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WHERE TO FIND & ENJOY THE LOCAL FOODS OF CALIFORNIA
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Grower (farmer)
A farmer (also called an agriculturer) is a person engaged in agriculture, raising living organisms for food or raw materials. The term usually applies to people who do some combination of raising field crops, orchards, vineyards, poultry, or other livestock. A farmer might own the farmed land or might work as a laborer on land owned by others, but in advanced economies, a farmer is usually a farm owner, while employees of the farm are known as farm workers, or farmhands. However, in the not so distant past, a farmer was a person who promotes or improves the growth of (a plant, crop, etc.) by labor and attention, land or crops or raises animals (as livestock or fish).
In the U.S. of the 1930s, one farmer could only produce enough food to feed three other consumers. A modern-day farmer produces enough food to feed well over a hundred people. However, some authors consider this estimate to be flawed, as it does not take into account that farming requires energy and many other resources which have to be provided by additional workers, so that the ratio of people fed to farmers is actually smaller than 100 to 1.
In the context of developing nations or other pre-industrial cultures, most farmers practice a meager subsistence agriculture´a simple organic farming system employing crop rotation, seed saving, slash and burn, or other techniques to maximize efficiency while meeting the needs of the household or community. Historically, one subsisting in this way may have been known as a peasant.
In developed nations, however, a person using such techniques on small patches of land might be called a gardener and be considered a hobbyist. Alternatively, one might be driven into such practices by poverty or, ironically´against the background of large-scale agribusiness´might become an organic farmer growing for discerning consumers in the local food market.
There are several occupational hazards for those in agriculture; farming is a particularly dangerous industry. Farmers can encounter and be stung or bitten by dangerous insects and other arthropods, including scorpions, fire ants, bees, wasps, and hornets. Farmers also work around heavy machinery which can kill or injure them. Farmers can also establish muscle and joints pains from repeated work.
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