Many, if not all of us grow some type of food in our own backyards. But how many of us are completely self-sustaining? I would venture to guess that it would be a very, very small percentage. So, where is our food coming from? Many of our children (and probably some of us too) think it comes from the big store across town - we have no idea who grows it, how it's grown or where it comes from.
It is probably not viable for most of us to think that we can be 100% self-sustaining as far as trying to grow all of our own food. But there is an alternative to having it grown by huge corporations where a healthy bottom line is often more important than a healthy consumer.
Local farmers! There are small farmers living near where we live - heck, many of us (garden bloggers) are probably those farmers! Buying locally is good for us, the small farmer, and the economy.
Advantages for farmers:
- Get to spend time marketing the food early in the year, before their 16 hour days in the field begins.
- Receive payment early in the season, which helps with the farm's cash flow.
- Have an opportunity to get to know the people who eat the food they grow.
Advantages for consumers:
- Eat ultra-fresh food, with all the flavor and vitamin benefits.
- Get exposed to new vegetables and new ways of cooking.
- Usually get to visit the farm at least once a season.
Local Harvest is the place to find farmers' markets, family farms, and other sources of sustainably grown food in our area. Simply type in your zip code and you're on your way to buying and eating locally.
And, for those of us growing the food - get out to your local farmers market and sell some of your own locally grown food and help out your neighbor.
Get your hands dirty!