A Day on a Produce Farm

December 19, 2015

We've partnered with the U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance (read more here) to share stories of, in a series of videos, what it's like to run a farm or ranch in the U.S. today.  

Today: Our Partnerships Editor Samantha Weiss-Hills visited Terranova Ranch in California to find out a little more about what it's really like to be a produce farmer.

"I think it's important to hear directly from farmers what their opinions on these issues are," our Partnerships Editor Samantha Weiss-Hills told me about the much debated issues of farming and food production. "These are the people in the food system who are closest to what we're eating, and it's hard for consumers to know what that part of the [food production] process is."

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And Don Cameron, the owner of Terranova Ranch in Helm, California, is very close to the entirety of the farming that happens on his land: Not only has he put careful consideration into what he's growing (organic, conventional, and GMO crops); he also lives right on the farm, eats what he grows (make his Fresh Tomato Sauce Spaghetti!), invests time and resources into sustainable technologies and practices (he keeps the farm well-watered by capturing rainwater, and uses solar energy to power the farm), and, said Sam, it was clear as he gave her a tour of the farm that cares enormously about the lives of his laborers. "It's a huge operation," she said, "but Don is still so connected to the process." 

Let the farmers speak for themselves—and learn more about what they really do—by watching the video.

Video by Vacation

What would you want to ask a produce farmer? Go ahead and ask in the comments.

We've partnered with the U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance (read more here) to share stories of, in a series of videos, what it's like to run a farm or ranch in the U.S. today.  

Join the Conversation

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • Samantha Weiss Hills
    Samantha Weiss Hills
  • Charlotte Lowrie
    Charlotte Lowrie
  • kpeck
Writing and cooking in Brooklyn.


Samantha W. December 22, 2015
Thank you, all, for reading and commenting. We really appreciate and value your feedback and concerns.

Our intent working with USFRA was always to learn more about the people who work on four different farms and ranches. We're aware that there are a number of organizations that both fund and sit on the board of USFRA, but this particular partnership gave us the opportunity to visit these farms and learn more about the daily work and experiences of the people who both live and work on the farms (which many people don't get a chance to see)—so we really appreciated the opportunity to take a peek into one very specific part of our food system. In this case, we were interested in how Don grows all different types of crops, from organic and conventional to GMO. We also look forward to more projects of this nature, where we hope to visit farms of all scales and practices in the future.
MEGGULP December 19, 2015
I am sad and shocked that food52 is engaged in this partnership. From Civil Eats: "the U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance (USFRA), a new trade association made up of some of the biggest players in the food industry—including the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, Dupont, and Monsanto"
Charlotte L. December 20, 2015
Anyone who believes anything that Monsanto says has not studied the issues surrounding GMO crops. Europe has almost universally banned GMO seeds as has Haiti. Thanks to Roundup-ready GMO crops there is now a super weed that is immune to Roundup. Last I heard, Monsanto is reaching back to their days of making Agent Orange to use some of those chemicals on the super weed. Now that sounds like a tasty salad seasoning said no one ever.
kpeck December 21, 2015
Ah, so Food52 is making money off of Big Farms and Monsanto...excellent...I knew something was up with these 'get to know your farmer' videos when the propaganda started flying...thank god other readers can see it too. Damn, and I thought Food 52 was one of the good guys...