One of our favorite things to do on Saturday morning is visit the local farmers’ market. On a beautiful day, it is great to get outside with the kids and check out the local vendors. It’s also the best place to stock-up on fruits and veggies for the week. When I see strawberries, oranges or blueberries bearing the location, “Plant City, Florida” I know I am doing my part to support local farmers — and maybe even my own family.
My family’s roots are in farming, and while farming is no longer a full-time career for my family there are still strawberry fields, orange groves and blueberry patches in the family. In fact, my cousin is currently harvesting his first crop of blueberries this season. Lawyer/Farmer/Photographer he’s a man of many talents.
Photo by J Dicks
Supporting locally grown produce from small farmers is important to me because it means supporting families — like mine, that have been farming for generations. It also means supporting access to healthy food options, and don’t we all want healthy, fresh food for our families?
How Can You Help?
Shop farmer’s markets – Sure, I can get Plant City Strawberries at the grocery store, but I can’t chat with a local farmer about his crop. And because the grocery store does it’s best to stock produce year-round, I can’t teach my girls about seasonal fruits and vegetables. But by regularly visiting the local farmer’s market, we get to know the local guys and we can observe seasonal produce. (Plus it is fun.)
Pick your own produce – You can’t get produce fresher than picking it yourself. Support your local farmers by researching farms in your area that offer pick your own opportunities. Not only is it fun for the whole family, it is an amazing opportunity to teach your kids about where food comes from. We try to pick our own strawberries every year, and we will be headed out to my cousin’s farm to pick blueberries soon. Check PickYourOwn.org for a list of pick your own farms in your area by state.
Join a local Community Supported Agriculture – A CSA is a partnership between farmers and consumers. At the beginning of the growing season, CSA members pay a fee to cover the cost of the local farm’s operations. In return, each member receives a weekly share of the farm’s bounty, typically a box that might in include fresh vegetables, herbs, fruit, honey, eggs, and meat. For farmers, CSA offers a fair, steady source of income and a way to revitalize the small family farm. Consumers get fresh produce grown in a sustainable manner by someone they know and trust.
Sign the petition to tell Congress to support organic farming – I have partnered with TakeAction to help gather signatures for a petition to tell congress to support local farmers. Congress will soon vote on a new farm bill – the federal measure with the greatest impact on the food we eat. Currently, your tax dollars go to highly profitable agribusinesses that don’t need the help and to people who don’t live anywhere near a farm. The government does very little to help farmers grow organic fruits and vegetables.
By signing the petition below, the message sent along with your petition signature will read:
“Instead of giving billions of dollars in subsidies to those who don’t need them, I want my money put to better use. I want my tax dollars to promote organic farming, support real working farm families, protect land and water and help feed children. Please invest in smarter food and farm policies.”
Join me in raising our voices to let the world know we support local farming. Click on the petition below and add your name to those who support farmers.
This post is brought to you by TakeAction, however, all thoughts and opinions are my own.