHEERS!

  6. Kim Nelson said,

    March 1, 2013 at 10:53 pm

    Oh, I like this! An avid gardener, I have such respect for farmers. An avid eater, I have such respect for fresh food! 😉

  7. March 2, 2013 at 2:27 am

    I love going to our local farmer’s market and get fresh fruits and vegetables and plants. I do think farming is appreciated especially in small towns like mine in the countryside of NY. Even in NYC, there is a large open farmer’s market on Union Square I often go to. I’m glad you aired your concerns. I can imagine farming must be really hard, but it surely has its rewards 🙂

  8. ManicDdaily said,

    March 2, 2013 at 6:29 am

    Absolutely agree – and well said. I try to buy locally here – and my girls have been doing a garden. By here, I mean in NY STATE! (Though there is now some lettuce grown in Brooklyn!) I do think there is some more movement that way – of course big agrobiz on the other side and it’s SOOOO BIG. Thanks much for your passionate words. k.

  9. March 3, 2013 at 12:45 am

    Well spoken, Shanyn. Great to hear it from this side too, honest farming and farmers. Great open letter!

  10. De Jackson said,

    March 6, 2013 at 10:37 pm

    Shanyn, this is so well done. Beautifully, poignantly stated. Awesome.

  11. itsadisaster said,

    April 4, 2013 at 4:48 pm

    Well said and so true. Keep up the great work (and thanks for stopping by our blog. 🙂 )

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