Local Harvest Champions a Sustainable World

Local Harvest
real food, real farmers, real community

Local Harvest is a great resource for cooks and anyone interested in sourcing locally grown foods in their communities.  According to their website  you can find farmer’s markets, family farms, and other sources of sustainably grown food in your area, where you can buy produce, grass-fed meats, and many other goodies.

When you get to the home page of Local Harvest you can enter your zip code and get a listing of local farmer’s markets, farms, honey producers, produce stands, etc.  There are almost two million farms in the USA, and about 80% of those are small farms.  Many of these small farms are also family owned.  These farmers are not huge, government subsidized, agri-business farms, just regular people trying to grow the best product they can. These farmers sell their products through farmer’s markets, food co-ops, farm stands and CSA, which stand for Community Supported Agriculture.

With CSA you buy “shares”  or memberships from a local farmer, and you then receive a box of produce each week as it is harvested.  CSAs can also include the option for shareholders to buy shares of eggs, homemade bread, meat, cheese, fruit, flowers or other farm products along with their veggies. According to Local Harvest, the advantages of CSA include;

Advantages for farmers:

  • Get to spend time marketing the food early in the year, before their 16 hour days in the field begin
  • 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
  • Find that kids typically favor food from “their” farm – even veggies they’ve never been known to eat
  • Develop a relationship with the farmer who grows their food and learn more about how food is grown

Local Harvest also offers a store where you can buy products from farmers all over the USA, who also offer their wares to local customers.  These include produce, meat, soap and body care, flowers, pet products, honey, seeds, herbs, preserves, wool and fibers, gift baskets and so much more.

Local Harvest is a website that should be bookmarked by everyone interested in locally sourced products.  Buying locally saves on transportation costs, which is environmentally responsible.  Most produce in the US is picked 4 to 7 days before being placed on supermarket shelves, and is shipped for an average of 1500 miles before being sold.  When you buy local your food will be fresher, and you will know exactly where it comes from.

http://www.localharvest.org/

The White House breaks new ground

The White House

Today, first lady Michelle Obama will host a groundbreaking ceremony for the new White House organic vegetable garden, the first since Eleanor Roosevelt’s World War II victory garden.

The garden will have a twofold purpose; to provide organic vegetables to the White House kitchen and to help educate children about healthful, locally grown fruits and vegetables.  In an interview given to The New York Times,  Mrs. Obama said, “My hope is that through children, they will begin to educate their families and that will, in turn, begin to educate our communities.”

Students from Bancroft Elementary School in Washington will help tend the 1,100-square-foot plot.  The school has had their own garden since 2001, and the students will help plant, harvest and cook the vegetables, berries and herbs.

The garden will include 55 kinds of vegetables and fruits, chosen from a wish list put together by White House chefs. There will also be two hives for honey tended by a White House carpenter who is also a beekeeper. The chefs will use the produce to feed the first family, as well as for state dinners.