• Farmers and Me


    "Guides For Responsible Seasonal Consumption," Farmers and Me project, Cristal Chen


    There has been a growing demand and interest in local, sustainable farming and organic produce. However, most of us are still unfamiliar with where our produce comes from, and the people who grow our food. This project aims to facilitate dialogue between San Diegans and the passionate, dedicated people working in local farms and community gardens who are making a difference in our communities.

    "Farmers and Me" video interviews, Cristal Chen

    Farmers and Me

    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:

    1. 1. To promote locally grown produce by informing the community to make better choices,
    2. 2. To bring attention to the labor that goes into the production of our food, and
    3. 3. To facilitate an interactive environment where consumers meet producers.

    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 intricacies 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.

    Farmers and Me includes fourteen video interviews with farmers in San Diego. View the videos here.


    Guides for Reasonable Consumption

    The Guides for Responsible Seasonal Consumption are resources in the form of printed brochures. The set of 4 guides was created to reconnect people in the community to the source of the produce that we buy everyday in grocery stores. With so many farms in San Diego and more community gardens being started throughout the city, it’s important to reconnect the community to the faces that are behind the produce we bring to our tables. These guides are intended for educational and commercial purposes. They have already been successfully introduced in farmer’s markets, local organic farms, libraries, and in academic settings, such as elementary school gardens, learning centers, and even universities.

    Cristal Chen with Reasonable Seasonal Consumption guide

    The guides seek to communicate with people, to facilitate interaction between the producers and the consumers in our community. Each guide includes a “1-2-3 Step” Visual Recipe that illustrates a simple way to cook the featured vegetable. They also personalize the actual farmers who spent time to grow and prepare these vegetables. The hand-sketched illustrations, revealing photographs, and simple language will make it easy for the average consumer to learn about each vegetable and its nutritional value.

    Cristal Chen is a San Diego-based artist earning an MFA in Graphic Design at San Diego State University. Read more about her project here.