Thousands of Miles Fresher

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.  produce

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.

 

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9 Responses

  1. Yeah! I knew you were cool before, but you just clinched the deal in my book. I’m just twitching for my CSA to start distributing again.

  2. Good for you! Local harvest is probably the nicest, most convenient site for finding CSA’s in your area. Sadly, we only appear to have one! 😦
    But we support our local buffalo farmers by purchasing direct from them. Ah man! If you like beef, buffalo is light years better. And they can’t inject them full of garbage either because they are so untamed! Additionally, they are grass fed creatures. OK, obviously I love them.
    Oops, borrowed your soap box there (hands box back, looks apologetic). Great post!

  3. We used to belong to a CSA but stopped and now go to the farmer’s market. I love the CSA concept, but I can still support my local farmer’s for 1/2 the cost at the farmer’s market. It’s a pain, because it’s 20 min. away on a Sat., but, did I mention it’s 1/2 the cost. Yeah.

    A friend of mine also raised a steer for us. That was great, and not very expensive, but not something I would have the skill for.

    We have our own, somewhat sucessful garden (please don’t even get me started on the evils of squirrels. Really, are they necessary?) James was so thrilled at the successful harvest on his carrots. He has grand plans for selling them, 4 carrots for $4. Any takers? He does a great description: “so juicy, homegrown, like orange jewels.” A jewel for a dollar. Yeah, I thought not.

  4. Oh, I’m SO WITH YOU!!!

    We’ve been shucking and jiving around the topic for years here at the Dos Mamacitas, but finally turned our backs on the corner big-box store and began buying our meats and produce from a local famers’ market/grocer that moved into the area.

    Everything is so much better, fresher, more beautiful and tasty . . . it’s amazing. Supporting our local farm community is an added bonus. Yippee!!!

  5. Oh, what a wonderful post!

    Our veggie CSA starts up in May, this is our sixth summer, and our meat CSA starts up in June – our third year getting our meat this way. We do everything we can to support our local farms, and it’s so nice to hear that we are not alone!

    Around here, local farms have adopted the motto “Be a Local Hero,” but I like “Thousands of Miles Fresher” too 🙂

  6. Obi-Mom – – my favorite quote from Anne of Green Gables…”I guess that makes us kindred spirits, then doesn’t it?”

    Sarah – – you feel free to borrow my soapbox anytime, missy…as long as you return it in good working order 😉

    Holly – – I’m glad I don’t live that close, because I’m one of those people who can’t say no to ANYTHING that kids have for sale. He’d make a fortune on those orange jewels with me around!

    Mom1 – – “Dos Mamacitas” LOVE THAT! Looks like this crew is all on the same page, doesn’t it??

    SAT – – boy I wish we had a meat CSA around here…maybe soon. As it is, a local college does a meat sale twice a year, but I don’t have one of those terrific deep freezers that would let me keep that much meat on hand. I hate buying that gross stuff at the market, but alas, I currently still have to.

  7. Great post Topsy! You know I’m with you!!

  8. Yesssss!!!
    Local harvest is one of my favorite websites EVER.

    Go farmers!

  9. I *love* local harvest! That’s how we found our CSA. And we’re big fans of eating local, too. I would love to do the whole “100 mile diet” thing, but realistically, I know that we couldn’t. I mean, give up almond M&M’s? *shudder* But we try and do the best we can.

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