Who Exactly is Farmer Lee Jones?

Who Exactly is Farmer Lee Jones?

Well, it depends.


If you’re a Jeopardy fan, you might remember this answer on an episode in the fall of 2018: “Imposing Farmer Lee Jones promotes sustainability clad in red bow tie & of course, this classic farmer’s garment.”


The correct question is “What are overalls?” Here’s the video!


You can find more information about why Farmer Lee wears the outfit that he does here, with the short answer being that it’s a tribute he pays to the persistent farmers from the incredibly challenging Dust Bowl days of the 1930s. Their poignant story was captured in The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck, a book that touched Farmer Lee deeply.


“God knows I’m no John Steinbeck,” he says, “but I feel a very strong kinship with his story and the history it contains. As our vegetables grow, I like to think they’re soaking up my family’s history from the very soil of the land beneath our feet, and that they’re flavored with the sweet taste of hard work and heart work, sorrow and blessings.”


If you’re someone who comes to our farm stand, then Farmer Lee is the man who welcomes you warmly and is happy as all get-out—and sincerely so—to meet you.


He is also the man who is the public face for The Chef’s Garden and Farmer Jones Farms, as he passionately shares his love for farm-fresh vegetables, regeneratively grown, with people wherever he goes. (We’ll be providing more information about the importance of regenerative farming on this blog soon. In the meantime, here’s a great overview.)


A More In-Depth Look
In April 2019, we wrote a blog post titled “Will the Real Farmer Lee Jones Please Stand Up”? We decided to write this because people would sometimes type “Is Farmer Lee Jones real?” in the internal search box on the farm’s website.


It’s likely that they’re wondering if he’s an actor portraying a farmer—and the short answer to that question is “no.” He’s farmed his entire life, first with his father and now with his brother and a dedicated team.


He’s got a pretty dazzling bio, including the following:

  • He is a James Beard award winner for Who’s Who in Food & Beverage, one of the first farmers to ever receive this prestigious honor
  • He’s also the first farmer to ever judge the popular Food Network show, Iron Chef America.
  • He appeared in an episode of the Food Network’s Food Network Star as well as Restaurant: Impossible along with former First Lady Michelle Obama.
  • He has been profiled in conjunction with The Chef’s Garden in New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Magazine, Entrepreneur, Bon Appétit, Gourmet, Food & Wine, Cooking Light, Newsweek, and Washington Post

He’s also a humble guy, referring to himself as a “dirt farmer.” When he first got a text that he’d been on Jeopardy, he initially thought it was a prank. But, when a slew of texts arrived (Ping! Ping! Ping!)—including one from his wife, Mary—he got so excited that he started sharing the news with people who were in an elevator with him. Strangers, that is—but, if you take one message away from this blog post, it’s this: No one is a stranger to Lee for long.


Farm-Fresh Vegetables Grown with Love
We encourage you to take a look at what home delivery boxes and delicious add-ons are available today and to try them yourself—and, if you’re as happy with the flavor as we hope you are, please consider them as gifts for friends, family, and business colleagues.


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