Farmers and Me is a social graphic design project that centers on the emerging and growing phenomena of local organic farms in San Diego. Although there has been an increased demand and interest in local, sustainable farming and organic produce, a large population remains unfamiliar with the local produce available at their supermarkets, farmer’s markets, and through Community Supported Agriculture programs. The focus of my research is threefold:
- To promote locally grown produce by informing the community to make better choices,
- To bring attention to the labor that goes into the production of our food,and
- To facilitate an interactive environment where consumers meet producers.
The core of my project was to gather data in the San Diego community through questionnaires and conducting interviews. I met face-to-face with San Diego Farmers and heard their personal stories about their passion for growing organic food and how they became farmers. The people I met on this 14 interview journey are just like you and me. They are making a difference in their neighborhoods because they see the importance of providing fresh food to their families and caring for the environment. In one of the interviews with Daniela Mejia, she mentions how she feels that her body has been reprogrammed to not eat refined sugars. She says that this did not happen by enforcing a strict diet, rather, her palette began to change as she grew her own fresh fruits and vegetables. Many more accounts such as Daniela’s can be read in my interviews with the other farmers, many of whom are now my friends.
The goal of this project is to connect the consumer to the source of their food by informing them about the production process, which includes the land, people, soil, water, funds, methods, processes and passion. In order to recognize intrinsic value, consumers need to be educated about the intracies of food production. This will create a sense of the true value of the food they consume, and lead to more personal accountability to their health.