VOICES: A world where you know your farmer

Every week we pluck veggies from our soil and pull bread from our ovens to peddle around Dayton. Just as generations of us have done since the advent of agriculture, we farmers labor in the fields to provide food which fuels a society full of people free from the responsibility of literally “making dough.” Instead of generating their food, the rest of our community is free to pursue other labors and studies to hopefully make the world a better place.

What world do you want to live in?

I want to live in the microcosm that the two of us first generation farmers have made for ourselves. My husband Rich and I run Foxhole Farm with our two young kids in tow. We’ve brought a sort of dream to life, one which we wake up from when we check back into the world at large. We are working overtime to keep the magic of small-scale, localized agriculture alive in our little corner of the world.

Harkening back to an old world intimacy, our weekend farmers market materializes every Saturday during the warm months. Makers, growers, bakers and potters converge to provide their goods to the town, offering the opportunity to become acquainted with the souls responsible for the food they feed to their family, or even the plates from which they feed them.

When the seasonal Saturday market goes on hiatus in the colder days of October, we continue to sell our goods from our website, with a pick-up from the same, much less lively parking lot down in Oakwood. Therefore, year-round, rain or shine, a community gathers in a sort of makeshift town square. A myriad of our town’s players who feed off of this bygone sense of community come to mingle and the tangibility of how we all depend on each other rises to the surface.

In a day at summer market, I talk with my friend, a local teacher, for as long as we have until a line begins to form, as she fills her bag with her favorite greens, roots, and microgreens. Our family dentist and even the home builder who erected my childhood home pass through the market. Nurses and nutritionists, retired folks who now play a different part in it all, and young families playing a most important role of bringing up future community members who don’t yet know how they’ll fit into the puzzle... we all come together. We’re all contributing our part to something much greater than ourselves: a growing and thriving city, interlaced — and stronger for it.

And so in a world which is becoming increasingly remote, fractured, and isolationist, here is an argument for knowing who grows your food: we feel a sense of responsibility to bring the best, just-picked and mindfully grown food to market, because we know who we are feeding. And if you come to our table at the Oakwood Farmers Market or find our produce at one of our local grocery stores: Dorothy Lane Market, Gem City Market, Tony and Pete’s, the Brookville IGA, or at one of Dayton’s stellar independent eateries... you know who you are helping to feed, too.

Sam Wickham is a local farmer and mother as well as a Dayton native. Learn more about Foxhole Farm at foxholefarmohio.com.

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