BC Association of Farmers' markets
Supporting BC farmers and sustaining our local food supply means ensuring we have land to farm and fresh food to eat. It's a way to nurture the places we live and visit.

Ode To A Farmer Poetry Contest 2014 Winners

Ode To A Farmer Poetry Contest 2014 Winners

Grand Prize and Northern Region Winner:
Where Food Comes From
By Ruth Lloyd 

Food does not come from a fridge
Or a store.
It is not magically wrapped in cellophane
served on stryrofoam
or plastic
Placed into your cart with a bar code for easy tracking

Food comes from the dirt
the blood.
From bawling cattle
clucking chickens
garden plots.
It comes through dirt
through death and blood
through hard work
And it comes through love.
A love for the connection
between Earth and Human
A love of labour which produces something
of substance.
Something hard-won
Something to feed the body and the soul

Vancouver Coast & Mountains Region Winner:
The Seed
By Carolyn Morris

It all starts with the seed, it is so easy to say;
but the planning and the prepping starts a year ago May.
Crop rotation, ph balance, mycrorizal content;
are all part of the journey from beginning to the end.
With scientific foundation in the architectured plot,
and mathematic notation of the seeds, there’s a lot.
Starting plugs, sowing seeds with precision re-hydration,
there’s a big picture here for mental orientation!
The Farmers’ Markets are booked; the booth is looking so sweet;
the shoppers fill up their baskets with eggs, onions & beets.
The multi-faceted demands of sustainable farms;
it takes strong heads and hearts along with the strength of their arms.
Take pride when you ponder each day how you are going to invest;
may the feast on your plate be both the reward and the test.

Vancouver Island Region Winner:
Of Knees and Bees
By Gregory Demmons 

The very earth
That suckled seeds
And held up boots,
Pushed up shoots
And anchored roots,
Whispers through weeds
Of joy and mirth.

Her quiet calls
Dripping sunlight
On humming bees
And apple trees.
The farmers’ knees
Are worn and might
Hold keys to all.

It seems that we
For granted take
The farmer’s hand
Marked by the sand
And working land.
Shall we forsake
Earth mother’s plea?

Kootenay Rockies Region Winner:
To Be A Farmer
By Gwendolen Graovac 

A farmer I once was, and maybe always will be
But the lure of adventure has, for now, led me
To gain experiences of the non-plowing kind

The life of laboring for love, under hot sun and hard rain
Has left its indelible mark; the soil shall always remain
As a reminder of my roots I can never leave behind

Travelling through many forests, mountains, towns
Seeking out any farmer’s market that might be around
Knowing that real, fresh food is often hard to find

‘Though it’s been years since I toiled in that sandy loam
The baskets of colourful fruit and veggies speak of home
And for that I thank all the farmers,
From my heart, soul and mind.

Thompson Okanagan Region Winner:
Ode to a Farmer
By Terry Hynes

The furrows all could've been made by a rake.
The stubble was gray like steel.
The nose was bent from many a break,
The hands had a strength you could feel.

The gaps between his teeth were hid
by a moustache stained and yellow.
Those ivory stubs were cut the same,
by coffees and cigarillos.

He couldn't be measured by weight or size
like most were judged to be.
You only had to watch him move,
to know there was more than you'd see.

He was just and old and bent farm hand
who'd worked his fields too long.
He'd left his youth behind a plow,
and wondered if he had done wrong.

"I could have worn a suit and tie
just like them banker guys,
and maybe eaten Cordon Bleu,
with sweets and apple pies."

"Or maybe sat at a fancy desk
with carpets all around."
"A padded leather chair so high,
my feet won't touch the ground."

"But then I guess I'd never see
the sunlight greet the morn."
"Or hold a lamb within my arms,
soon after it was born."

"I'd never see the morning dew
kiss freshly sprouted grain."
"Or gaze in wonder at the dirt,
and dance out in the rain."

"I'd never get to watch my kids
run carefree without fear."
"Or thank the lord for all he's done
with help throughout the year."

"But now as I get older here
and age eats at my frame,
I'm happy with the life I chose,
I played a lifelong game."

"A man must choose his path in life,
and see it to it's close."
"The other fields are not so green,
and honey rarely flows."

"My family soon will carry on,
my kids have children too."
"This farmin' life is sometimes tough."
"They'll do what farmers do."

Cariboo Chilcotin Region Winner:
Get REAL...
By Gina Myhill-Jones 

Do you need a car and microwave to make a simple meal?
Do bags and boxes and plastic jars add to your food's appeal?
If that's the case,
I hate to say,
You're just not eating REAL !

Do you drive up to a window get a fatty treat?
A coffee and some fried things that stain the passenger seat?
If that's your "breakfast",
Sorry my friend,
You're just not eating REAL !

Do you shop in a great big Superstore with a hundred box lined aisles?
Where you can't tell where the "food" is from, " it's come how many miles"?
I've never met a farmer there,
You'll never get food fresh!
You're just not eating REAL !

Now as I end my little rant, I'll give you all some advice before I'm done.
A Farmer's Market near to you has fresh food, farmers AND FUN !!
You may well have to learn to cook,
Retire your microwave....

... But your farmer will surely thank you,
...your health will start to mend,
... you'll get to know some nice folks, right around the bend.
... You'll be eating like a true gourmet, the envy of your friends.

And here's the best part of the deal....

Run down to your local Farmer's Market... and ....

You'll be EATING REALLY REAL !!!!!