#RealFarmerCare - Let’s care for our farmers

My goal is to raise funds for self-care activities for farmers who need it, especially BIPOC farmers (Black, Indigenous, People Of Color), and allocate these donated funds directly to farmers as they become available by the generous donations of this community.

Visit https://www.instagram.com/realfarmercare/ or https://www.facebook.com/realfarmercare/ to learn about farmer recipients and read their stories.

My name is Clara Coleman, and I am the farm manager at my family's farm Four Season Farm http://fourseasonfarm.com/real-farmer-care/ in Harborside, Maine. As a second generation farmer, I wanted to give back to my community of fellow farmers. My father inspired me to share farming knowledge and ideas and candy carrots, and my mother, to live life with an open and generous heart. This new decade brings an opportunity to share my heart and honor my Real Farmers MANIFESTO. My MANIFESTO acronym is Make connections, Ask for support, Nurture yourself, Inspire others, Family farming fun, Educate yourself, Serve others, Trust in nature, Own your story. For 2020, I made a commitment to show up and Serve Other Farmers this year. In this spirit, I created a #RealFarmerCare donation fund to help farmers feel cared for by the community. Donations come from anyone who feels compelled to be of service to farmers. A donation of any size gives back to farmers for all their hard work growing and raising the delicious and healthy food that nourishes us.

Every dollar donated goes into the hands of farmers.
Farming is hard work and it is not easy being a farmer. It's especially hard during the early phases of starting up a farm, with the enormous hurdles to accessing land and capital, building infrastructure, and the daily operations and management of a farm. It's necessary to work incredibly long hours to do what they love - growing good healthy food, caring for animals, building community, protecting our land, water, and environment, and raising a family. These farmers rarely have extra funds on hand to prioritize themselves and provide the self-care that they need.

I believe small-scale farming is a public service that heals the planet. Our dedicated and hardworking farmers need intentional care and random acts of kindness.
A few extra bucks can help them prioritize self-care activities like treating themselves to a delicious dinner at one of the restaurants where they supply local products. Or a deep tissue massage for their overworked muscles or a family fun day outing or a date night with their partner while their kids have a babysitter or even a new pair of boot insoles for their tired feet - and the list goes on. We can show our immense gratitude to farmers for growing and raising the nourishing food that fills our bellies. The more we care for our farmers, the more successful they can be at caring for us and the land.

If you are a farmer (or you would like to nominate a farmer to receive a gift): 
1. Contact me directly [email redacted].
2. Ask for what you need to feel cared for in the $50-$100 range.
3. Provide a photo of you on your farm.
4. Include a couple of sentences about your farm - its history, its beauty, its challenges - and what it means to your heart and your community.

I will allocate these donated funds as they become available by the generous donations of this community. They will be sent directly to you via PayPal or Venmo. Then I will share photos and stories of farmers who receive a @RealFarmerCare gift on Instagram and Facebook. That way we can all celebrate farmers’ stories and show this community just how much these donations matter.

This is my commitment to you and to farmers. Let’s keep showing up and serving each other.

Like any germinating seed or idea, this campaign will grow and evolve exactly how it is meant to, and bloom way beyond my control. My hope and dream for 2020 is for this campaign to become a perpetuating revolving fund where people feel inspired to give and these donations are given back to farmers. In turn, they will give back to their families and communities and the land even more wholeheartedly than before. In the end, we all win and feel loved and cared for in perpetuity. Big love and gratitude to everyone for showing up here and supporting my dream.

If you feel inspired to donate, please share with your friends and networks and let’s make 2020 the year of #RealFarmerCare!

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Clara Coleman 
Harborside, ME
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