#supportlocal : Why I buy local and encourage you to as well
Longer days, flowers blooming, pool days, vacation…these are all things I look forward to in the summer. But when that sign pops up announcing the first farmer’s market… that’s the good stuff of summer. I love perusing the stalls at farmer’s markets, talking to the growers and the artisans, hearing their stories…how their crops are doing this year and what new wares they’ve been inspired to share. I’m inspired by the farmer’s market community…the table of girl scouts raising money by selling lemonade, the new ways I discover to prep vegetables by lingering and chatting it up with the growers, the stalls brimming with flowers and the tables of soaps and honeys and loaves of bread. The ease of picking up a few items and having a fresh farm to table dinner that same evening is one of the simple joys of summer for me. Aside from that, there are so many more reasons to buy local and support your local farmers. Here are some of the reasons why:
1. Produce at the farmer’s market is more nutritious. Why? It is picked at peak ripeness and only has to travel from the farm to the market. Alternatively, supermarket produce is picked early (to prevent spoilage) to account for the miles and miles it will have to travel to get to its final destination. The produce does not have the chance to grow to maturity and reach its full nutrient potential.
2. Farmer’s market produce creates a much smaller carbon footprint. Again, this is mainly due to the fact that the produce does not have to be transported hundreds or thousands of miles. Less fuel, less greenhouse gases.
3. Buying local preserves green space and farmland and supports the local economy. Major wins across the board. Local farms are able to provide jobs in the community and the money exchanged at local markets stays in the local economy. Also you get to enjoy the beauty of the farmland in your community.
4. Sustainability. Local growers continue to diversify the soil and they are good stewards of natural resources maintaining the beauty of the community for years to come. I don’t know about you but this is one of the most important points for me. Let’s help support taking care of this land and community we were given.
5. Buying local makes it possible for farmers and their families to stay on their land. Supporting growers puts money in their pockets…simple economics. The land that they farm may have been passed down for generations (something fun you can find out when you interact with them at the market). We have the opportunity to ensure it stays in their hands.
6. Buying local creates a sense of community! This is by far my favorite. As I mentioned earlier…chatting with fellow market shoppers, growers, artisans, hearing their stories, learning a new way to prepare something, finding out why they started keeping bees, how a sourdough recipe has been passed down in the family for over a hundred years…that’s the good stuff. The connection runs deep. I look forward to stories about the apple grower’s grandkids running through the orchards, how another grower’s kids have a contest to see who grows the largest pumpkin, a new use for scapes, a new flavor of jam…I am HERE FOR IT year after year!
How can you make steps to support local in your community? Even if your town doesn’t have a local stand you can look for restaurants that use local ingredients or you can visit farms that offer pick your own produce. I also look for opportunities when I am on vacation to visit local farm stands and farm to table restaurants.
Go forth and SUPPORT LOCAL! Let me know how it enriches your life.