The Student Voice of St. George's School

The Creed

The Student Voice of St. George's School

The Creed

The Student Voice of St. George's School

The Creed

Harvesting the truth—why do farmers go unnoticed?

Ask any Gen Zer what they hope to do in the future, they will typically respond with anything but “a farmer”.
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Alan McLachlan
Alan McLachlan 24′, with his coworkers Luis, Andres, and Yuri (Left to Right)

In today’s society, the hard work that farmers do behind the scenes is often neglected and taken for granted. But have you ever wondered about how the food on your plate got there? 

Alan McLachlan 24′, and his coworker Luis putting carrots into ‘Rainbow’ bags (Alan McLachlan)

When I was younger, I always just assumed that food would appear on my plate. I was completely unaware of the meticulous and methodical processes that were done by farmers to produce this food. My ignorant perspective remained unphased until the summer of 2021 when I decided to spend some time working on my great uncle’s farm in Cawston B.C. It was here that I discovered the tough realities of farming. 

Afternoon harvest of ‘Crest Haven’ peaches, Alan McLachlan 24′ proudly carries seven buckets at the same time (Alan McLachlan)

Coming from the city, I had no idea what to expect on my first day working at the farm. All I can say is that I have never felt so exhausted after a day of work. Working for eight hours in the hot sun and smoke that the Okanagan is known for, is no small feat. This is the reality for small local farmers, giving back to the environment and trying to produce food in an ethical, environmentally friendly way. The challenge is that not many people in the city are aware of what truly goes into producing food. 

Alan McLachlan 24′ helping his coworker Luis wash carrots after a big harvest (Alan McLachlan)

I learnt that work on a farm can be endless, as well as range from a variety of different tasks. Regular maintenance and taking care of the chickens with food and water, followed by harvesting or preparing produce for delivery, are just a few of the many tasks that take place on a daily basis. There are many days when the unpaid hours are when a lot of the work is done. As seen above, I picked these peaches in a more relaxed outfit (hence the Birkenstocks), whilst knowing that I wouldn’t be paid for this work. On a farm, money and certainly personal profit are not what is most important;  what’s most important is the success of the farm and allowing for minimal waste. These peaches needed to be picked on this day; otherwise, they would become overripe and we wouldn’t be able to sell them. As a result, I picked them after hours, knowing that this would be essential to having a successful season.

 

Another part of the week at our farm is preparing for the weekly CSA deliveries. CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture. Through these deliveries, we are able to find customers all over the Okanagan, from Oliver and Osoyoos, all the way to Summerland and Naramata. Our CSA deliveries feature a mixed produce box filled with all of the produce from our farm that is in season, and sometimes it is even picked on the day of the delivery. The food that we deliver is extremely fresh and nutritious. An example of what one of these boxes could look like would be a combination of garlic, onions, cherry tomatoes, heirloom tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchini, eggplant, corn, lettuce, cabbage, and a variety of other vegetables and sometimes fruit.

Preparing the weekly deliveries (Alan McLachlan)

I thoroughly enjoyed my experiences working at my great uncle’s farm. And because of this, I have continued to work on my great uncle’s farm, ever since the summer of 2021. Every time I return, I am exposed to new lessons and challenges that come with farming. The main idea that people fail to understand is that farmers never stop working. There is not an hour spent in the day doing nothing to help with the success of the farm. The longest day I can remember of continuous work was 15 hours. 

 

With that being said, farmers love what they do. I personally find the work gratifying and I have learnt countless lessons from being in the field. My goal is to continue to spread the message that farmers don’t have enough time to share on their own. I urge you to think about how the food that you see on your plate got there and to support local farmers by buying from farmers markets. 

 

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About the Contributor
Alan McLachlan, Staff Writer
Alan is a Grade 12 student at St. George's School and is delighted to be writing for The Echo. Alan has immersed himself in everything that St. George's School has to offer. Diving into both the athletics and arts departments at the school, Alan plays on the 2nd XI Soccer, Water Polo, and Tennis teams, while also being involved in both the Senior Concert and Jazz bands. Alan has a passion for farming and agriculture, spending the majority of the time in his summers working on his great-uncle's and his aunt's farms. In his spare time, Alan can be seen playing sports, spending time with friends, or playing foosball in the Lower Great Hall.

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