I took my youth group this past Sunday to an Earth Day celebration in a nearby city. There was world music, organic food, a dove release, and a lot of great booths chocked full of information about leaving a smaller footprint here on this lovely planet.
One of the booths was offering a bumper sticker that many of you have probably seen before…you know, this one:
LOCAL FOOD…THOUSANDS OF MILES FRESHER
I’ve seen this bumper sticker hundreds of times in my local area, and it always makes me want to honk in support. Unfortunately, being a locavore doesn’t necessarily make you immune to misunderstanding, so it is likely that I might get some ugly looks or even a not-so-friendly hand signal or two if I were to try that, so instead I just give them a silent cheer or thumbs up.
Supporting local agriculture is something I am personally passionate about. Our local area used to be dotted with gorgeous farmland. These days, much of that land is being sold to developers because it is so difficult for local farmers to compete with the low-priced (and low taste) produce that can be shipped into the country at cents on the dollar.
Seeing monstrous fabricated mansions go up where cows used to graze always makes my eyes mist over. And watching the daily progression of meaningless tree clearing sets me into a tizzy.
So I pulled my old soapbox out of storage, dusted it off, and am perched right on top today. First, I want to share one of my all-time fave websites: Local Harvest. This is a gem of a site where you can go and find out about where to buy local meat, produce, and other homemade goodies. They have information on CSA’s (if you don’t know about CSA’s PLEASE do some research!), tailgate markets, and pick-your-own farms.
Our region has its own version of a local sustainability site, and I’m going to share a link to a section of it, too, because it includes some terrific lesson plans that homeschoolers can definitely find useful: Growing Minds: Farm to School
If you randomly head to your grocer’s produce department without ever noticing where that food comes from, this consider this your friendly Topsy-Techie conscience reminding you to take the little bit of extra time it takes and research where to find local (and keep in mind that means fresher and tastier) options for what you are about to purchase.
No one needs that extra summer vacation home…but we DESPERATELY need our wonderful farmers.