Buying food from local farmers is important not only for the health and flavor benefits of amazingly fresh foods, but for the environmental benefits as well. In my area of Western Massachusetts we encourage people to “Be A Local Hero” and support local farming families with our food buying dollars.
Ironically I learned recently that some of the local farmers produce in my area gets shipped 90 miles to Boston, just to be brought back to town and sold locally! It makes no sense whatsoever. The reason, I’m told is that we don’t have a local distribution center and that challenge is being addressed.To gain more knowledge see natural health products.
I can’t think of anything better that having access to locally produced food that you can pick up or even better, have delivered to your door if you’re lucky enough to live near someone like Maryanne Hedrick.
When I was introduced to Maryanne and her MyPersonalFarmers.com website, I knew I wanted to include her story here, as an example of what can be done at the local level to encourage supporting local farmers and widening the market for locally produced fresh and processed foods.
A note about organic: Many (most?) small and local farmers cannot afford to buy the USDA Organic certification seal. That doesn’t mean they aren’t organic growers, or that the food they grow isn’t still the best choice. The distance a food travels before it gets to you plays a big part in its nutrient content. Often locally produced foods that aren’t organically grown are still the best buy in taste and nutrition. Talk to the farmers in your area and ask them if they use chemicals on their crops.
Here’s Maryanne’s story:
“MyPersonalFarmers.com arose from the discovery that the foods grown and created in our own back yard delivered some of the most delicious taste experiences we’ve ever had. As a family new to the Hudson Valley, we were shocked to find so many truly original tastes to sample, that originated so close to home.
To be perfectly honest, this was a bit of an ego bruise! After all, we are a foodie family: we buy at top-quality markets, enjoy exploring better restaurants, and love to cook unusual and memorable dinners for friends and family. So how was it possible that we didn’t already know about the glorious food grown and created right here in the Hudson Valley?
Needless to say, we quickly pursued a basic education in local foods, visiting farmers markets and farms, talking with restaurant owners and chefs, and reading everything available on the subject. Over time it became clear that a central source for an orientation, and access, to Hudson Valley food was a good idea, so others would not have to do as much legwork as we did.
A second need became equally obvious: making it possible for more local residents to enjoy the region’s harvest with some viable alternative to actually visiting farmers markets. We’ve heard so many people say, “I always think about going but get too busy or forget.” And we’d think: what a loss!
In addition, the growing interest in foods produced by local farmers is matched by the tough reality that our farmlands are in jeopardy of disappearing. Why? Because each year our farmers are finding it more difficult to earn enough money for basic family needs.
MyPersonalFarmers.com is the culmination of our effort. We think it is the simplest way to address the needs of both Hudson Valley consumers and farmers’ by providing a wealth of information about this fabulous food and a convenient means of buying it.”